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Two police officers hired in Charlottetown to address homelessness



CHARLOTTETOWN, P.E.I. — Two new law enforcement officials devoted to the downtown space and homelessness are coming to Charlottetown.

Charlottetown Police Companies just lately acquired approval for provincial funding to rent two full time officers.

Chief Brad MacConnell says the brand new police will play a proactive function in working with the Neighborhood Outreach Centre (COC) and its purchasers.

Whereas MacConnell has spoken in current metropolis conferences about wanting extra police strolling a beat within the downtown, these new officers won’t be beat cops.

Their positions can be frontline policing, which is able to enable extra sources to go in the direction of key points, MacConnell stated in a June 12 SaltWire interview after the month-to-month council assembly.

“We put a proposal ahead to the provincial authorities for some help in lessening the impacts of homelessness and creating secure environments for everybody that’s impacted. So, there’s funding for 2 officers for a yr.”


MacConnell additionally addressed issues concerning the frequency of police visits to the COC. Just like the division plans with its two new hires, many of those visits are outreach drop-ins that don’t have anything to do with crime, he stated.

“We’ve liaison officers. Our psychological wellness workforce is there very often for the day, interacting with workers and purchasers attending, all in efforts to construct rapport, creating relationships so once we do must take care of them doubtlessly in disaster, there’s a relationship there to construct upon.”

Talking about neighbors’ fears, MacConnell stated the notion of being unsafe is equal to being unsafe, however there are limits to what the police can do to alter the notion of security.

“We all know that the state of affairs (on the COC) is unsettling to some residents. We’re doing our half to enhance not solely the truth of security however the notion of security,” he stated. “Generally conditions aren’t unsafe, however they’re perceived to be.”

“Generally conditions aren’t unsafe, however they’re perceived to be.”

Charlottetown police Chief Brad MacConnell

Outreach centre

Roxanne Carter-Thompson, govt director of the Journey Group, which oversees the COC, additionally says police are sometimes there to work with purchasers earlier than points occur.

Roxanne Carter-Thompson, left, executive director of the Adventure Group, and Donna Keenan, director of the Community Outreach Centre, stand near the centre. Carter-Thompson says the two new police officers in Charlottetown add to a growing continuum of services offered by the COC and other organizations. - Logan MacLean/SaltWire
Roxanne Carter-Thompson, left, govt director of the Journey Group, and Donna Keenan, director of the Neighborhood Outreach Centre, stand close to the centre. Carter-Thompson says the 2 new law enforcement officials in Charlottetown add to a rising continuum of companies supplied by the COC and different organizations. – Logan MacLean/SaltWire

She sees the brand new hires as a optimistic transfer that’s a part of a wider, rising continuum of companies on the COC, Park Avenue shelter and inside organizations just like the John Howard Society.

“Cops do far more than simply cut back crime,” she stated. “Particularly, cell psychological well being has two law enforcement officials there which are working particularly within the space of psychological well being.”

Requested concerning the notion that police displaying up means against the law has occurred, Carter-Thompson stated altering this can be a matter of training.

Addressing purchasers who’ve dangerous experiences with police, she stated these relationships appear to be altering on the COC due to police outreach efforts, together with Const. Peter Keep, who’s the police consultant on the COC working group.

“Different law enforcement officials drop by on a regular basis. They’re not simply there to speak to any individual about a difficulty. They’re there to say, ‘Hey. How are issues going?’” she stated.

Logan MacLean is a municipal reporter with SaltWire

[email protected]


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