SUMMERSIDE - Despite statements made last week by the provincial minister of justice, Summerside city council is moving ahead with plans to discuss the position of a school resource officer (SRO) with the Federation of Prince Edward Island Municipalities (FPEIM).
Summerside city hall
Council Tina Mundy, chairwoman of the city’s police services committee, got support from council, Monday night, to direct CAO Bob Ashley to work collaboratively with the chief of police and the chair of the police committee to propose a suitable resolution to the FPEIM in regards to a school resource office.
The city is looking to gain the support of the FPEIM to put pressure on the province to look at the issue.
“I want the FPEIM to enter into talks with the provincial government to see if there’s a program, whether it be an SRO program or something similar to an SRO program that we can initiate within the province of Prince Edward Island,” she said. “
Last week, Justice Minister Janice Sherry said there is no money to fund an SRO position and that the province does proved a wide variety of programs and support services to deal with youth at risk.
But Mundy said there have been no discussions yet between the city the FPEIM and the provincial government on the idea.
“That’s said before the FPEIM gets involved in the discussions,” she said. “So, it’s an open dialogue. I don’t know if it’s an open and shut door. I would hope that they (province) would, at least, engage in talks. There hasn’t been any study done. We haven’t even started talking about it.”
Mundy said the province should listen to the proposal before making any decision.
“I think the talk needs to happen before somebody can say yes or no we’re doing it or we’re not,” she said.
The idea was proposed in August by Mundy, based on the success experienced with a similar program in Charlottetown.
Last month council opted not to take on the financial responsibility for the SRO position on its own.
Council did support going putting a resolution to the FPEIM to work with the province and promote a three-pronged approach, involving the P.E.I. province and the city to come up with a plan.
The police services committee, along with Ashley and Poirier will be drafting a resolution to bring to the FPEIM annual meeting sent for Kensington later this year.