SUMMERSIDE - The Criminal Intelligence Service of Prince Edward Island (CISPEI) may receive a new lease on life if the province comes through with a funding plan.
CISPEI performs intelligence gathering on behalf of member agencies and is part of national intelligence program. It was established in August of 2006 with a grant from the federal government. That funding for the program ended on March 31, 2013 and the province picked up the tab for the $451,610 service. This funding ceases on March 31, 2014.
The bureau is integrated with the RCMP's L Division Criminal Analysis Section and has five member agencies: RCMP L Division, and the police departments of Summerside, Charlottetown, Kensington and the now closed Borden-Carleton police service
A spokesman for the Justice Department said although nothing has been approved to date, there is hope the service will continue in the future.
“There’s no final decision yet,” the spokesman said. “The dollars are going to expire at the end of March and it looks like the province will likely be fully funding it but there is no decision made yet. The province wants the police services to develop a longer term strategy.”
The spokesman declined to address the strategy.
“We can’t really talk about that,” he said. “It looks like it’s going to continue with provincial funding but what has to be worked out is what in-kind or other kinds of contributions the police forces can provide. That’s still under discussion. We should have a decision fairly shortly.”
Justice Minister Janice Sherry advised law enforcement groups last year when the province took over the funding responsibility for a year to come with a plan that would keep the program going.
"We called a meeting and we had very open and candid discussions with the chiefs of police and those responsible for policing in the province," she said. "Policing services identified that this CIS project was extremely vital to public safety and they did not want to see it end."
Sherry said once the province agreed to fund the program for one more year she wanted the policing agency to devise a proposal to address the future requirements for criminal intelligence in the province.
"I said I want you to come to an agreement for a proportional contribution of resources, which could either be in dollars or in-kind services and I put a deadline on it," she said.
Initially, the provincial executive committee of CISPEI wanted the municipalities of Summerside, Charlottetown, Kensington, Stratford and Cornwall to pick up roughly half of the cost. Each municipal share would be based on population numbers.
Under the proposal, Summerside would contribute $49,610 annually to the program. Charlottetown would pay $112,750, Kensington, $4,510, Stratford, $27,060 and Cornwall $18,040. The province would make up the difference with an annual contribution of $243,540.
That didn’t meet with approval from the municipalities.
This new move on the part of the province has met with the approval of the chairwoman of the Summerside police services committee.
“I’m extremely please and feel it’s a positive move by the province,” said Councillor Tina Mundy. “I look forward to hearing the details as they roll out.”