Police leaving school as funding runs dry
Extending community policing project would cost $30,000
Charlottetown's Colonel Gray High will not have a resident police officer in January, despite pleas from the school's teachers to keep the officer in place.
Charlottetown police Const. Tim Keizer spent first term roaming the halls at Colonel Gray in a community policing pilot project, but funding for the pilot is over and neither the city nor the province has been able to come up with the money to continue it.
"Our focus is on literacy, numeracy and student achievement and that's where we're trying to focus our dollars in the most wise and efficient manner," said Education Minister Alan McIsaac.
"I know this may be a great program. It's unfortunate that it's needed, but it's not really in our budget."
Extending the program to January would cost $30,000. McIsaac said he went to the ministers of justice and health, thinking they'd have an interest in keeping the program alive, but they were not willing to contribute.
Charlottetown Coun. David MacDonald, chair of the city's police committee, said the city doesn't have the cash to keep the cop in the school either. He said there is disappointment at the high school.
"My understanding is that every teacher in the school sent an email to the principal asking that this program be extended," said MacDonald.
"I think the words were something to the effect that we can't go back to the way we were after we've experienced this."
MacDonald said the province tells him it is willing to set up a steering committee to look at long-term options for the program. He is hopeful that will lead to a permanent program starting next fall, jointly funded by the province and the city.