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County’s community safety and well-being plan is gold-standard

Prince Edward County has the gold standard when it comes to its Community Safety and Well-Being Plan.

Prince Edward County Detachment Commander John Hatch told council Thursday afternoon theirs is one of just four OPP detachments in the province that has its provincially-legislated plan under way.

He told council he spoke with OPP Central Region’s 18 detachment commanders Monday about the County’s plan.

“Of those 18 detachments, zero have started their plan,” said Hatch. “I got news yesterday that across the province, the OPP have four that are completed – Kenora, Bancroft, Lanark and Prince Edward County and I can tell you that ours is the gold standard… we are light years ahead.”

Hatch has been invited to speak about the County’s plan in Toronto, in May.

In early 2015, the Police Services Board initiated a broad discussion about the plan, aware that the provincial government intended to include a requirement for all municipalities to have one in place as part of a revised Police Services Act.

The plan focuses on crime prevention and community safety and well-being, given the majority of police calls in the County, as in most municipalities, are in response to social disorder situations (e.g. family/neighbour disputes, mental health issues) rather than criminal activity.

Project manager Ann McIntosh told council a three-year strategy takes a collaborative approach with several local groups to reduce harms and victimization, decrease upward trends in demand for, and costs of, emergency response and to improve access to resources and services through education and awareness.

Year one actions include developing a ‘Move Over’ and ‘Flashing Green Lights means move over too!’ campaign; and strategies to help reduce incidents of seniors becoming targets of fraud; safe mobility, independence, social connections and help to maintain and upgrade driving skills. Work on poverty reduction includes taxes and benefits clinics and peer mentorship for sharing of information on accessing resources and services.

McIntosh noted a financial contribution will be needed from council to augment funds gathered from several other sources and partnerships. Funds available will determine the extent of programs offered.

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