RCMP will have regular presence in Moncton-area high schools this year

·2 min read
Bernice MacNaughton High School will be one of six high schools in the Moncton region that will have RCMP officers this fall. (Kate Letterick/CBC - image credit)
Bernice MacNaughton High School will be one of six high schools in the Moncton region that will have RCMP officers this fall. (Kate Letterick/CBC - image credit)

Members of the Codiac RCMP's community policing unit will have a regular presence in the six high schools in greater Moncton this school year.

Supt. Benoit Jolette told Moncton city council three constables have been seconded to the unit for a total of six community officers.

Each constable has been assigned to one high school.

Jolette, the interim officer in charge of Codiac RCMP, said having constables assigned to the schools will help deal with issues specific to each school.

Maeve McFadden
Maeve McFadden

"They can go straight to that member," he said. "Having a specific name, a specific face that can address the issues".

"There's different realities in the high schools".

The members will have a regular presence but will not spend full days at the schools.

Jolette said their duties will range from helping staff develop safety plans and lock down drills to  "dealing with problem students".

"It's the first time in several years the Codiac RCMP has had a specific presence like that where somebody is actually dedicated to a school," he said.

The decision to have RCMP members present in schools came from concerns raised during community meetings in Moncton's west end in June.

Shane Magee/CBC
Shane Magee/CBC

Residents raised concerns about an increase in thefts, vandalism, drug addiction and homelessness in their neighbourhoods. They called for more police presence in the community  and at schools.

Jolette said the decision to reallocate three constables to the community policing unit will have "more of an impact in the community, specifically schools."

He said most calls for service at schools are from high schools for "drug use, fights, bullying".

"Ideally,  it would be great to have extra capacity," he said with officers assigned to every school in greater Moncton.

In June, officers with Codiac RCMP conducted early morning patrols of schools in downtown Moncton in response to growing concerns about safety.

Jolette said officers patrolled Edith Cavell School, Hillcrest School, Bessborough School and École Sainte-Bernadette daily but "didn't find too many needles or individuals that were sleeping there".

Maeve McFadden
Maeve McFadden

After recent meetings with the superintendents of Anglophone East and Francophone Sud, the RCMP will no longer continue with daily patrols of the four schools.

The superintendent of Anglophone East told CBC's Information Morning Moncton they are "shifting to a response model."

Randy MacLean said the district will address issues on a "case by case basis."

He said they will continue to work with their community partners, and "if issues do arise like they did in the spring, we'll respond as needed."