New RCMP team aims to work with protesters

·1 min read
RCMP say they hope to eventually be getting more advance notice of protests to be able to work more effectively with organizers. (Cody MacKay/CBC - image credit)
RCMP say they hope to eventually be getting more advance notice of protests to be able to work more effectively with organizers. (Cody MacKay/CBC - image credit)

The RCMP on P.E.I. has introduced a new team it hopes can earn the trust of people organizing public protests.

The Division Liaison Team has been set up to help groups get their message across at protests while preserving public safety.

"We're impartial to what's going on, and we just listen to their concerns and assist them as best we can," said team member Const. Cindy Bowring.

"We basically show up on site and have a conversation. Just be polite and respectful and just chat with them to see what their objective is, what point they're trying to get across, how they're trying to do it."

Bowring said RCMP does not always get advance notice of protests, but team members will turn up to engage with protest organizers as they hear about them. They are also watching social media for advance notice of protests.

Ideally, said Bowring, team members will have the opportunity to meet with protest leaders in advance, and can earn enough trust to get that advance phone call.

"I try to be as open and transparent as possible," she said.

"It if makes sense and it can happen then we'll try to make that work. If it doesn't, then you just need to let them know that."

Team members have taken a specially-designed course that draws on RCMP experience dealing with protests across the country.

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