Council members appointed to community safety plan advisory team

(Gazette file photo)

Council has taken another step toward the establishment of a formal community safety and wellbeing plan.

Mayor Robert Quaiff and councillor Steve Graham were appointed to the Prince Edward County community safety and wellbeing plan advisory team for the remainder of this term of council.

Back in February 2016 council unanimously approved a resolution declaring safety and wellbeing a priority. It was the first step in the process to develop a formal plan.

Draft terms of reference for the community safety and wellbeing advisory team presented to council on Tuesday indicate the focus will be on developing preventative strategies to address priority risks and vulnerable populations in the municipality. Taking the proactive rather than reactive approach, the terms suggest, acknowledges risks to safety and wellbeing are complex and can’t be taken on by one organization or sector in isolation.

The plan will provide a model for collaboration with partners on important issues and inform how the municipality identifies and responds to existing and future issues with continual engagement with community stakeholders.

The plan will also explore more efficient and effective ways to deliver services, such as front-line incident response, which the document says will help ensure those in crisis receive the right support from the right service provider.

The draft terms of reference outline the roles and the responsibilities of the advisory team. The team will be responsible for providing strategic leadership in determining the plan’s priorities, identifying vulnerable populations and risk factors. They’ll look into protective factors and focus on evidence-based solutions that will be sustainable.

The advisory team would also ensure there are proper performance measures in place so the plan can be evaluated and will craft a schedule and process to implement those measures.

Team members would be tasked with recruiting the appropriate agencies or organizations to participate on implementation teams, would assist in the promotion of a culture of health and wellbeing in the county, and would review the effectiveness of the approved plan on an annual basis.

A background document also presented to council Tuesday suggest plans to improve community safety and wellbeing in the province have been building over the last several years. At a summit on Economics of Policing and Community Safety held in Ottawa in March 2015, then Minister of Community Safety and Correctional Services Yasir Naqvi outlined a vision “to build a stronger, safer province.” In September 2015, Prince Edward OPP, the Police Services Board, and Inter-Services Group hosted a workshop at Isaiah Tubbs featuring speaker Dr. Hugh Russell. Russell suggested there was a need for collaboration among social services partners to create safe communities.