Bringing Charlottetown traffic unit back would cost $500,000



It would cost the City of Charlottetown $500,000 to reinstate a dedicated traffic unit in the police department.

The matter was briefly discussed at a recent council standing committee meeting on protective and emergency services.

In March, council gave the committee the task of exploring possible reinstatement.

At one time, the police department used to have a traffic division but it was eliminated in a police review a number of years ago. Coun. Mitchell Tweel has been pushing for its reinstatement, arguing it would be a more efficient way to address things such as speeding in the neighbourhoods, parks and school zones.

Former mayor Clifford Lee opposed the idea, saying such a unit would consist of a handful of officers whose only responsibility would be to enforce the Highway Traffic Act, which now falls under the entire department.

Coun. Greg Rivard, chairman of the protective and emergency services committee, said the city will have to find $500,000 some way because he doesn’t think reallocating money from another department would happen.

“It’s very difficult to reallocate funds,’’ Rivard said. “I can’t imagine another department willing to give up $500,000 from its own budget.’’

Still, Rivard said it would be a worthy discussion to have in the upcoming budget talks.