The Carlington Summit
by Greg Clunis.

Conflicting Opinions Abound

Depending on who you talk to, the future of the Carlington Police Centre has or has not been decided. Those who say it has point to the overhead of keeping a Police Officer full time in the centre and the increased neighbourhood security that could be brought about by having the officer on the streets instead. Others will tell you that a public consultation progress is to happen before any final decisions are made.

Who to believe? Let's consider the facts. The Police Centre was originally established in the Alexander Community Centre. Some keen uniformed police established links with the community that have since been credited for improving relationships (at least in part) with area youth.

The Police Centre then moved to W.E. Gowling and by all accounts was a great success, the biggest challenge being the limited hours of access. All the while, a dedicated and well organized team of volunteers were always in evidence, and available to help out with extraordinary needs like the vaccination of all students.

Then the move to Westgate Shopping Centre - a dream come true, and an improvement to the level of public access that many other parts of Ottawa enjoy.

And then the abrupt closure: Volunteers left in the dark, and with nothing to do. Surely this can't be the solution?

At the monthly meeting of the Carlington Community Association on 13 February, we were told that a community consultation process was underway. However, newly assigned Constables Laflamme and McGillivray are proceeding with their own initiative to make contact with community volunteers. Stay tuned....