The City of Portage la Prairie and Portage la Prairie School Division (PLPSD) have made a deal to create more longevity regarding having an RCMP officer on-duty.

Portage la Prairie's City Council agreed to a deal during January 23rd's meeting, which will pay for one RCMP liaison officer for the division. Councillor Colin Doyle brought the deal forward and says the focus of the RCMP liaison will be to curb student crime, as well as bridge the gap between the youth and the RCMP.

"I think they're pretty invaluable," mentions Doyle. "It's nice that we're getting a 3-year contract signed to give some security from both ends, and I think it's a great partnership between the city of Portage and the Portage la Prairie School Division."

He adds the contract for the liaison will be split between the City of Portage la Prairie and the PLPSD. The annual cost for an RCMP liaison officer is currently $132,384.

"I know they've been in the school before, as they used to be federally funded," explains Doyle. "And, when the federal government cut off the funding, the city and the school division had done it on their own."

Doyle explains that it was only a one-year contract before this new deal, and he's happy to have a plan for the long term.

PortageOnline will be reaching out to the PLPSD School Board for comment following their meeting tonight.