Kings District RCMP is looking to address the drug trade in eastern PEI with the formation of a dedicated Street-Level Drug Unit (SLDU) in the coming weeks.
The unit was approved by the RCMP provincial executive committee earlier this year, and a familiar face has been brought back to head it.
RCMP Corporal Glenn Dudley will be in charge of the two-person unit, with the second officer, a constable, yet to be hired. Cpl Dudley previously ran an SLDU in Kings County until it was disbanded in 2017 due to staffing pressures.
RCMP Staff Sergeant Darryl MacMullin, who presented the case for an SLDU to the provincial committee, said Cpl Dudley is a big add for Kings District.
“Having Glenn Dudley back is huge for us, for the drug unit. He knows the players. We hope to report some drug disruptions.”
Cpl Dudley, who grew up in Charlottetown, has 17 years of experience in drug enforcement. He started out in Lillooet, British Columbia, where cocaine trafficking and cannabis grow-ops were the main issues.
Then he went to northern Labrador, which had major abuse problems, before coming to Montague in 2010. During the unit’s first run, much of the focus was on trafficking of prescription drugs.
Since then, Cpl Dudley spent time with a federal enforcement unit and with Queens District RCMP.
The drug scene is shifting. Of note, there has been a major increase in methamphetamine trafficking on the Island.
“That’s a really hard drug to beat. The price is lower than it ever was,” he said. “The drug dealers are not your friend. They’re there to make a profit. A lot of property crimes and assaults can be associated with drugs and debt because you need that fix. The focus is the traffickers. Those are the ones we don’t need in the community.”
Fentanyl has been a growing concern, especially because it’s relatively cheap and extremely potent, Cpl Dudley said. There’s also the possibility of dealers lacing more expensive drugs with fentanyl for increased profit.
“The problem with street drugs is you just don’t know what you’re getting. You wouldn’t know if I gave you a pill (with fentanyl in it). You can’t tell, you can’t look at it, you can’t smell it, you just don’t know.”
The corporal said he’s especially concerned about young people becoming addicted to hard drugs, and the harm it does to them and their families, as well as their education.
A big part of the job will be education and prevention, he said, with plans to visit local schools.
“To think we’re sheltered from it here in Kings (County) or PEI isn’t true. Every drug I saw in BC, I’ve seen here in PEI. It’s here and it’s lucrative.”
Cpl Dudley said PEI is lucky not to have youth gangs, and he wants to keep it that way.
Data on drug activity in Kings County, provided by Kings District RCMP: