Mississippi Mills has access to several programs that help keep our community safe. By using the many resources available in Lanark County, these projects provide extra support in crime prevention and emergency response.

The Community Plan for Safety and Well-being

Community Safety and Well-being (CSWB) plans address the unique safety needs of communities. It is a provincial requirement for every municipality to have a CSWB plan in place. This regional plan identifies local priorities and evidence-based, sustainable solutions. The goal is to look at community assets and gaps to develop strategies that enhance community safety and well-being.

The Community Plan for Safety and Well-being for Lanark County and Smiths Falls has been in place since 2018. A wide range of sectors are represented on a steering committee, including police, social services, health care, education and more. The committee consulted community members and local agencies in the process. The group identified 12 priority risk areas and developed strategies to address them. You can read the Plan here: Community Plan for Safety and Well-being 

Lanark County Situation Table

The Situation Table is a risk intervention tool that eases situations of elevated risk for individuals and families by bringing local human-service agencies together. Community representatives collaborate to identify systemic issues, vulnerable populations and service gaps. By working together, those in need of help get the right response, by the right service provider, at the right time. This innovative strategy has contributed to the community safety planning process.

The Situation Table first met in December 2015 and continues to meet twice monthly. The project began as a partnership between around two dozen local agencies and Lanark County OPP, under Inspector Derek Needham. Mental health, addictions, health care, probation, Smiths Falls Police Services, youth services, school boards and social services are all involved. Following strict privacy protocols, representatives meet to make referrals, identify risk factors and find a solution. The group will form an intervention team to connect people with services if needed. Since 2015, agencies have made more than 200 referrals, lowering the risk level of these cases. Lanark County OPP have also seen a reduction in the number of service calls for the at-risk individuals referred to the Situation Table. This collaboration helps to prevent future crisis situations.

Mobile Crisis Response Team

Since 2018, Lanark County OPP and the Smiths Falls Police Service have had nurses from Lanark County Mental health on staff. These nurses are available to respond with police to mental health-related calls. This program ensures the appropriate care is provided during mental health emergencies. The nurses also make sure folks get the care they need moving forward.

Lanark County Victim Advocate Program

Through provincial funding, the Lanark County OPP has a new Victim Advocate on board. The program supports victims of domestic violence, sexual assault and human trafficking throughout the legal process. The program is being supported by Lanark County Interval House and collaborates with several local agencies to support victims both short and long term.