Constable David Gray O.P.P. Snowmobile Patrol
ANNUAL REPORT County of Wellington O.P.P. www.wellington.on.ca or www.opp.ca
COMMISSIONER JULIAN FANTINO As Commissioner of the Ontario Provincial Police (O.P.P.), I am once again very pleased to provide comments for inclusion in the County of Wellington O.P.P. 2008 Annual Report. This year is most exciting for the O.P.P. as it celebrates its 100th Anniversary of serving the people of Ontario, the official anniversary date being October 13, 2009. Throughout this year, a number of events and celebrations are planned to take place across the province, and I urge you to take part in celebrations being held in or near your community. The first signature event, which was launched on a frosty day in February, was the Commemorative Patrol of Northern Ontario. Two officers toured Northern communities by dog sled while using traditional gear reminiscent of earlier times. This expedition was to replicate the hardship and challenges of police patrol of yesteryear. Additional plans are underway for a “Centennial Tattoo” being held on September 12, 2009. This will be a spectacular site of military and police pipes and drums and brass bands. Many other O.P.P. events are planned in celebration of the O.P.P.’s anniversary year, and I encourage you to visit the 100th Anniversary website at www.opp100.ca for further details. The County of Wellington Police Services Board developed an impressive 100th Anniversary calendar to acknowledge the centenary. This is an excellent opportunity to support a very important program and with all proceeds going to the Crime Stoppers program. I hope you will acquire a copy. The O.P.P. continues to enforce the laws on many fronts. Its members have participated in significant joint force operations that have sent clear messages to criminals that we will not tolerate illegal activities in our neighbourhoods. Improving community safety is one of our highest priorities. Traffic enforcement is a main focus of the O.P.P., and I am pleased to acknowledge that fatalities are down throughout the province, comparing 2008 statistics from those of 2007. The County of Wellington has experienced a reduction in fatalities, and I commend you for your contributions in keeping your communities safe. I believe that public education and traffic enforcement measures are working. There is, however, much more work to be done, as every death on our roadways, trails and waterways, is one too many. As you are aware, the County of Wellington Police Services Board recently renewed its contract with the O.P.P. You may be assured for the next five years and, hopefully, for many more years to come, the O.P.P. will continue to provide your communities with the best and the most effective and efficient policing service possible. We will work with you to ensure that your neighbourhoods remain safe to raise your families. The O.P.P. has come a long way since 1909, and it is my great honour to lead this progressive, professional and diverse police service. Yours truly, Julian Fantino Commissioner, Ontario Provincial Police
INSPECTOR STEVE WALSH
COMMANDER RON GENTLE As the newly appointed Commander of Western Region for the Ontario Provincial Police I am pleased that my first public address is to the citizens of Wellington County. Since beginning this newest chapter in my career I have had the pleasure of visiting the Rockwood office and meeting the men and women who work from that location. It is one of the finest and well laid out buildings I have seen and I know the members are proud of the facility. Inspector Steve Walsh and I have known each other for a number of years and he has always taken the opportunity to remark on the great level of support he and the members of the Wellington Detachment receive from the various communities and the Police Services Board. Many of you may know that Inspector Walsh has decided to retire from the O.P.P. after almost 34 years of policing. He has committed himself to the delivery of excellence in policing service as the detachment commander of Wellington County and I want to acknowledge and thank Steve for his dedication and commitment. On behalf of all the members of the O.P.P. in Western Region I wish Steve and Linda a very long, healthy and happy retirement. The first police services board to contact me in my new role was the Wellington County P.S.B. We will be meeting in early March to ensure a quick process in the selection of a new detachment commander to ensure the level of service and accountability are not compromised. The board and I will work together in selecting and assisting the new detachment commander to ensure a seamless transition. A new five year contract for the delivery of policing services was signed recently and I believe the level of services provided to the communities by the members of the detachment will be enhanced significantly. Members of the Western Region Headquarters will continue to support the detachment and work with the Police Services Board to ensure the expectations of the Board and County are realized. We will continue to ensure that our roads, trails and waterways are as safe as they can be through visible, directed patrols and meaningful enforcement. Our commitment to ensure safe communities, to preserve life and protect property will always be the focus of our business plans and operational goals and in our daily work. In an era of economic instability we must be ever mindful of ensuring both operational and administrative efficiencies are achieved in all we do. The next few years will be challenging, however I believe, through the excellent relationships built between communities, the Police Services Board and the detachment members, we are well positioned for success.
On behalf of the Wellington County Police Services Board and the members of the Wellington County O.P.P., it is my pleasure to present our 2008 Annual Report to you, the citizens of Wellington County. This report outlines our many successes as well as our failures this past year. I encourage you to read this report and question the members on the activities of your police service. Your input and feedback is important. We are here to serve you; to provide Safe Communities and a Secure Ontario. On February 11, 2009, I presented our final “Results Driven Policing” results to the Wellington County Police Services Board. In preparing same, we noted the calls for service are increasing a little each year. The 3-year average for calls for service is 21,890; ranging from 20,677 in 2006 to 22,586 in 2008. The Statistics Canada definition of violent crime includes homicides, attempted murder, robbery, sexual assault, other sexual offences, assaults and abduction. In Wellington County, the two predominant crimes are assault and sexual assault. Assaults Sexual Assaults
Unfortunately, domestic assaults are an area experiencing significant growth. Our occurrences for 2008 were 226 up from 212 occurrences the year before. Property crime too is an area of growing concern. Our mischief related occurrences are up to 554 occurrences from 498 last year. Thefts under occurrences are down though, 463 occurrences from 542. Thefts from motor vehicles continue to be a serious problem. We are promoting the ‘Lock it or Lose It’ program. Break and enters increased marginally last year after a steady 5-year decline. 2006 – 330, 2007 – 274, 2008 – 288 Although some of these trends are disturbing, a look at the Stats Canada 2007 crime rates for Canada still show Wellington County is a safe place to live. We are making headway on our traffic issues / problems. Complaints are down from a 5-year average of 4478.6 to 3882 in 2008. Your members laid 15,530 traffic related charges this past year. Major headway was made in our motor vehicle collisions this year. 2008 saw a 10% reduction in the total number of collisions, but most notably, a 24% decrease in fatal collisions (18 collisions; 18 deaths) and a 33% decrease in personal injury collisions. In 2008, 14% of all collisions resulted in injury or deaths, down from 19% in 2007. Overall it appears that motorists are slowing down and paying attention to their driving, at least in 2008, but then I can’t explain to you the 228 people we arrested for impaired driving and the 139 people we charged under the new ‘racing’ legislation.
In our 100th year of policing in Ontario we in the O.P.P. remember our past, honour those who have come before us and look forward to continued excellence in policing in over 300 communities across the province. Ron Gentle Commander, Western Region, Ontario Provincial Police
POLICE SERVICES BOARD On behalf of the Wellington County Police Services Board I am honoured to again bring greetings as the Chairperson. It is a privilege for me to serve in this position for the third year. This year marks the first year of a new 5 year contract between the Wellington County Police Services Board and the Ontario Provincial Police. There were many hours of discussion put forth and I believe we have negotiated the best contract to serve the people in Wellington County. We have a full board this year consisting of Jim Connell as Vice Chairman, Provincial Appointees Russ Spicer and Linda Austin and our Warden, Joanne Ross-Zui. The 2008 contract with the O.P.P., valued at approximately $11.6 million comprises 95% of policing costs in the County. The balance of costs cover facilities owned by the County, in Rockwood, Fergus and Palmerston (totaling $600,000 including debt servicing costs of $360,000 for the Rockwood building), the cost of the Police Services Board, as well as parking and false alarm by-law administration. Revenue includes parking tickets and false alarm fees ($112,000 combined total), and various administration fees approved by the Board such as reference checks, accident and insurance reports and paid duty fees (combined total of $88,000). Provincial funding comes in the form of a Community Policing Partnership grant ($30,000), a R.I.D.E. program grant ($25,000) and funding for 6 officers under the “1000 officers” programme ($180,000). Some of the highlights of the new contract include the expansion of the D.A.R.E. (Drug Abuse Resistance Education) program for every grade 6 class in Wellington County. This year 3 police constables will be teaching this program to 305 grade 6 students in the Arthur, Kenilworth, Erin and Puslinch Public Schools. It is an informative and exciting course for the students. The board also negotiated two (2) Civilian Data Entry Clerk positions to free up valuable time the officers spend on completing paperwork. This allows the officers to get back on the streets to do what they do best; ensure our public safety.
We will continue to add two (2) new officers each year. As the county population grows, so does the need for more officers. For 2009, we will also add two Special Constables full time in the courts, and because of that we will add only one uniformed officer for regular duty this year. By adding Special Constables to the courts, valuable officer time will be freed up so they can be out on the street instead of in the courts. I am very excited to tell you that the planning for the proposed new police facility for Centre Wellington has been moved up one year. Site selection and initial design work will commence this year, and design completion and tenders will be called for in 2010. The facility will be completed in 2011 with an anticipated cost of $6 million. This is a facility that has been required for many years. It was with regret that we accepted the resignation of our Inspector Steve Walsh as of February 28th, 2009. Inspector Walsh has served this County in his leadership role with integrity and dedication over the last ten years and it will be a difficult task to replace him. Please remember that your Police Officers and your Police Services Board are here to serve your best interests, so please do not hesitate to contact any of us if you have an issue regarding policing in the wonderful county we call home. Regards, Lynda White Chairperson, Wellington County Police Service Board
2006 - 250, 2007 - 241, 2008 - 252 2006 -47, 2007 - 36, 2008 - 36
In 2009, we will strive to do better. In closing I have a couple of comments I’d like to make. 2009 has two major celebrations for the O.P.P. October 15th marks our 100th Anniversary policing this great Province, and September 9th marks the 10th Anniversary of policing this great County. I have had the privilege of being your Detachment Commander for this entire period, but that too will change. On February 11th I advised the Wellington County Police Services Board I am retiring from the OP.P. this year. My last working day was on February 27th. My last actual day is June 30th. The Wellington County Police Services Board has signed a new 5-year agreement with the O.P.P. for policing, which runs through to December 31st, 2013. The process is underway to choose your new Detachment Commander. In the interim, Inspector Mark VanLanduyt from Grey County will fulfill my duties. It has been a great time for me personally to serve you since Wellington County chose the O.P.P. as your police service of choice. Thank you.
TRIBUTES “... Your dedication and sensitivity to the needs of our community are sincerely appreciated on a daily basis” - Brian Mack “... Lastly, the professionalism and dedication demonstrated by Constable(s) Beckon and Bortolato left a lasting impression with a grateful staff and their work on that evening speaks volumes to the excellence of your service.” - Shawn McCowel and John J. Spatazzo Catholic Youth Organization “... I was recently made aware of your outstanding work apprehending an impaired driver. What I thought was good work was clearly GREAT work ... Thanks for your dedication and for saving lives” - Bill Grodzinski “... Just want to say thank you for the lovely service and kindness while being at your station” - Kellie Joyce “... The impact that Constable Rogers has had on this student, as well as other students who have been easily influenced by this child, has been marked and long-lasting. The direct and peripheral change at our school as a result of Constable Rogers’ humble approach and manner has been profound, and I would like to take a moment to thank and praise him for his expertise in managing and redirecting this situation for this child, and for our shool.” - Jeff Crawford, Principal - Ross R. MacKay P.S.
OFFICERS RECOGNIZED FOR SERVICE AND VALOR On Wednesday, May 28th, 2008, the annual Western Region O.P.P. Awards ceremony was held at the Stone Tree Inn in Owen Sound, Ontario. Local officers and citizens received recognition for years of service and for acts of valor. Deputy Commissioner Chris LEWIS and Chief Superintendent Bill DENNIS were present to hand out the awards and congratulate the recipients. Constables Robert BORTOLATO and Kathleen CARBERRY received a Commissioner’s Commendation for entering several burning buildings in Fergus on March 18th, 2007 and evacuating the residents. As a result of their actions, no one was injured in the blaze.
“... A big thank you to Officer Rob Nixon and for all the officer’s risking their own well being for us” - Luciana Lagace
Constables Mark GRASMAN, James MACKENZIE and Steven SKANES received a Commissioner’s Citation for Lifesaving and a St. John Priory Award for saving the life of a suicidal female in Salem on September 27th, 2007. The quick actions of officers saved a female who attempted to hang herself. Officers cut her down and provided first aid until she was taken to hospital.
“He (Const. Sturgeon) took charge and called all the appropriate people required at a time like this and certainl y made it much easier for my husband and I at a very sad time for us” - Robert & Dorothy Purvis
Constables David O’LEARY, Steven MAXWELL and Keith ROBB received a Commissioner’s Citation for Lifesaving and a St. John Priory Award for saving the
“... Thank you for your concern and professionalism. I really appreciated your calming words of reassurance. You truly made a difference in our lives today ...” - Theresa & Mike Darroch
Front row left to right is: Constable Keith ROBB, Constable Steve MAXWELL, Inspector Steve WALSH and Constable Mark GRASMAN. Centre row left to right is: Constable Patrice GONZALEZ, Constable James MACKENZIE, Constable Laurie MUNRO, Constable Kathleen CARBERRY and Auxiliary Staff Sergeant Bruce MCGIMSIE. Back row left to right:Constable Robert BORTOLATO, Sergeant Patrick HORRIGAN, Constable Dave O’LEARY and Constable Steve SKANES. life of a man who fell through the ice into the Grand River in Fergus on February 9th, 2007. They provided first aid until he was transported to hospital. Their quick actions saved the life of the man who was suffering from extreme hypothermia. Four members of the County of Wellington O.P.P. received the Police Exemplary Service medal. Constables Patrice GONZALEZ and Laurie MUNRO as well as Sergeants Patrick HORRIGAN and Michael GORDON received this award that recognizes they have completed 20 years of police serv-
ice in Canada. One member, Constable Gary SPROULE, received his Police Exemplary Service Bar. It recognizes that he has completed 30 years of police service in Canada. Auxiliary Staff Sergeant Bruce McGIMSIE of the County of Wellington O.P.P. Auxiliary Unit received two awards. He received a Commissioner’s Citation for Bravery in relation to an incident that occurred on May 24th, 1996 in Bissell Park. The volunteer officer was working nights when they stumbled across some drug activity. He pursued one of the suspects
and attempted to apprehend him. During the struggle, both parties fell into the Grand River where the struggle continued. The struggle lasted for 7-8 minutes in the frigid and fast running water. The officer nearly drowned and suffered multiple abrasions. The suspect was eventually able to escape. The officer also received a Commissioner’s Letter for an incident on June 23rd, 1995 where he assisted an officer to disarm a suicidal female who was armed with a knife. His quick actions helped prevent the female from injuring herself and the officer.
HIGH SCHOOL RESOURCE OFFICER PROGRAM The Wellington County School Resource Officer Program is one of the most comprehensive being offered anywhere in the Province. Wellington County has four high schools within its boundaries: 1) Norwell District High School located in Palmerston; 2) Wellington Heights Secondary School in Mt. Forest; 3) Erin District High School in Erin; 4) Centre Wellington Secondary School located in Fergus.
The officers that take care of these schools are Const. Andy CLEMENTS, Const. Carmen BLACK, Const. Randy SCHUBERT and Const. Steve SMITH. Together these officers are responsible for over thirty six hundred (3,600) students. The positive
interaction that occurs between the officers, students and staff is invaluable for creating a positive school environment. Sgt. Robyn MacEACHERN is the O.P.P.'s Youth Issues Coordinator, and one of the people responsible for orchestrating the School Officer Program now being taught at the Ontario Police College.
When officers from Wellington County attended this week long program, they were held up as the example of what this Program has to offer. Officers from Metro Toronto, Hamilton Wentworth and York Regional Police Services were all in attendance and had just began to implement this very important community police initiative.
Pictured Const. Steve Smith
Andy CLEMENTS P/Const. #10141
DRUG/ALCOHOL AWARENESS PROGRAM The Minto Drug Committee ran a Drug/Alcohol awareness program in the fall of 2008. This program was implemented at the Norwell District Secondary School. The Palmerston Public School, and the Drayton Public School. The program was done in a variety of workshops that the kids could pick from. These included everything from how to make non-alcoholic drinks for your party called mock-tails, to drug trivia, to role playing.
HUBERT Const. Randy SC
Const. C armen B LACK
Const. Andy CLEMENTS
Cst. Ryan Martin from the Wellington County Traffic Unit presented a power point presentation on the dangers of Drinking and Driving. He then had some students attend to the front of the gym and with the assistance of some gear he brought, they were put through a series a tests
where their motor skills were tested, much to the delight of all those in attendance. This committee is made up of Cst. Andy Clements, Sgt. Warren Fink, Pat Savage who runs the Harriston Drop In Centre, Jill Hope Youth Worker Palmerston Public School, Brenda Aitken Addiction Counsellor, Kim Sonnett Youth Worker at Norwell Secondary School. This year the group was fortunate enough to recieve a small grant from the Ontario Association Of Chiefs of Police. The money was used to purchase supplies for the workshops. The group also hosted an open house for parents where they could get the information and tools to keep their kids on track.
COMMUNITY PROGRAMS P.A.C.T. POLICE AND COMMUNITY TOGETHER
O.P.P. SUMMER YOUTH CAMP
“I found the P.A.C.T. program to be very educational. You have given us an up close look at your roles as police officers. I feel you have given me an opportunity to learn about various programs within the O.P.P. and the organizations that work with the O.P.P. on a day to day basis. The content of the program was very interesting. There was a wide variety of speakers and backgrounds. If I were to change anything it would be the time restraints. I would have liked to have had more time with some of the units. I thought the best part of the program was E.R.T. and Canine presentations. It was amazing to see and learn about the different equipment and weapons each officer is responsible for. Overall I thought it was an amazing experience and I hope that many more individuals in Wellington County take the opportunity to participate in future P.A.C.T. programs.” - Beth Mitchell If you would like to participate in the Police and Community Together program, a community information and education series, please call: Constable Andy Clements at the Palmerston O.P.P., 519-343-5770.
The O.P.P. Summer Youth Camp was formed in 1998 by Chief Superintendent (retired), Robert Eamer. This Camp is a youth initiative aimed at providing a once-in-a-lifetime camp opportunity for deserving young people across Ontario. The camp brings police and youth together with the goal of creating positive police-youth relations in all the communities the O.P.P. serves. Forty two campers aged 11-12 are chosen from across the province by detachment personnel. The camp is held at O.P.P. General Headquarters in Orillia where both campers and counsellors are guests of the Provincial Police Academy. Campers enjoy a week filled with fun team building and self-esteem activities. A few of the activities the campers enjoyed were a Blue Jay game, Canada’s Wonderland, and attending local beaches. All counsellors are sworn police officers. When a camper leaves, it is hoped that they have gained a more positive view of policing and a new friend in uniform. Constables Tim Sturgeon and Bob Bortolato from the Rockwood Detachment attended the 2008 Summer Camp. Constable Bortolato said “The days were long but to see the kids smiling and having fun was well worth it.” Most campers did not realize that the counsellors were police officers until they marched into the dining hall on the last evening wearing the dress uniform. Constable Sturgeon said “The camp was extremely hard work and enjoyable. I want to be a counsellor again.”
KIDS, COPS AND CANADIAN TIRE FISHING DAYS PROGRAM The Police Association of Ontario believes that our "Kids and Cops and Canadian Tire Fishing Days" is another example of community spirit. In 2003 we partnered with Fishing Forever, a non-profit organization, whose principal focus is recreational fisheries conservation and securing the future of fishing in Ontario. The P.A.O. has committed over two hundred thousand dollars to this program and to date have taken thousands of young people fishing for the day with police personnel. Canadian Tire, as the country's largest retailer of fishing equipment, is proud to be a founding partner in the Kids, Cops and Canadian Tire Fishing Days program. Research shows that childhood learning is the key to developing an adult interest in fishing as well as acquiring other lifelong practices. Fishing experiences encourage problem-solving and decision-making skills, help children develop self-esteem and a respect for nature and the environment.
D.A.R.E. - DRUG ABUSE RESISTANCE EDUCATION This year millions of school children around the world will benefit from D.A.R.E. (Drug Abuse Resistance Education), the highly acclaimed program that gives kids the skills they need to avoid involvement in drugs, gangs, and violence. D.A.R.E. was founded in 1983 and is implemented in more than 43 countries around the world. D.A.R.E. is a police officer-led series of classroom lessons that teaches children from kindergarten through 12th grade how to resist peer pressure and live productive drug and
violence-free lives. The D.A.R.E. curriculum is designed to be taught by police officers whose training and experience has given them the background needed to answer the sophisticated questions often posed by young students about drugs and crime. Prior to entering the D.A.R.E. program, officers undergo 80 hours of special training in areas such as child development, classroom management, teaching techniques, and communication skills. 40 hours of addi-
tional training are provided to D.A.R.E. instructors to prepare them to teach the high school curriculum. This year D.A.R.E. was offered to almost 200 Erin Township Grade 6 students thanks to the Erin Optimist Club. These students entered into the 10 week D.A.R.E. Program which was topped off by a special D.A.R.E. graduation that was attended by MP Michael Chong. 2009 marks the expansion of the D.A.R.E. Program to the Township of Puslinch thanks to
the Puslinch Optimists Club. Approximately 60 grade 5 and 6 students will be taught D.A.R.E. in 2009 in Aberfoyle. D.A.R.E. is a non-profit organization that solely depends on volunteer donations. Wellington County O.P.P. currently has 4 trained D.A.R.E. Officers, that are ready to offer the D.A.R.E. Program throughout Wellington County. If you or your community group wish to fund D.A.R.E. in your community please contact County of Wellington O.P.P. Sergeant Pat Horrigan at 519-843-4240.
MAPLETON C.O.P.S. COMMUNITY ORIENTED POLICING STRATEGIES “SAFE COMMUNITIES A SECURE ONTARIO” The Mapleton C.O.P.S group was re-established in the fall of 2006 and currently has 11 members representing the communities in the Township of Mapleton. Since then, O.P.P. and Mapleton C.O.P.S. have continued to involve the community through both reactive and proactive policing strategies which include the identification of crime, traffic and social order problems, safety and solutions. In the process and through a cooperative spirit, close mutually beneficial ties are formed between police and community and contribute to a safe society.
In 2007, the Neighbourhood Watch Program was implemented and continues to promote crime prevention awareness. This program continues to develop within Mapleton. In 2008, Mapleton C.O.P.S., along with the County of Wellington O.P.P. Auxiliary Unit promoted the ‘Lock It or Lose It’ program. This program is designed to increase awareness and minimize thefts from vehicles as well as mischief. Was your car tagged? The Committee welcomes input from the community as to areas which we can focus our efforts.
Participate with other concerned agencies and interest groups to effectively address police and community issues by establishing an open, creative and responsive working environment.
Community Policing Philosophies are the fundamental principles on which all of our policing services are delivered. These strategies include the following:
And lastly ...use creativity in the design and application of community policing services.
Deliver responsive programs that address the needs of the communities we serve by utilizing identified concerns, expectations and needs of the community.
Back row: Jim Grose, Dennis Craven, Ray Ellis, Mike Downey, Jim Curry Front row: P.C. Laura Gromeder, John Green, Rick Richardson Absent: Tom Woods, Mark Grasman, Scott Cooper
Increase public awareness and confidence through crime prevention through the promotion of intervention programs such as ‘Lock It or Lose It’ and Neighbourhood Watch.
COMMUNITY HEROES SARAH SIMS The start of a new school year is a hectic time for most students, and September 2008 was no different for the students of St. Joseph Catholic School in Fergus. At the end of the second day of school, a group of students exited a bus on the east side of Fergus and the school bus continued on. One of these students, a younger special needs boy, looked around perplexed, as he was unfamiliar with this stop and was looking for someone who was to meet him.
CRIME STOPPERS - NOT FOR PROFIT ORGANIZATION FUNDRAISING INITIATIVES Because of Crime Stoppers $26,254,790 in recovered stolen property and illicit drugs are off our county’s streets and out of our schools. 2,022 cases cleared and 3,339 charges laid, the numbers speak for themselves…. CRIME STOPPERS WORKS!! Active in Wellington County since 1988, CRIME STOPPERS plays an important role 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year in
every community within the County. CRIME STOPPERS of WELLINGTON COUNTY is a nonprofit charitable organization that brings the public, police, and media together in a joint effort to help solve crime in our communities. Anonymous Calls = Cash Rewards 1-800-222-TIPS In 2008 Crime Stoppers held “Jail Break” in conjunction with The Canadian Cancer Society (Wellington County) in hopes of
raising $60,000 to be divided between the two organizations. The Wellington County Police Services Board also donated over $2,500 in proceeds from the sale of 2009 commemorative calendars (celebrating the 10th Anniversary of the O.P.P. in Wellington County and 100th Anniversary of the O.P.P. provincially). www.crimestoppers-wellington.com.
The boy had been dropped off at the wrong bus stop.
This young boy came to the attention of Sarah Sims, a grade 8 student of St. Joseph Catholic School who was a regular at this stop. Sarah and her younger sister recognized this boy from the school. Sarah brought the boy to her home, called back to the school and spoke with office staff to find out where the boy should go to after school. Sarah then walked the boy a couple blocks to where the boys’ frantic grandmother was waiting. Sarah’s’ alertness and selfless actions had prevented the younger child from becoming lost or injured. This incident came to the attention of the County of Wellington O.P.P., and on September 26th, 2008 at an open assembly at St. Joseph Catholic School, Constable Mark Cloes presented Sarah with a letter of appreciation.
On Wednesday, May 28th, 2008, the annual Western Region O.P.P. Awards ceremony was held at the Stone Tree Inn in Owen Sound, Ontario. Local officers and civilian members received recognition for years of service or for acts of valor. Local citizens were also recognized for acts of valor. 2009 Calendar
“Putting Our Community First”
MARLENE THOM (right) civilian member, County of Wellington O.P.P. received her Quarter Century pin from Deputy Commissioner, Chris Lewis. It recognizes twenty-five years of service to the Province of Ontario.
Scenes from the 2008 Bail & Jail and the cover of the 2009 Police Services Board Commemorative Calendar
PIKANGIKUM - A FIRST NATIONS COMMUNITY I have never had the opportunity to experience working in the north and I thought that this would give me an opportunity to gain that experience and see first hand for myself what it would be like. You hear many stories but there is nothing like taking the plunge and seeing it for yourself. You receive your marching orders and take off from Orillia airport to the far north. It's probably about 2050 km from Mount Forest and takes most of the day to fly there. I arrived at the airport and was met by three officers. They immediately handed me a radio and the keys for the police vehicle and bid us farewell. The first thing you notice is that there are no street names, house numbers or directions to help you find your way around.
community and alcohol is banned, one could find dozens of empty containers every day. People would pay upwards of $150.00 for a 750 ml bottle of rye and upwards of $70.00 for a bottle of hairspray. Homebrew is made from a concoction of ketchup and other ingredients.
DAN KERR 42-years-old of Paisley, Ontario received a Commissioner’s Commendation for his selfless actions to aid two persons who were seriously injured in a head-on collision on Wellington Road 109 on October 20th, 2007. He provided first aid to the occupants of an overturned vehicle until they could be extricated and transported to hospital.
and they will fly in about once a week to try and deal with the more serious investigations but most of the time, you are on your own. We only had one First Nation officer working during our stay and we didn't get to work with him very much. I got a call one morning to come and shoot a dog that had been hit by a car. There is no veterinarian in Pikangikum so there was nowhere to take the dog for treatment.
Pikangikum is a community of approximately 2500 First Nation people. There is no access by road during the summer. You have to come by boat or airplane. In the winter, you can drive in and out on the ice roads. Most homes have no running water, toilets or showers. People have to get water from a communal well for all their needs. There are no roadways to speak of, just dirt paths.
The shocking thing among the children is the amount of gas sniffing. So many young children don't seem to have hope for a better future and turn to substance abuse. The sad thing is that this leads to one of the highest suicide rates in Canada. You can see the devastation from it. There are no cemeteries in Pikangikum. People bury their relatives on their front lawn on their property. My heart was ripped out when I saw six graves at one home and found out that all six were siblings, five of whom had committed suicide (all in their early teens).
Throughout my stay, I was horrified at the amount of substance abuse not only by the adults but also by the children. Among the adults alcohol abuse is rampant with people drinking homebrew, hairspray and silk tassel rye whiskey. Even though it is a dry
Policing there is extremely challenging. You are very, very busy all day and all night long. In two weeks, we arrested about 200 people and laid a lot of criminal charges. There is not much support to help you with your investigations. The Crime Unit is in Red Lake
(LEFT) BRANDON SOENHER 5-yearsold and KAYLIN STUCKLESS 8-yearsold of Drayton, Ontario received a Commissioner’s Citation for Lifesaving and a St. John Priory Award for an incident that occurred on November 18th, 2007.
When I got there, I found a 3 month old puppy who was in severe distress but I couldn’t bring myself to shoot him. When their six year old brother Gavin (right) fell through the ice into the Conestoga River in Drayton, Kaylin I took him to the nursing station jumped into the river and pulled him to safety while Brandon ran to get help. Their quick actions helped save and over the next couple of days, the life of their brother. officers took turns nursing the puppy back to health and eventuHORSE RESCUED ally found a new home in FROM POND Gravenhurst through animal resIndiana Jonesno awards Although cue. were given, in January of 2008 Wellington County I realize how difficult it must be for O.P.P. officers and firethe First Nation officers who live fighters from Mount and work there all year round. Forest were called to They are related to most of the assist a horse drowning people in the community and it on the MacDonald Farm must be extremely difficult to stay on Highway 89, just east positive and motivated when you of Mount Forest. see so many depressing things every day. I was glad I got to expeOfficers arrived to find a rience this for myself and I would horse had fallen through recommend that every young offiice on a pond. cer should do the same. It gives you a greater insight into their Police and firefighters were able to pull it up onto the shore and quickly cover the horse with blankets. communities and the problems The horse was suffering from exhaustion and mild hypothermia. that they face in the north. And yes, I would do it again if given the Firefighters built a makeshift sled and everyone was able to roll the horse onto the sled and then drag it back opportunity. to a heated shed on the property. We are glad to report that Red, a 26-year-old horse is doing fine. - Const. Nikki Stewart
protecting serving 5
WELLINGTON COUNTY CRIMINAL INVESTIGATION UNIT The Wellington County Crime Unit has had several changes during 2008. Detective Sergeant MaryLouise Kearns joined the unit in the summer of 2008 and oversees a group of Detective Constables. The detectives report to several locations within Wellington County including Rockwood, Fergus and Mount Forest.
Detective Sgt. MaryLouise Kearns
During 2008, the Wellington County Crime Unit responded to numerous investigations that included, but were not limited, to death investigations, sexual assaults, robberies, frauds, voyeurism and domestic violence investigations.
Such occurrences take investigative expertise and Wellington County has a talented group of individuals who ensure that all investigations are completed in a thorough manner. Detectives are trained in areas such as General Investigative Techniques, Sexual Assault Investigations, Investigating Offences Against Children, Interviewing Techniques and Major Case Management. These are some of the core competency courses and provide only a fraction of the training given to all detectives in the Crime Unit. Detectives in the Crime Unit work cooperatively with front-line officers, the Forensic Identification Unit, Emergency Response Team, Intelligence Unit, Drug Enforcement Section, Child Sexual Exploitation Section, Organized Crime Enforcement Bureau, Crime Prevention Section and other specialized resources that are stationed throughout the Province. The Wellington County Crime Unit currently has several detectives specializing in specific areas which include; major crime, property crime, domestic violence and hate/bias investigators.
MAJOR CRIME INVESTIGATORS
“Physical evidence can not be intimidated. It does not forget. It sits there and waits to be detected, preserved, evaluated, and explained.” Detective Constable Andy Hooper is currently the investigator assigned to oversee the schematics of the property crime team and is instrumental in ensuring that the H.E.R.O. Program (High Risk Enforcement Repeat Offender program) is operational. This program concentrates on monitoring people who are bound by conditions of bail or probation.
-Herbert Leon Macdonell STAFF SERGEANTS
An exciting addition to this area is the partnership with the Emergency Response Team (E.R.T.) members in Wellington County who have joined the Crime Unit to ensure the H.E.R.O. program continues to be a success.
DOMESTIC VIOLENCE COORDINATOR D/Cst. Tanya Beckon is new to the position of Domestic Violence Coordinator for Wellington County. She is responsible for overseeing the integrity of all domestic violence investigations, monitoring all high risk cases, assisting frontline officers with interviews and ensuring all members are properly trained in domestic violence protocol. Detective Constable Beckon works with a variety of community partners on an ongoing basis to ensure that all victims of domestic violence are provided with the necessary tools and support to make a difficult journey more bearable.
Const. Tanya Beckon
HATE/BIAS INVESTIGATOR One of the major crime investigators, Detective Constable Larry Drew also oversees any investigation where a criminal offence committed against a person or property is motivated solely, or in part, upon the race, national or ethnic origin, language, colour, religion, sex, age, mental or physical disability, or sexual orientation of the victim. This type of occurrence takes investigative expertise and the knowledge of the traumatic long-term effects of this type of crime. The Wellington County Crime Unit is forever evolving with the times and as a result is able to provide a commitment to excellence and dedication to the people of Wellington County.
SCENES OF CRIME OFFICERS (S.O.C.O.)
S/Sgt. Scott Smith S/Sgt. Susan Gray and Inspector Steve Walsh The Wellington County Detachment of the Ontario Provincial Police has two Staff Sergeants. The Staff Sergeants work closely with the Inspector – Detachment Commander as part of the command team for the detachment. The responsibilities of the Staff Sergeants are split between Operations and Support. The Staff Sergeant – Operations Manager is responsible for everything that happens outside the physical buildings of the detachment. This includes crime and traffic management, day to day response to calls for service and emergency management. The Operations Manager is required to have knowledge and skill related to criminal investigations, traffic management and incident command. The Staff Sergeant – Support Manager is responsible for all the activities occurring within the physical buildings of the detachment. The Support Manager requires a strong understanding of human resources (HR), in order to manage transfers, promotions, new hires, occupational health and safety issues and other matter directly related to the personnel of the detachment. The Staff Sergeants directly supervise the 13 Sergeants in Wellington County.
Scenes of Crime Officers (S.O.C.O.) are front-line uniformed members of the O.P.P. who have received specialized training in the collection, processing and preservation of evidence. The S.O.C.O. program is directly supervised by the Forensic Identification Support Unit located in Mount Forest.
Detective Constables: Andrew Hooper, Jennifer Foley, Heidi Pautsch These investigators primarily focus on occurrences that are deemed “benchmark” occurrences. These benchmark occurrences include: • • • • • • • • • • •
Homicide Attempted murder Sexual offences including child pornography and child luring Criminal Harassment Assault – Level 3 (ie aggravated assault) Robbery Hate/Bias Crime Frauds and False pretences exceeding $25,000 Property Crime exceeding $25,000 Drug Occurrences Other specialized investigations
PROPERTY CRIME INVESTIGATORS The property crime investigators are assigned to support front-line officers with the follow-up of break and enters, mischief occurrences, extensive auto thefts and the overall analysis of property crime trends.
In Wellington County there are 10 trained S.O.C.O. officers. They attend the following types of incidents: break and enters, assaults, domestic assaults, mischief, fires, sudden deaths (natural or traumatic), post mortems, drug warrants, stolen property, recovered stolen vehicles, and traffic collisions. Roles of the S.O.C.O. officer include: attending scenes of criminal and non-criminal incidents, and providing scene examination that may involve crime scene sketches, photography, and the collection and preservation of evidence including: DNA, fingerprints, footwear, tire and tool mark impressions. Exhibits are submitted to the Forensic Identification Support Unit for expert examination. DNA is submitted to the Centre of Forensic Science in Toronto, for examination regarding suitability for DNA upload to the existing National DNA Data bank, and for requests for known suspect DNA comparison. S.O.C.O. Equipment consists of: • Nikon D200 digital camera • Fingerprint kit complete with powders, brushes, and ink for printing cadavers • Casting material for tool impressions and fingerprints • Casting equipment for footwear impressions • Swabs for the collection of DNA Number of Scenes Attended by S.O.C.O. per year: 2007 - 170
2008 - 271
Sergeants (L to R): Joe Piccione, Warren Fink, Glen Dietrich, (seated): Patrick Horrigan Along with Sergeants assigned to each platoon, each of the four offices within Wellington County, Fergus, Mount Forest Palmerston and Rockwood have a community Sergeant assigned to them. All four Sergeants work together out of their respective offices. Duties include the general administration of the office, vehicle maintenance, property management, inventory control, and disposal of items seized – firearms, drugs, and property. The Sergeants are also a liaison for the community. Sergeants are involved with the local B.I.A., Chamber of Commerce, Municipal Councils, and attend social events and assist with the organization of large community events, e.g.: Fall Fairs, Highland Games, and Hillside Festival.
COMMUNITY SERVICE OFFICERS
MOUNTED BIKE PATROL
Const. Mark Cloes The County of Wellington O.P.P. has two full time community services and media relations officers Constable Keith ROBB, and Constable Mark CLOES.
(L to R): A/Sgt. Laurie Munro, Sgt. Mike Gordon, S/Sgt. Scott Smith, Sgt. Warren Fink, Insp. Steve Walsh, Sgt. Patrick Horrigan, Comm. Julian Fantino, D/Sgt. Chris Knoll, Sharon Van Hemmen, Sgt. John Kummer, Sgt. Bob Uridil, Sgt. Joe Piccione, A/Sgt. Louis Berthlot, Sgt. Glen Dietrich, S/Sgt. Susan Gray, Sgt. Steve Ingham, Sgt. Roger Woods, Sgt. Deb Anderson, Sgt. Andy Atchison, Sgt. Mike Ashley
Constable Jennifer SMITH assists the two Officers with media relations when needed. The community services duties include school visits, class presentations, service club presentations and special event displays. The Media relation duties include regular release of policing services calls, community information releases, and major event media releases. These officers received specialized training in both disciplines of their duties.
E.R.T. EMERGENCY RESPONSE TEAM
THE COMMISSIONER’S VISIT
On the 4th of March 2008, while the Inspector, Staff Sergeants and Sergeants were meeting to discuss detachment and operational concerns, Commissioner Fantino attended and met with the members.
Const. Randy Schubert One of the fastest growing trends in law enforcement today is utilization of mountain bicycles. Quiet, cost efficient, and amazingly effective, mountain bikes are able to bridge the gap between automobiles and foot patrol. Experience has shown that citizens are more likely to approach a bike patrol officer than even a neighborhood beat officer, optimizing community oriented or problem oriented policing efforts. Bicycle officers are better able to use all of their senses, including smell and hearing, to detect and address crime. Bike patrol officers are often able to approach suspects virtually unnoticed, even in full uniform. Mountain bikes have proven effective in a number of different environments. Bikes are effective in park patrol, parking lots, residential patrol, business security, athletic or civic events, and specialized details. They can be operated on streets, sidewalks, alleys, trails, and in any areas that are difficult to access with motor vehicles. The Wellington County Mountain Bike Program has been in effect for four years and has eight members trained throughout Wellington County.
The Commissioner spoke of how proud he was to be involved with policing the County of Wellington and provided direction and his future visions for policing. He was very open to discussion with everyone present. The visit with the Commissioner was informative and inspirational to the County of Wellington leadership.
During 2008 the Ontario Provincial Police teamed up with the Insurance Bureau of Canada to promote the “Lock It or Lose It!” campaign. During this time, officers focused on reminding car drivers and owners to secure your autos and don’t be an easy target for car thieves.
Constables Rudy Bracnik, Pete Fischer
County of Wellington O.P.P. officers embraced this endeavour whole heartedly with officers and Auxiliary members attending streets and parking lots in November, throughout the County to check for unlocked autos. With this campaign, members in this detail checked hundreds of autos looking for valuables in plain view, or unlocked vehicles.
Wellington County has 3 Emergency Response Team (E.R.T.) members. P/C Pete Fischer, P/C Rick Lytle and P/C Rudy Bracnik are stationed in Wellington County but respond to calls throughout West Region and the Province. These highly trained members are responsible for K9 Backup, Containment, Public Order, VIP Security, High Risk Prisoner Escort, Search and Rescue and assisting the Crime and Drug Units with warrants and other duties such as evidence searches.
STATISTICS: (Puslinch Twp, Fergus, Elora, Arthur & Mount Forest) • Autos checked 1569 • Unlocked vehicles 133 • Valuables visible 103
Constable Steve Smith with Jasper, Constable Keith Robb with Bosco
The County of Wellington O.P.P. is reminding vehicle owners of some Protection tips to aid in theft reduction. PROTECTION TIPS:
The County of Wellington O.P.P. Mounted Unit has been in operation for the past 11 years. Initially, the unit was only utilized to do special events and parades. We have constantly worked to expand that role to where we now conduct full-time patrols throughout the summer months, as well as participating in special events throughout the year. We extended our full-time patrols to begin in early April 2008 and end in October 2008.
Const. Barry Reid with Dekker Constable Barry Reid is the Canine Officer for the County of Wellington O.P.P. He has been a member of the O.P.P. for 14 years and has been assigned as the Canine Handler since 2003. Constable Reid acquired a new dog in 2007 and now has two Police Service Dogs to conduct his investigations. Pictured is “Dekker” an 80 lb. German Shepherd who is imported from Belgium. P.C. Reid and Dekker attended the General Service Dog course in Gravenhurst throughout the spring and summer in order to train Dekker to track and search for people.
• Never leave valuable items or packages in full view. Put them in the trunk. • Try to park in well lit areas. • Always close the vehicle windows, lock the doors and pocket the key. • If you have a garage, use it and lock the door as well as the vehicle. • Never leave your vehicle unattended while it is running.
The unit consists of two Percheron Cross geldings. Bosco, who is 15years-old, is 17 1/2 hands high and weighs 2280 pounds as well as Jasper, who is 11-years-old, is 16 1/2 hands high and weighs 1780 pounds.
The key to protecting your vehicle and its contents is in your hands. Keep yourself from becoming an easy target by properly securing your vehicle.
The Mounted Unit is available to attend parades and major events. If you would like them at your event, please send a letter of request to: The County of Wellington O.P.P. Mounted Unit at 250 Daly Street, Palmerston, Ontario N0G 2P0. Make sure you outline the date and time required, the function they are needed for and a contact person.
Maclean’s magazine recently conducted a survey using annual crime data from Statistics Canada for municipal police services with the 100 largest populations in the nation. Using 2007 rates per 100,000 population for six crimes homicide, sexual assault, aggravated assault, vehicle theft, robbery plus breaking and entering Maclean’s calculated the percentage difference from the national rate for each of the six crimes. Overall scores were obtained in consultation with StatsCan and we are proud to say Wellington County ranked the 9th safest community in Canada.
ON THE ROAD TRAFFIC MANAGEMENT UNIT I have been in the area for the last 20 plus years, first with the (old) Fergus Police Service and now, 10 years with the O.P.P. I have been the Supervisor of the Wellington County Traffic Management Unit for a year now, taking over for Traffic Sergeant Rick Weiler who retired after more than 30 years of service with the O.P.P. I have large shoes to fill to be able to run this Unit as well as he did. In 2007 there were 17 fatalities in Wellington County, which is far too many people dying on our roadways. In 2008 we reduced that number to 12 fatalities which is a substantial decrease but I cannot say that I am happy. I will only be happy when that number is reduced to zero. The majority of fatalities involved single motor vehicles. Alcohol was a contributing factor in far too many as well. This is something that we as members of the public must address. Excessive speed is a contributing factor in most crashes. The Wellington County Traffic Management Unit somewhat changed its focus this year where we also concentrated on the drinking and driving problems within our County by taking part in numerous R.I.D.E. programs. The most disturbing occurrence in 2008 was the fail to remain pedestrian fatality that occurred on the 10th of October 2008 on Wellington Road 17, Nichol Twp., where a local youth was struck and killed by an unknown driver. Many hours of investigation have been and will continue to be dedicated into the identification of the responsible vehicle and driver. I am appalled that someone can strike and kill another human being and not come forward. How can they live with themselves? Members of the unit were active this year in snowmobile patrol, motorcycle patrol, marine patrol and just vehicular patrols.
Photo by Helen Michel
I look forward to serving in this capacity for the upcoming year and encourage any member of the public whohas concerns with traffic issues to contact me so that we can resolve them for you.
Left to right is: Constable Patrice Gonzalez, Constable Steve Hunter, Constable Tim Gillingham, Constable Henry Heidinga, Constable Ryan Martin Absent: Sgt. Mike Ashley, Const. Dave Gray
- Sgt. Michael ASHLEY
ARE YOU USING YOUR HEAD FOR TRAFFIC SAFETY
Constable Henry Heidinga of the County of Wellington O.P.P. Traffic Management Unit is pictured with 7 of the novelty helmets seized from motorcycle riders during the summer of 2008. These helmets ranged from a WWII army helmet, to horse riding helmets, and one with the caption “Helmet Laws Still Suck”.
In October of this year, a van carrying a band went off the highway and rolled, killing one member and seriously injuring another. This happened in Saskatchewan. Over thirty years ago, a colleague survived an almost identical accident in Northern Quebec. One of his band mates didn’t. In both cases, the van rolled over when the driver tried to get back onto the highway. Although these two tragedies happened many years apart, the circumstances are similar and indicate that it could happen again. In the interest of trying to prevent that, here is some information that may help you if you find yourself in that situation.
Motorcycle helmets must meet standards as set out in the Highway Traffic Act, Ontario Regulation 610, including: • Hard smooth outer shell • Sufficient internal padding • Undamaged by use or misuse • Secured by a strap connected under the chin
First, what should you do if you are driving and your van goes off onto the shoulder of the road? As in any emergency situation, there are a number of things you need to do: 1) Stay calm (ie; Don’t panic). That’s the 1st .01 second. 2) Take your foot off the gas pedal. 3) DO NOT slam on the brakes. Why? Because your wheels are on two different surfaces. When you apply the brakes, the two different surfaces (eg. pavement on one side, dirt / gravel/ sand on the other) will slow the vehicle at different rates. Since the same vehicle can’t be going two different speeds at the same time, physics demands that the speed difference between the two sides gets transferred into another motion…the van rolling over.
Your helmet must also comply with one of: • Canadian Standards Association • Snell Memorial Association • British Standards Institute • United States of America Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard 218 Your helmet must also contain the appropriate corresponding sticker or marking. Failure to meet the above requirements can result in a charge under Section 104(1) of the Highway Traffic Act along with seizure of the novelty helmet. Finally, because the helmet is part of the safety equipment of the motorcycle, a proper helmet will have to be brought to the scene where you are stopped, and inspected by police, before the motorcycle can be driven; or your bike may be towed at owners expense. When it comes to traffic safety on a motorcycle - use your head and wear the proper helmet.
WATCH FOR WILDLIFE WHILE DRIVING Last year there were 13, 592 vehicle/wildlife collisions in Ontario — that’s one every 39 minutes. 89% of these collisions happened on two-lane roads outside of urban areas with 84% occurring in good weather. Using these tips will help keep you and your family safe:
4) DO NOT try to steer back on to the highway at speed, keep the wheel straight until the vehicle has slowed considerably. Why? Because the wheel on the shoulder can dig into the soft surface, slowing one side of the van more than the other. 5) When the vehicle has slowed considerably, check your mirrors for traffic behind you, and when the coast is clear, gently ease back onto the highway and accelerate back up to highway speed. If in doubt, come to a complete stop, take a few deep breaths and start again. So that’s the big one taken care off. Here are a few more notes to keep you safe when on tour. Note that how you deal with some of these things will vary depending on whether you own the vehicle or are renting. 1) Buy a tire gauge (about $7-12.00 at Canadian Tire) and check your tire pressure regularly. If you are renting, check the tires when you pick up the van. I have often found rental vans to have mismatched tire pressures, once with one tire 50% lower than the other three. What does a low tire feel like when driving? I often first notice a bit of extra movement when turning or straightening out after a turn… a little “kick” to the side. 2) If you own the vehicle, you will need to buy good tires. Really. If you are a struggling band and “can’t afford new tires”, figure out a way to do it…have a tire benefit, borrow from friends, ask your parents, anything, no matter how un-cool.
• Scan the road ahead from shoulder to shoulder. When you see wildlife beside the road, slow down and pass 3) When you load the van, make sure you secure the load. In one of the crashes I mentioned at the carefully as they may suddenly bolt onto the road. beginning of this article, the bass amp was ejected through the roof of the van and the person who died • Watch for the yellow wildlife warning signs that indicate an area of increased risk. Slow down when went out after it. You can buy a complete set of cargo straps for $10-30.00 at Canadian Tire. travelling through these areas. • Use high beams at night where possible and watch for glowing eyes of animals. 4) Keep the interior clean. It may look cool to have a bunch of empty pop cans rolling around the floor, but • Stop as safely as possible if a wild animal is crossing the road. Remember, if one animal crosses the road, it’s not so cool when one of them rolls under the brake pedal. others may follow. 5) On long drives, take frequent breaks if you are the only driver. If you are sharing the driving, keep the shifts • Never swerve suddenly. This could cause your vehicle to go out of control which may result in a more short, like one to three hours each. It’s a bad idea to drive until you are tired and then switch, for two serious collision. reasons. 1st, once you are tired, you won’t recover fully before your next shift, and 2nd, the last half • Most wildlife collisions occur during dusk or dawn and if hitting a wild animal is unavoidable, remember to hour or so while you are figuring out that you are too tired to keep driving, is a hazardous time to be at stay in control. the wheel. QUICK FACTS 6) If you haven’t driven a larger vehicle, like a van, or don’t regularly drive, here’s something you need to be aware of: The van weighs a lot more than what you are used too. You need to be aware of that extra weight and how it affects the driving, particularly the braking. More weight means longer stopping distances, so you need to be looking farther ahead and acting sooner.
There are two peak times of year for wild life collisions: May and June when animals seek road salt in ditches and try to escape biting insects; and during the fall mating and migration seasons. The Province of Ontario has taken a number of steps to help keep animals from wandering onto the road, including: Installing fencing along major highways; removing roadside brush to improve visibility for drivers; draining salty ponds beside highways, which may attract wildlife; posting warning signs where there is a history of wildlife collisions; installing highway lighting to improve visibility at night. LEARN MORE Read more facts and tips on avoiding wild life collisions at the M.T.O.’s Watch for Wildlife webpage. Get up-to-date road condition information on major highways in the area. You can call the ministry’s road information line at 416-235-4686, or toll-free at 1-800-268-4686.
7) Wear your seat belts. 8) No booze or drugs while driving (in other words, that’s going to have to wait until you can afford a tour bus!) 9) Finally, always drive according to weather conditions, especially in unfamiliar territory. Many collisions are caused by drivers driving too fast for the road and weather conditions. This is particularly true for larger, heavier vehicles that require additional stopping distances as mentioned in point #6. Stay safe. Courtesy of Zimbel Audio Productions Ltd.
(R.I.D.E.) REDUCE IMPAIRED DRIVING EVERYWHERE The “Reduce Impaired Driving in Etobicoke” program was created in 1977 by the Etobicoke Safety Council, the Addiction Research Foundation and the Metropolitan Toronto Police Service to address the then soaring incidence of drinking and driving. This project exemplified the union of the community, the police and the corporate sector to combat this social problem. From this concept, the provincial R.I.D.E. (Reduce Impaired Driving Everywhere) evolved across the province with the aid of the government’s grant program. Since its inception, as a countermeasure for drinking and driving during the
Christmas holiday season, the program has proven effective in deterring and detecting drinking drivers. It is successful in apprehending impaired drivers when combined with police enforcement, public education and awareness campaigns. Based on the concept of increasing motorists perceived risk of apprehension, the program is supported by the police, public and the media. Drinking and driving continues to be the leading cause of criminal death in Canada. Drinking and driving is a serious threat to safety on our roads and highways and will not be tolerated. The Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services (M.C.S.C.S.) provides grants annually to municipal police services, Ontario Provincial Police (O.P.P.)
DID YOU KNOW? That Wellington County O.P.P. runs R.I.D.E. all year long In 2008 87,790 were checked at R.I.D.E stops 259 individuals were arrested as a result of local R.I.D.E. checks
contract municipalities and First Nations police services conduct R.I.D.E. spot check activities throughout the year across the province. The grant is intended to cover only sworn officers’ overtime and paid duty activities.
For the fiscal year 2007–2008 172 municipalities received grants for R.I.D.E. compared to 100 in 1995. Since 1995, $1.2M has been available annually to eligible municipalities. The Honourable Rick Bartolucci, Minister of Community Safety and Correctional Services was proud to announce that the R.I.D.E. Grant program's funding was doubled to $2.4 million for 2008/2009. Improving road safety is an important priority of the McGuinty government. M.C.S.C.S. aims to ensure that Ontario’s roads are as safe as possible for motorists and pedestrians alike. The R.I.D.E. program has been successful in apprehending impaired drivers when combined with police enforcement, public education and awareness campaigns.
WELLINGTON COUNTY In 2008/2009, the County of Wellington Police Services Board was allotted $25,000.00 through the R.I.D.E. Grant Program . This translated into 460 hours of R.I.D.E. patrol and spotchecks by 68 members from the Wellington County Detachment between April 2008 and February 2009. Approximately 13,000 drivers were checked. This resulted in 11 drivers being charged for criminal alcohol related offences. An additional 13 roadside suspensions for 12 hours were issued. The R.I.D.E. Grant Program has become an essential component of traffic safety for the residents of the County of Wellington.
LOCAL R.I.D.E. NEWSPAPER CAMPAIGN Don’t let this be your Christmas Parade.
This could be your next set of wheels.
Do you really want to get smashed?
Can you really afford to drive impaired?
Don’t drink and drive. Don’t drink and drive.
Don’t drink and drive.
Don’t let this be your New Year’s toast.
Don’t drink and drive.
Don’t drink and drive.
Don’t drink and drive. Don’t drink and drive. This message brought to you by ... This message brought to you by ...
Don’t drink and drive. Don’t drink and drive.
Don’t drink and drive.
This message brought to you by ...
This message brought to you by ...
This message brought to you by ...
This message brought to you by ...
This message brought to you by ...
This message brought to you by ...
This message brought to you by ...
This message brought to you by ...
Each year the Wellington County O.P.P. launch an advertising campaign using the local newspaper, The Wellington Advertiser. The ads are designed to educate and deter drivers from driving impaired. The key message: Don’t Drink and Drive. M.A.D.D. - MOTHERS AGAINST DRUNK DRIVING M.A.D.D. Wellington County is one of thirty-three M.A.D.D. Canada Chapters serving the province of Ontario. The mission statement of this organization is “To Stop Impaired Driving and Support Victims of this Violent Crime.” Impaired Driving is the leading cause of Criminal Death in Canada with an average of four people killed in alcohol related collisions each day. During the 2008/2009 school year, M.A.D.D. Wellington County has hosted the M.A.D.D. Multimedia School Presentation, D.O.A. at eight (8) schools throughout Wellington County. This assembly program has been
seen by students in public and catholic high schools in Palmerston, Mount Forest, and Guelph. M.A.D.D. Wellington County has provided funding for a number of these assemblies. A professionally produced video displayed on three large screens features real life stories about lives that have been lost or changed as a consequence of Impaired Driving (by alcohol, drug, or a combination). Among those sharing their stories is Canadian singer Rob Nash from the band "Live on Arrival" who, after nearly losing his life in a crash, is dedicated to bringing an end to the violent crime of Impaired Driving.
Robb appeared in person at Centennial CVI in Guelph to tell his story and perform live for the students. M.A.D.D. Wellington County is committed to educating the youth of this community by supporting existing OSAID (Ontario Student Against Impaired Driving) chapters and encouraging the start up of new ones in all Wellington County High Schools. For more information about M.A.D.D. Wellington County and specifically the DOA assembly program, please check out our website at http://madd.ca/wellingtoncounty/ or contact us at (519) 515-0623.
Photo by Helen Michel
JOIN THE O.P.P. WHY WORK FOR THE ONTARIO PROVINCIAL POLICE? OUR TRADITION ... YOUR FUTURE. JOIN ONTARIO'S FINEST. "Policing Excellence Through Our People, Our Work and Our Relationships" Ontario is vast and magnificent in terms of both its territory and people. Its police service is the Ontario Provincial Police. We are known as the O.P.P. and take pride in being regarded as Ontario’s Police Professionals. We have earned the respect and trust of Ontario’s citizenry and we are committed to preserving our reputation into the future. We deeply embrace the principle that a diverse population is best served by a similar diversity of police officers. To maintain its tradition of excellence, the O.P.P. seeks to hire as police constables people representative of the cultural and racial diversity of the province we serve. As a police employer, there are few to compare with the Ontario Provincial Police. We are committed to fair employment practices that ensure qualified candidates have access to employment and hiring decisions are made on the basis of merit. Our aim is to create a climate of mutual respect and understanding in which all people are equal in dignity and rights. Our commitment is entrenched in law but is exercised from principle. In providing service to over one million square kilometers of land and water, the O.P.P. is one of North America’s largest deployed policing agencies. With size, comes virtually limitless opportunities to undertake a variety of police duties, to specialize, to advance, to grow. Members apply their talents to duties that vary from municipal policing duties to traffic and general law enforcement. The opportunities for an exciting career in policing are unlimited. Real potential exists for you, as a police officer, to learn and grow and to have a positive impact not just on a community, but on an entire province. What does it take to be a member of the O.P.P. team? It takes people with integrity, accountability, courage, caring and fairness. It takes people from diverse backgrounds to represent the community we serve. It takes people who enjoy working with others and want to build strong, positive relationships characterized by mutual respect in all types of settings and circumstances … people who really want to make a difference in the lives of others.
www.opp.ca or www.wellington.on.ca On foot patrol: Cadet Kyle McLeod and Constable Sarah Van Norman
Cover, back, centrespread, R.I.D.E., Crime/Specialty Units and background photos by Helen Michel
This publication designed and published by The Wellington Advertiser