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Councillor elect urging residents to think about joining the Police Services Board



by Sylene Argent

At the beginning of the last term of Council, in 2014, Essex resident Kim Verbeek put her name forward as a candidate to serve on the Town of Essex’s Police Services Board.

  With a nod from members of the current Term of Council, Verbeek began serving on the Committee as the Municipal Appointee soon after. When the opportunity presented itself, she stepped into the Vice-Chairperson position in 2017.

  With Verbeek getting elected to Council for the 2018-2022 term as a repressive of Ward 2, and fellow Committee member, Morley Bowman, getting elected as a representative for Ward 1, there are now two vacancies on this important Board; one being a Municipal Appointee and the other a Provincial Appointee.

  “I hope residents really consider applying for these two important vacancies on this Board,” Verbeek said. “I am looking to encourage the public to help fill those vacancies; sooner rather than later.”

  As it can take some time for the Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services to approve such appointments, Verbeek is urging those who would have an interest in that position to do so as soon as possible.

  Verbeek said recently, the Ontario Association of Police Services Board (OAPSB) has noted it would like to have more diversity on municipal police services boards.

  “It is a good Board to sit on,” Verbeek said. “I want to encourage some change in the dynamic of the room [the Essex Police Services Board) because OAPSB is encouraging diversity for their team.”

  As part of the Essex Police Services Board, Verbeek was pleased to see some projects, such as the internet Safe Trade campaign, come to fruition. Members of the Board also hear the concerns of citizens at meetings and are invited to take part in educational symposiums.

  With the Town of Essex recently being named to the top ten list of safest communities in Canada, as announced in McLean’s on November 5, Verbeek said, “I’ve always known why Essex is one of the safest communities in Canada. It is because of the community and our local police service working together. You don’t get that status by chance. That relationship has been cultivated over a number of years.”

  Members of the incoming Essex Police Services Board will be a part of following the newly reworked Police Services Act, which calls for all detachments with multiple Police Service Boards to amalgamate, Verbeek said.

To anyone who is interested, but has doubts about their qualifications in sitting on the Essex Police Services Board, Verbeek noted training is available.

  When asked if Verbeek would want to remain on the Essex Police Services Board, but in the Council liaison position, she responded, “Most definitely,” because of the experience she gained over the past four years. “It is a good way to serve the community.”

  For those who would like to apply for the Ontario appointment, or would like to learn more about what local police services boards do, log onto oapsb.ca.

© 2020 The Essex Free Press ltd.

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