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Domestic issues top call for service in Essex for August

by Sylene Argent

Last Thursday afternoon, members of the Essex Police Services Board (EPSB) met virtually to learn of the top call for service put into the Essex OPP detachment for the month of August.

  There were 492 total calls for service in August for Essex, which was greater than the 390 put in the same month in 2020 and lower than the 511 in August of 2019.

  In August, there were 927 calls for service in Lakeshore, 552 for Tecumseh, and 462 in Kingsville. In addition, 311 calls went into the Provincial Unit.

  Top Calls for Service in Essex for August included 26 for domestic-related instances, 25 bylaw concerns (such as for noise and dogs off-leash), 22 alarm calls, 22 traffic complaints, 19 mental health calls, 18 neighbour disputes, 18 motor vehicle collisions, 13 requests to assist other police, 12 property related matters, 10 family disputes, 10 mischief matters, 10 trespass to property instances, and 10 well-being checks, Sergeant Pauline Steele explained to the EPSB members.

  In August, Essex had the following calls:

• 11 for violent crime matters, which was higher than August 2020 at eight and 2019 at six. Lakeshore also had 11 of these calls, while Tecumseh had three and Kingsville had four. Steele said the majority of these calls in Essex were due to domestic assaults and assaults with neighbours.

• 23 for property crime calls. There were 19 of these calls in August of 2020 and 22 in August of 2019. Tecumseh had 41 of these calls, while Lakeshore had 39 and Kingsville had 20.

• 18 for motor vehicle collisions (none were fatal), which was comparable to 19 in both August 2020 and 2019. Steele explained the majority of eTickets issued in that time were for speeding. Essex’s calls for this matter were much lower than the 41 in Tecumseh, 35 in Lakeshore, and 26 in Kingsville.

• There were zero impaired and exceed offenses and two driver’s license suspensions.

• 17 Criminal Code/YCJA Charges, with 25 in the same month in 2020 and 15 in 2019.

• There were zero drug offences.

• 34 Provincial Offences Charges, compared to 33 in August of 2020 and 52 in 2019. There 78 in Lakeshore, 69 in Tecumseh, and 43 in Kingsville in August. However, there was a seven percent decrease in Provincial Offences in August 2021 compared to August 2020 in OPP policed areas, the information provided to the EPSB highlighted.

• 56 traffic stops were conducted, compared to 61 in August of 2020 and 119 in 2019.

• There were 15 mental health calls, while there were 10 in each of August of 2020 and 2019. There were 20 mental health calls put into the OPP in Lakeshore in August, 16 in Kingsville, and seven in Tecumseh.

  In addition, there were 85-foot patrol hours conducted, one RIDE program, and 12 auxiliary hours in Essex in August.

  Members of the Essex Police Services Board received the presentation.

  In addition, members of the Essex Police Services Board heard a presentation from Michelle Oake, Executive Director for the Windsor Essex Child Youth Advocacy Centre.

  A delegation was also heard from Constable Blake Coho and Stephanie Bula from Hotel-Dieu Grace Healthcare. They are from the Ontario Provincial Police Mental Health Response Unit.

  Coho said one in two individuals in Canada, by the time they are 40-years-of-age, develop a mental health issue. That doesn’t mean one can’t recover, he noted.

  He told the EPSB Board about a grant opportunity from the Solicitor General, which could fund another part-time crisis worker if it could be obtained. This would be for a two-year period and would begin upon approval for $240,000. He asked the EPSB to provide support for their application for the grant.

  The Board passed a motion to support the grant initiative, which will require a signature from the Chairperson, Councillor Kim Verbeek.

  Essex County OPP Detachment Commander, Inspector Glenn Miller, took the opportunity to speak about the 10 brand new recruits who recently started. They are assigned experienced officers to learn from.

   CAO Doug Sweet also introduced a proposed Alarm By-Law for businesses to the EPSB.

  Members of the Board endorsed and supported By-law 2029, being a By-law to impose fees and charge for services provided on behalf of the Corporation of the Town of Essex by the Ontario Provincial Police and relating to reducing False Alarms in the Town of Essex.

  The proposed By-Law will now go before Essex Council to consider for adoption in the near future.