Press Release Community Watch
Saugeen Shores Police Service
12 June 2012
A View From Outside … Sort Of !
This past Saturday night my wife Glenna and I volunteered from 9 pm to 3 am patrolling as Community Watch. This is a civilian organization of volunteers that patrols Saugeen Shores reporting anything unusual they see happening.
On Saturday night we started at 9:00 pm. The following is a summary of what we saw and heard and what the four on duty officers did in those few hours. When we reported for duty one officer was out on foot patrol at the bars checking out what the night was going to be like. All officers were stopping vehicles and checking the drivers in between calls.
At 9:33 one officer stopped a vehicle that turned out to be a suspended driver who had been drinking. The driver was charged for Driving Under Suspension and the officer allowed the driver to call someone who was licenced to come and pick up the vehicle instead of towing it.
Officers continued to patrol and stop vehicles for various driving offences, speeding etc. At 10:14 pm we observed two females in a residential; area of Port Elgin walking with a can of Palm Bay alcohol and a beer bottle. An officer stopped them seized the alcohol and charged one of the women.
At 10:35 pm we observed people with a very large “Chinese flying lantern” a paper balloon with an open bottom that a small fire is suspended from and the heat causes the balloon to raise. The people released it in the Port Elgin Tourist Camp and it became lodged in the tree about the trailers. It was extinguished prior to police arrival.
At 11:40 two officers did a foot patrol of the downtown bars in Port Elgin, the bars were fairly busy as well as the outside patios.
At 11:59 am police set up a RIDE program in Southampton and stopped about 80 cars with no liquor infractions, but one Highway Traffic Act warning. RIDE was interrupted to respond to a 911 hang-up call from a payphone near the Southampton Town Hall. RIDE continued.
At 1:04 am an officer on patrol checked on two females at the north harbour in Port Elgin near a vehicle. Upon checking with them detected an odour of burnt marihuana. A further search revealed 4 plastic baggies, 3 with cocaine residue and 1 with cocaine in it, a plastic bag with 3 Oxycodone (Percocet), and a small amount of marihuana. Both females were arrested and charged with possession of the drugs.
At about 1:15 am we attended to the Port Elgin Tim Horton’s to get a coffee. I forgot that the Horton’s does not open to in-store patrons after midnight due to fights and disturbances. While I was explaining that we observed bouncers at the rear of the Queens scrapping with a man who had no shirt on. The man was very upset and threw a garbage can about and left up Goderich St. Police responded but both of the combatants had left.
At about 1:30 am police responded to a complaint of youth throwing eggs at vehicles. The youth were gone when police arrived but the thrown eggs were evident.
At 3:32 am police stopped a vehicle speeding north on Hwy 21 just south of Bruce County Rd #3 clocked on radar at 124 km/h in an 80 km/h zone. The driver was eventually arrested for Impaired Driving and provided breath readings back at the station of 137 and 140 mgms respectively. The 25 year old Port Elgin mans vehicle was towed and impounded for 7 days, his licence suspended for 90 days and he faces Impaired Driving charges.
After we concluded out shift for the evening officers attended to the Port Elgin beach at 4:15 am to fireworks being set off.
All this occurred in a short period of time on a Saturday night in June. Four officers were working and dealing with the calls I identified and I did not add in the Highway Traffic Act stops and tickets they issued. Further the paperwork involved with impaired arrests, speeding, drug arrests and drug seizures, and entering reports in their notebooks and on the computer reporting system takes a lot of time and effort.
It was good Glenna and for me as Chief acting in a volunteer capacity to observe first hand the workload officers face on what most might consider a non peak evening. It was also good for me to see how fast 6 hours can pass volunteering in our community with Community Watch.
Community Watch can always use volunteers; brochures are available at the police office. You are extra eyes and ears for the police on the streets. Please consider this if you are looking to give back to your community.
Chief of Police