VandeGraaf Updates Community at Police Services Board Meeting

In Editor Choice, Local, Police Blotter

 

By Cecilia Nasmith/Today’s Northumberland

Mental health and homelessness issues should be primarily addressed by professionals in the field, but the community-safety aspects often bring law enforcement efforts to bear.

At November’s Police Service Board meeting, Cobourg Police Chief Paul VandeGraaf said that this has become evident than ever with the homeless encampment at the former Brookside Youth Centre, which was the cause of 129 calls for service in October.

“These do not include the many, many informal interactions with community members in that area,” VandeGraaf added.

Efforts continue to enhance the effectiveness and efficiency of the CPS as they work in partnership with the Town of Cobourg and the County of Northumberland to address the encampment that has been set up on provincial land. This includes the strategic deployment of resources to address the situations that have arisen.

“Increased staffing, increased visibility and opportunities for engaging with community residents clarifying what, as a police service, we are able and not able to do,” he summarized.

He spoke of 1,800 calls for police assistance that include augmenting the efforts of fire and paramedic services and follow-up efforts.

“Our mental-health calls are already well above last year’s, and trespass-to-property calls have increased well above last year’s.”

Their new Dynamic Patrol model has already performed more than 100 patrols, reporting one medical emergency, two arrests and 11 mental-health interactions. Recovered property included bikes, generators and fuel.

This initiative is part of their Downtown Action Plan that aims to increase police presence in local neighbourhoods and businesses, not only to provide reassurance but also to increase opportunities for community engagement.

On Nov. 11, they conducted a community canvass of the east-end neighbourhoods most affected by the encampment, visiting 116 homes and talking to 90 residents. If no one was home, they left cards with contact information – and have heard from several more residents as a result.

Top concerns included feeling unsafe when walking around their neighbourhoods, trespassing, having property stolen, people rummaging through their garbage and recycling, and finding drug paraphernalia.

They had suggestions to make, such as increased police presence (especially late at night).

“Done!” VandeGraaf said.

They wanted more CCTV cameras around the neighbourhod, and this effort is in progress.

They wanted more traffic enforcement around the two schools in that area.

“I am sure our officers are attending in that area when available,” he said.

Better lighting of the area was on this list, and the chief noted that the “significant” lighting that was on the Brookside property had been turned off for unknown reasons.

“I have sent that message to Infrastructure Ontario asking to restore that lighting system,” he said.

“We haven’t heard – we’ll have to follow up.”

As for the street lighting in the area, however, the Town of Cobourg is expediting the upgrade of these nearby lights with brighter LED lighting.

Increased police presence is another thing that would reassure these neighbourhoods, and VandeGraaf said they are carefully maximizing their time and staffing to provide as much as possible.

He listed several initiatives that may have some impact on community safety in the future, such as the new Community Safety Advisory Council that is now accepting applications for membership through Nov. 30. Through quarterly meetings, members will provide advice on a variety of matters and help identify issues of concern to local neighbourhoods – “and act as ambassadors for the promotion of positive police-and-community relations,” VandeGraaf added.

The new Community Bed pilot project recently announced in partnership with the Canadian Council for Addiction will see one bed per month sponsored at their Cobourg facility for a 30-day drug-treatment program for an individual identified as being ready for treatment but who is experiencing barriers to care (such as financial).

“This is singular action. This is an incredible partnership,” he declared.

“By combining the resources, experience and dedication of our partner, we hope to reduce the impact of mental-health issues among underserved members, fostering a sense of belonging and providing a road map for those who are ready for treatment but experiencing barriers to care.”

Other police accomplishments of note include the $300,722 worth of drugs and cash seized to date in 2023, which is three times the figure reported at this time last year.

VandeGraaf also spoke about the investigative work being done by officers, those long-term cases that (unlike Law & Order) are not wrapped up neatly and quickly. On an Aug. 16 shooting alone, they have already executed five search warrants and identified three individuals – two of whom have been arrested, with the third now wanted on a Canada-wide warrant.

Looking ahead, VandeGraaf reminds everyone of Saturday’s Cram-A-Cruiser event. This monthly initiative was assumed by the volunteers of their auxiliary force as their give-back project in 2023.

The October event brought in more than $2,300 in cash and 1,800 lb. of food to support Cobourg and Cramahe food banks.

The one on Saturday will also support the Giving Tree program, accepting unwrapped toys as well as food and cash donations. Last year’s holiday-edition Cram-A-Cruiser brought in more than 3,700 lb. Of food, $3,700 in cash and 231 toys.

“We hope to increase and surpass those totals,” he said.

 

Statistics from Report

On or about September 07th, 2023 the existence of a homelessness encampment on Provincial property located at 390 King Street East, the former Brookside Youth Detention Centre, was
established. This is provincial property being managed by Infrastructure Ontario (IO).
Infrastructure Ontario (IO) is a Crown agency of the Province of Ontario that supports the Ontario government’s initiatives to modernize and maximize the value of public infrastructure
and real estate.
Like the previous two encampments that established over the course of the summer of 2023, the management of these encampments must coincide with current case law most commonly known as the “Waterloo Decision”. Details of that decision can be located at several points.
The purpose of this report is not to discuss the province’s decision in what has occurred at 390 King Street East, rather to identify the impact this has had on the Police Service. Recognizing
there are many interactions with people at the encampment and throughout the neighbouring streets that are informal, the recorded calls for service continue to be an impact on resources
and community response.
Recorded Calls for Service – 390 King Street East
September Calls
Police assistance 2023-09-07
12:28
Police information 2023-09-07
15:45
Police information 2023-09-07
21:54
Community services 2023-09-08
6:27
Police information 2023-09-08
9:51
Prevent breach of peace 2023-09-08
17:25
Police information 2023-09-09
6:43
Police information 2023-09-10
5:55
Harassment 2023-09-11
10:52
Suspicious vehicle 2023-09-12
0:25
Police information 2023-09-13
13:37
Police assistance 2023-09-14
15:43
Property check 2023-09-15
0:00
Assault 2023-09-15
2:00
Foot Patrol 2023-09-15
18:36
Threats 2023-09-17
6:30
Suspicious person 2023-09-17
22:09
Assist Other Non Police
Agency
2023-09-18
15:48
Prevent breach of peace 2023-09-18
19:21
Foot Patrol 2023-09-18
22:12
Suspicious person 2023-09-20
7:17
Focused Patrol 2023-09-20
22:50
Assist Other Non Police
Agency
2023-09-21
8:55
Disturb the peace 2023-09-22
12:01
Police assistance 2023-09-22
13:05
Disturb the peace 2023-09-23
18:55
Police assistance 2023-09-25
14:01
Police information 2023-09-25
16:09
Police assistance 2023-09-25
19:48
Property check 2023-09-26
19:05
Assist Other Non Police
Agency
2023-09-27
13:49
Disturb the peace 2023-09-28
2:08
Property check 2023-09-29
15:58
Property check 2023-09-29
23:47
Police assistance 2023-09-30
23:56
Total: 35

 

October Calls
Suspicious person 2023-10-02 7:39
Community services 2023-10-02 11:44
Police assistance 2023-10-02 14:11
Property related 2023-10-02 14:24
Assist Other Non Police Agency 2023-10-03 13:58
Routine traffic stop 2023-10-04 19:41
Focused Patrol 2023-10-04 23:18
Property check 2023-10-05 21:23
Warrants 2023-10-07 12:07
Warrants 2023-10-07 12:13
Suspicious person 2023-10-08 17:25
Suspicious person 2023-10-10 18:46
Police information 2023-10-11 10:51
Assist Other Non Police Agency 2023-10-11 13:30
Police assistance 2023-10-12 2:09
Community services 2023-10-12 9:04
Police information 2023-10-12 9:23
Assault 2023-10-13 12:53
Community services 2023-10-13 13:40
Theft 2023-10-14 10:26
Domestic dispute 2023-10-15 13:56
Property check 2023-10-16 9:10
Property check 2023-10-16 11:46
Assist Other Non Police Agency 2023-10-16 13:04
Police assistance 2023-10-16 15:25
911 call/911 hang-up 2023-10-16 17:28
Suspicious vehicle 2023-10-16 21:51
Property check 2023-10-17 7:13
Property check 2023-10-17 9:54
Property check 2023-10-17 10:41
Property check 2023-10-17 11:50
Property check 2023-10-17 12:49
Assist Other Non Police Agency 2023-10-17 14:50
Assist Other Non Police Agency 2023-10-17 17:00
Property check 2023-10-17 19:43
Trespass to property act 2023-10-17 20:51
Property check 2023-10-18 0:47
Property check 2023-10-18 6:52
Community services 2023-10-18 7:34
Property check 2023-10-18 9:26
Police assistance 2023-10-18 10:07
Property related 2023-10-18 11:01
Property related 2023-10-18 12:57
Theft 2023-10-18 13:49
Foot Patrol 2023-10-18 15:00
Property check 2023-10-18 18:46
Property check 2023-10-18 21:53
Community services 2023-10-19 6:23
Police assistance 2023-10-19 10:42
Police information 2023-10-19 13:22
Property check 2023-10-19 19:01
Property check 2023-10-19 19:30
Property check 2023-10-20 1:27
Property check 2023-10-20 3:18
Foot Patrol 2023-10-20 7:41
Foot Patrol 2023-10-20 10:09
Foot Patrol 2023-10-20 15:20
Property check 2023-10-20 20:48
Property check 2023-10-20 23:34
Property check 2023-10-21 1:40
Community services 2023-10-21 3:32
Property check 2023-10-21 8:23
Foot Patrol 2023-10-21 9:25
Threats 2023-10-21 10:28
Property check 2023-10-21 12:37
Foot Patrol 2023-10-21 13:02
Foot Patrol 2023-10-21 14:14
Foot Patrol 2023-10-21 16:03
Foot Patrol 2023-10-21 18:32
Community services 2023-10-21 21:14
Property check 2023-10-21 22:00
Foot Patrol 2023-10-22 8:28
Foot Patrol 2023-10-22 9:38
Foot Patrol 2023-10-22 12:30
Foot Patrol 2023-10-22 14:11
Foot Patrol 2023-10-22 15:31
Focused Patrol 2023-10-22 16:23
Property check 2023-10-22 19:53
Property check 2023-10-23 0:37
Property check 2023-10-23 1:13
Community services 2023-10-23 8:06
Foot Patrol 2023-10-23 9:27
Property check 2023-10-23 20:06
Property check 2023-10-24 2:02
Community services 2023-10-24 7:52
Foot Patrol 2023-10-24 10:25
Property check 2023-10-24 18:30
Community services 2023-10-24 19:24
Property check 2023-10-25 1:59
Community services 2023-10-25 8:40
Community services 2023-10-25 10:21
Police assistance 2023-10-25 11:08
Property check 2023-10-25 20:12
Foot Patrol 2023-10-25 23:16
Foot Patrol 2023-10-26 1:54
Community services 2023-10-26 9:02
Foot Patrol 2023-10-26 19:52
Foot Patrol 2023-10-26 22:41
Foot Patrol 2023-10-27 2:06
Fire 2023-10-27 9:19
Property related 2023-10-27 10:16
Weapons 2023-10-27 17:31
Community services 2023-10-27 20:39
Foot Patrol 2023-10-28 2:44
Property check 2023-10-28 8:18
Property check 2023-10-28 10:25
Community services 2023-10-28 22:46
Disturb the peace 2023-10-29 0:02
Property check 2023-10-29 9:24
Focused Patrol 2023-10-29 12:59
Property check 2023-10-29 15:08
Property check 2023-10-29 17:08
Focused Patrol 2023-10-29 20:16
Disturb the peace 2023-10-29 22:03
Police assistance 2023-10-29 22:43
Focused Patrol 2023-10-30 1:18
Foot Patrol 2023-10-30 3:18
Property check 2023-10-30 6:41
Property check 2023-10-30 8:39
Property check 2023-10-30 10:36
Foot Patrol 2023-10-30 11:37
Foot Patrol 2023-10-30 15:08
Property check 2023-10-30 18:59
Community services 2023-10-31 7:29
Foot Patrol 2023-10-31 8:17
Property check 2023-10-31 9:09
Community services 2023-10-31 11:57
Foot Patrol 2023-10-31 13:39
Property check 2023-10-31 16:57
Total 129

 

November to date
Property check 2023-11-01 6:25
Focused Patrol 2023-11-01 8:57
Community services 2023-11-01 12:24
Property check 2023-11-01 14:44
Police assistance 2023-11-01 19:39
Property check 2023-11-02 6:03
Foot Patrol 2023-11-03 19:13
Foot Patrol 2023-11-03 23:13
Foot Patrol 2023-11-05 10:40
Warrants 2023-11-05 10:55
Police assistance 2023-11-05 14:10
Property check 2023-11-06 9:12
Foot Patrol 2023-11-07 12:34
Domestic dispute 2023-11-07 13:22
Police assistance 2023-11-07 21:44
Assist Other Non Police Agency 2023-11-07 22:01
Prevent breach of peace 2023-11-09 13:14
Weapons 2023-11-10 2:55
Disturb the peace 2023-11-11 13:54
Assault 2023-11-12 23:29
Police information 2023-11-13 16:46
Total Calls 21

Recorded Calls For Service – Surrounding Neighbourhood
CCI
Focused Patrol 2023-09-11 14:21
Property related 2023-09-22 9:39
Suspicious person [8507] 2023-10-04 11:36
Suspicious person [8507] 2023-11-01 16:47
Suspicious person [8507] 2023-11-03 8:57
Theft 2023-09-11 11:41

CR Gummow
Police assistance 2023-09-08 9:00
Police assistance 2023-10-07 1:28
Police assistance 2023-11-02 15:46
Police information 2023-09-26 14:37
Police information 2023-10-06 10:41
Police information 2023-10-16 10:11
Police information 2023-10-18 11:17
Property related 2023-11-02 14:39
Robbery 2023-08-13 1:53
Suspicious person 2023-09-21 17:11
Suspicious person 2023-11-10 5:12
Traffic enforcement – H.T.A. 2023-07-09 22:16
Trespass to property act 2023-10-03 14:22
Trespass to property act 2023-10-17 20:51
Trouble with youth 2023-10-26 18:58

Thomas Street
Community services 2023-10-21 21:37
Community services 2023-10-31 18:37
Focused Patrol 2023-09-11 14:21
Police assistance 2023-10-20 10:22
Police information 2023-07-16 14:08
Theft 2023-10-18 15:40
Theft 2023-09-16 8:24
Traffic enforcement – H.T.A. 2023-10-24 19:04

Meredith Crescent
Community services 2023-10-20 21:15
Community services 2023-10-21 21:37
Community services 2023-10-23 22:46
Community services 2023-10-31 18:37
Community services 2023-11-04 9:51
Community services 2023-11-07 9:57
Focused Patrol 2023-10-18 10:35
Focused Patrol 2023-10-23 21:06
Foot Patrol 2023-10-24 19:53
Noise complaint 2023-10-02 1:01
Police information 2023-10-20 9:10
Property check 2023-10-24 22:51
Property check 2023-10-25 18:34
Suspicious person 2023-09-26 14:32
Theft 2023-07-26 17:30
Theft 2023-09-04 9:50
Theft 2023-10-14 13:42
Unwanted person 2023-10-02 11:20

Jane Street
Community services 2023-10-20 21:15
Community services 2023-10-21 21:37
Community services 2023-10-23 22:46
Focused Patrol 2023-10-18 10:35
Focused Patrol 2023-10-23 21:06
Foot Patrol 2023-10-24 19:53
Property check 2023-10-24 22:51
Property check 2023-10-25 18:34
Routine traffic stop 2023-10-14 15:36

Lonsberry Drive
Police information 2023-10-19 12:46
Theft 2023-08-19 11:58
Theft 2023-07-17 8:54

Cecilia Nasmith
Author: Cecilia Nasmith

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