Editorial – Silence is (Still) Deafening for Cobourg Police

In Editorial

Editorial – Another week, and there is still  to be more questions than answers with Cobourg Police.

The main question that still hasn’t been answered by Cobourg Police Chief Paul VandeGraaf – was he told not to charge people with simple possession of narcotics?

Today’s Northumberland previously reported that the Federal Courts have stated courts do not direct investigations or decided what charges should be laid in any investigation – including drugs.

Yet VandeGraaf stated in a December 2023 Police Services Board meeting that the Provincial Prosecutor said not to forward any simple possession charges in terms of illegal drugs stating, “it stands with the Provincial Prosecutor that Canada’s decision not to forward any simple possession offences.”

VandeGraaf stated at the meeting, “if we find people with a simple amount of drugs, the drugs will be seized and destroyed.”

Spokesperson for the Public Prosecution Service of Canada (PPSC), Nathalie Houle stated to Today’s Northumberland that, “the Public Prosecution of Canada which controls the Provincial Courts stated, “the laying of charges falls within the jurisdiction of the police, not the PPSC.”

And further added, “the PPSC does not direct investigations or decide what charges should be laid. Law enforcement agencies make those determinations independently.”

Up until the end of March, the last time Cobourg Police charged an individual with possession was on December 5, 2023 when a vehicle was involved in a collision at Walmart.

Since the editorial was published there hasn’t been a peep from VandeGraaf even though we’ve reached out.

With public pressure mounting, a explanation or statement is expected.

It could be he a mix-up, a simple mistake by someone.

But until the public knows – it something that hangs over the service.

And where are members of the Police Services Board during this time?

Why aren’t they asking for a clearer understanding of what the direction is for the front line officers.

It’s incumbent upon them.

But the lack of information that isn’t coming from the service is like a bad habit.

Easter weekend there was a OPP Forensic Identification van was in downtown Cobourg – should residents be concerned?

And the altercation that saw a 66-year-old man charged

Today’s Northumberland learned about another incident that took place shortly after 6 p.m. on March 31 in Cobourg at the encampment in the east end of town where a 66-year-old man went onto the property with a vehicle over alleged stolen property.

The suspect allegedly swung the axe at the individual then got back in his vehicle and drove towards the person.

The release stated the victim obtained a bat and swung it towards the vehicle.

The 66-year-old man is facing charges of two counts of assault with a weapon, possession of a weapon for a dangerous purpose and dangerous operation.

Today’s Northumberland was told that it’s possible a number of encampment residents threw items at the suspects vehicle during some point.

Today’s Northumberland e-mailed the communications officer and Chief. It’s been over a week, and we’ve heard nothing.

Was the person charged with swinging the bat?

Were the people charged with throwing items at the suspect?

Valid questions that shouldn’t take a week to find out the answers.

The press release didn’t state the investigation is ongoing, so is it concluded?

As stated in the previous editorial, if items were thrown at the vehicle by encampment members why wouldn’t police release that information?

Another weekend and very few if any releases.

But police have issued their most in-depth release in recent memory.

A Cram-A-Cruiser event is taking place which supports Northumberland Fare Share Food Bank.

Cobourg Police Service (CPS) will host a Cram-A-Cruiser food drive to
support Northumberland Fare Share Food Bank (Fare Share). The April Cram-A-Cruiser is scheduled for Sunday, April 14, 2024, at Dollarama and Giant Tiger in Cobourg.

The March Cram-A-Cruiser food drive collected 2,588 pounds of food and $3,569 in cash and gift card donations to support Fare Share. Donations received during the April Cram-A-Cruiser will go directly to Fare Share, which distributes the food to those in need across Northumberland County.

Community members are invited to donate non-perishable food at Cram-A-Cruiser between 10:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. on Sunday, April 14, at Dollarama and Giant Tiger (1111 Elgin Street West, Cobourg). If you cannot attend a Cram-A-Cruiser event, you can donate to Fare Share by visiting fareshare.ca.

Event details:

Location: Dollarama and Giant Tiger (1111 Elgin Street West, Cobourg

Date: Sunday, April 14, 2024

Time: 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

Suggested Food Donations:

• Canned Pasta, Stew, Chili, Soup

• Flakes of Ham, Turkey, Chicken

• Canned Fruit & Vegetable

• Mac & Cheese

• Pasta/Rice Side Dishes

• Cereal, Oatmeal

• PB, Jam, Cheese Spread

• Cookies & Crackers

• Peanut Free Granola Bars

• Pudding & Fruit Cups

• Coffee, Tea, Hot Chocolate

• Meal Replacement / Protein Drink

• Juice & Juice Boxes

• Oil & Sugar

• Shampoo & Body Wash

• Deodorant & Dental Care

• Diapers & Baby Care

• Period & Incontinence Products

Monetary donations are also welcome

Cram-A-Cruiser initiatives are important and hopefully it will be well attended by members of the public.

It would just be nice if police were that informative with other matters.

Pete Fisher
Author: Pete Fisher

Has been a photojournalist for over 30-years and have been honoured to win numerous awards for photography and writing over the years. Best selling author for the book Highway of Heroes - True Patriot Love

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