MINTO – The community of Palmerston will be the scene of the 14th annual OPP Family Day next fall.
Wellington County Ward 1 councillor Dave Anderson advised Minto council of plans for the event during an update on county activities on Feb. 19.
Family Day has been an OPP Labour Day tradition since 2006.
The event allows uniform and civilian members of the OPP’s West Region to bring their “home family” out to meet their “work family,” states a letter from the OPP to the Wellington County Police Services Board.
This year OPP Family Day will be hosted in Wellington County in partnership with OPP detachments from Huron, Perth, Grey, South Bruce and Bruce Peninsula. The event is taking place at the Palmerston fairgrounds on Sept. 2 from 10am to 3pm.
“Many community partners including police, fire and paramedic services will be in attendance to showcase their equipment and interact with the public, all in the spirit of ‘community,’” the letter explains.
Over the last 13 years OPP Family Day has resulted in donations of over $35,000 to a variety of charities, including the Children’s Hospital of Western Ontario, Special Olympics and the Shop With A Cop program.
Charities benefitting from the 2019 event will be Camp Faces, which supports families of police officers involved in traumatic incidents and #IVEGOTYOURBACK911 (I’ve got your back 911).
The event, including a barbecue, is free, while funds are raised through raffles and donations.
Anderson said the event is similar in style to a “touch a truck” show.
“You’ll be able to talk to a police officer and you’ll be able to see what they’re doing in the communities,” he explained.
Anderson also reported on a Wellington County OPP community safety and well-being initiative.
Citing the Wellington OPP’s 2018 report to the county’s police services board, Anderson explained that last year the Wellington OPP Community Street Crime Unit:
– was involved in 298 occurrences;
– executed three search warrants;
– laid 135 drug charges and 495 criminal code charges; and
– seized $67,481 worth of offence-related property, $34,312 in Canadian currency and $126,795 worth of controlled substances.
“That’s very active and the inspector wanted me to read that specifically to you just to give you an idea of what’s happening out there,” said Anderson.
“All crimes in general are increasing.”
Anderson said the OPP will be going to each municipality in the coming months “and doing assessment on risk management.
“They’re talking to each municipality and saying ‘What are your concerns? What are your issues and how can we work together on those issues?’ hoping to drop the numbers of calls that I have talked about.”
Anderson explained a draft plan will be developed and police will seek the endorsement of each municipality.
“It’s really just to make our municipalities safer,” he stated.