Policing for results

An old buddy passed along a link to a Maclean’s article on crime statistics in Canada’s 100 largest populations in the nation. To our surprise, Wellington County happens to have made the list as one of the top 100.
The News on crime rates is actually pretty good for residents here. An averaging system was used to determine crimes per 100,000 population. The information was gathered from the Canadian Justice Statistics for municipal police services.  Overall, crime in Wellington is well below national averages.
In the County of Wellington OPP 2007 annual report distributed in this publication last week, several reasons were noted that point to the county’s success in keeping crime below average. We dare say that page 2 of that report is the best place to start.
We viewed the appointment some time ago of Commissioner Julian Fantino as a positive step for the OPP. Straight, no-nonsense talk makes a difference and clearly efforts to curb drinking and driving, along with speeding, has the potential to ultimately make our roads safer.
Our local Police Services Board has always tried to meet the needs of residents and provide ample funding to the OPP so they can do their job. Despite protestations at rising costs and taxes, the board has generally pushed and been supported by county council to ensure officers have the necessary tools and skills at their disposal.
Gratitude is owed to Inspector Steve Walsh for advising the board on the hot spots that need attention. Break and enters, impaired driving, and many issues that receive national media attention were acknowledged in Wellington long ago. Efforts to quell those problems are ongoing, and due to our geographical location close to larger urban centres, the problem will likely never go away entirely.
Parents, we hope, appreciate the efforts of local OPP officers to educate against drug and alcohol abuse, peer pressure, and the containment of bullying. Instead of focusing on enforcement, the concept of education and awareness is, we hope, catching students before, rather than after trouble starts.
Crimestoppers, Community Oriented Policing Services, Mothers Against Drunk Driving, and several other organizations try their best to add to the safety and security of Wellington. It is a team approach aided and abetted by officers of all ranks to make Wellington as safe as it can be.
Usually after a tragedy the board receives tributes from families for a particular officer’s help. It seems to us that a thank you is in order for all officers who loyally serve our county, keeping it as safe as they do. We are quite sure they would appreciate the recognition.