First Look at County Police Review

The consultant reviewing policing in Northumberland County will make their first report to County Council at their meeting on 17 April. The report describes what they plan to do and gives a final report date of “the second half of 2024”.  The project was initiated in January 2023 when Brighton Mayor Brian Ostrander moved to include $75,000 in the budget to “update the 2007 Policing Study Final Report for Northumberland County.”  He was supported by Mayor Lucas Cleveland, Port Hope’s Mayor Olena Hankivsky and Alnwick/Haldimand Township Mayor John Logel.  The presentation by the consultant, StrategyCorp, points to options to be considered and criteria to be evaluated including “what next steps could be considered to support effective public safety services as… Read complete articleFirst Look at County Police Review

Police Force Expansion Linked to Possible New Building

At the Community Protection and Economic Development Standing Committee meeting on April 3rd, there was a motion made to “get the ball rolling” on the Police request for a new building. As reported earlier, Police believe that they have outgrown their existing building on King Street and recommend a new building at a new location for approx. $34M. The Standing committee members (Mayor Cleveland, Aaron Burchat, Adam Bureau) all agreed that this would be a long term project and that it should be considered simultaneously with the possible expansion of the Force or a merger. Mayor Cleveland emphasized that he was NOT suggesting switching services to the OPP but perhaps there should be a West Northumberland or County Police Force…. Read complete articlePolice Force Expansion Linked to Possible New Building

Cobourg Police Want New Facility

About a year ago, the County decided to look into the idea of a Northumberland Police Force to replace the current Policing by the OPP, Cobourg and Port Hope Police forces. At the time Cobourg’s Mayor Lucas Cleveland suggested that one possible transition would be to start with merging the Port Hope and Cobourg Police forces. Also around the same time, Cobourg Police issued an RFP to assess whether the current building needed to be changed. That study has now been completed and will be provided to the Police Board at their meeting on February 20.  The recommendation is that a new building should be built at a new location for approx. $34M – and that’s assuming there’s no amalgamation with… Read complete articleCobourg Police Want New Facility

Third Shooting Suspect Arrested

On Wednesday, 16 August 2023, at approximately 4:45 pm, officers were called to the south end of Hibernia Street regarding sounds of gunshots. Police investigation identified three suspects. On 25 August, one suspect was arrested; on 29 August a second suspect was arrested and on 11 January, the third suspect was arrested.  All were charged with a large number of offences including attempted murder.  The most recent arrest (of Elijah Kerridge-Lall) was made by “a partner police service” and previous Police information is that he and the other suspects live in the Durham region.  The shooting occurred at a West Beach encampment of homeless individuals who subsequently moved to County property on William street then moved to their current location… Read complete articleThird Shooting Suspect Arrested

Police Approve 2024 Budget

Cobourg’s Police service is the single biggest line item on the Town’s budget but their increase in 2024 at 6.3% is less than Cobourg’s proposed increase of 8.06%.  A big plus for the Police is they partially support themselves with their business unit – in 2024, the business unit will contribute $2.1M or 22% of total cost. Another plus is that they provide a good amount of detail – including personnel count. This is important because I calculate that wages, salaries and benefits are 77% of Police costs. Separately, the Police provide detailed reports on their performance – see the Agendas of their monthly meetings. See link in Resources below for the statistics to November in December’s report. The board also hears… Read complete articlePolice Approve 2024 Budget

Police Canvass Community re Safety Concerns

Cobourg Police say that “concerns raised online about community safety and crime … do not align with the reports we have been receiving” so they conducted a community canvass in the east end of Cobourg. They wanted to “hear directly from residents about their community safety concerns, learn about any unreported crime, and look at how we can address concerns or bring issues to the appropriate community partner to be able to address the issue.” The problem is that people feel unsafe but it seems that this is not reflected in crime reports – so it’s good to see Police being proactive and trying to understand the concerns. Police have not yet said specifically how they will react to information learned except that… Read complete articlePolice Canvass Community re Safety Concerns

Police Chief Frustrated with Courts

It has been called “catch and release” and that’s what it is.  Criminals are caught by the Police, then the courts release them to re-offend a short time later. Today, Police Chief VandeGraaf expressed his frustration with this in a Press Release.  He used a specific example of Cobourg resident Daniel Tyler Foden who was arrested for robbery, death threats and assault of a Police Officer.  He was then released with conditions but went straight out, ignored the conditions and offended again.  Chief VandeGraaf then personally authored a Press Release describing what happened (details below) then finished with the statement: “This is aggravating the level of frustration in our community with a system that does not meet our collective expectations.”  We… Read complete articlePolice Chief Frustrated with Courts

Highly Visible Police Cars

Should police be highly visible or blend into the background? This question applies to Police vehicles as well as to Police walking a beat and many Police Forces around the world are choosing “visible” so have painted their cars with a highly visible pattern known as Battenburg markings.  At a recent Cobourg Police Board meeting, Chief Paul VandeGraaf announced that Cobourg Police will be implementing a Pilot project for 24 months with one car using the new markings.  This will help gauge Officer and Public reaction.  Originating in research in the U.K. in the 1990’s, “the Battenburg pattern was specifically created to maximize the visibility of police vehicles; however, further studies are working to explore how it is perceived in… Read complete articleHighly Visible Police Cars

Police Make Arrest in West Beach Shooting

With help from Durham, Port Hope and Peterborough Police, Cobourg Police have arrested one “suspect” in connection with the shooting on August 16 at the West Beach encampment and have identified two other suspects.  The male arrested is 19-year-old Kersi Buakasa and he is charged with six offences including attempted murder and possession of drugs for the purpose of trafficking.  Two other suspects have been identified: 21 year old Elijah Kerridge-Lall,  and 18 year-old Alearen Stewart, (details below). Both are known to Police, known to frequent the GTA and the Northumberland County area and they live in Durham region. Both should be considered armed. At 10:00 am today (Friday 25 August) police issued a Press release with details of this action. See… Read complete articlePolice Make Arrest in West Beach Shooting

No visible action by Police, Town or County on Homeless

Editor’s note: Shortly after this article was posted, the Town and County issued a statement – see update below. It’s been several days since the Town deemed the encampment by homeless people on the West Beach to be illegal and they decided to do nothing.  Since then drug dealers have tried to sell them drugs and fired shots (well, just one) causing a Police presence but still no word from any of the parties responsible.  There are several news items on Today’s Northumberland and a large number of comments by the public on this blog and the Town’s Facebook page.  I’m certain that councillors are getting deluged with emails from the Public but there’s been no reporting to the public… Read complete articleNo visible action by Police, Town or County on Homeless