WPS Chief Daryl Longworth has prepared a message to the public regarding the new Provincial orders where he states Woodstock Police will not be conducting random vehicle or individual stops.
WOODSTOCK - Woodstock Police Chief Daryl Longworth has provided an updated message to residents where he states WPS will not be conducting random vehicle or individual stops.
You can read the message from Daryl Longworth in it's entirety below:
Yesterday, the Government of Ontario announced new regulations under the Provincial State of Emergency “Stay at Home Order”. I understand that there are many questions and perhaps some anxiety in the community surrounding what enforcement will look like in relation to the order. At present, we are awaiting specific details about the amended restrictions in order to assess what is being expected of Your Police Service.
We will review those new regulations to determine the most appropriate enforcement response for the people in this community. Rest assured that our officers will continue to use the same measured, common sense approach to the application of the orders as we have since the beginning of this pandemic with a focus on engagement and education with enforcement occurring as a last resort. We will not be conducting random vehicle or individual stops. Although we have conducted some proactive education in the past in partnership with Woodstock By-Law and Southwestern Public Health, our police response throughout the pandemic has been and will continue to be largely complaint-based. Over the past year we have responded to nearly 700 complaints related to violations of the restrictions. The complaints received and charges laid thus far have related predominantly to gatherings that exceed the number permitted. I want to thank everyone in the community who, for the most part, have complied with previous restrictions with the goal of protecting themselves and their community.
The intent of the Emergency Order is to stop the spread of the virus and keep people safe through the collective actions of our community. What I am hoping for is that members of the community will work with us and do your part. Our officers are human beings who live and raise families in this community. They do not take pleasure in having to charge members of the public for violations of this order, however, we recognize that we, as police officers do have a role to play in keeping the community safe during this pandemic.
Please do not call our Communications Centre looking for answers to your questions on the amended orders. Our Communicators have important work to do in responding to 911 Emergency Calls and other important calls for service. I would encourage you to look at Ontario Government Websites to review the legislation, Frequently Asked Questions and other resources. We will make links to those websites available on our website www.woodstockpolice.ca once those links become available.
Finally, I would like to thank the members of the Woodstock Police Service who have been actively managing this difficult, complex and at times confusing situation for many months. Your dedication and leadership are commendable and appreciated.