Police have community relationship work to do in Headon Forest: Ward council member needs to get ears closer to the ground.

By Pepper Parr

February 19, 2014


There was just the one delegation at city council last night – had to do with the re-naming of Southampton Boulevard to Constable Henshaw Boulevard

Ben Carman asked Council to name some other city asset after the long serving police officer who died in 2010 of natural causes while on duty.

Councillor Lancaster took exception to some of the comments made by Carman and asked if she had not call the Carman residence on three occasions.  She had indeed replied Ben Carman  – the calls came after a recommendation had been made by the Standing committee.  Carman had expected to be able to speak to his council member before the recommendation was made.  He isn’t the first person to complain about the level of access to the ward 6 member of council.

What was Southampton will become Constable Henshaw Boulevard.  Council didn’t get to hear why the residents really didn’t want the name change.

Lancaster, who has had problems with constituents groups in the past, appears to be upping her game now that we are in an election year and stressing that she does get back to people.  It should be noted though that Lancaster has yet to file her nomination papers, although she has said publicly that she intends to run again for the ward 6 seat which includes the Headon Forest community that Southampton.

It was difficult to fully understand what the opposition within the Headon Forest community was with the renaming of the street.  Ben Carman and his wife Susan talked after the council meeting about the difficulty they and their neighbours have had with the administration at the Southampton police station.

There was a time said Carman when the relationship with the police detachment was very good but it has deteriorated.  By way of example he commented on the use of heavy equipment to move snow around the police parking lot – at 11:30 at night.  When calls were made to complain about the noise Carman felt he was treated poorly and being told that the police can do what they want and don’t have to comply with noise bylaws didn’t do much for his view of the way police and community should be working together.

Ward council member needs to get ears closer to the ground.It would appear that the Headon Forest community haven’t taken to the idea of renaming Southampton after a police officer because the relationship with the detachment isn’t all that good to begin with.  Sounds as if there is a little too much arrogance within the detachment.

During his delegation Carman made no comment on the apparent friction between the police detachment that is on Southampton and the community.  But that appears to be what the problem really is.  Lancaster of course knew nothing of this – because she didn’t succeed in getting back to the resident before the discussion on the issue took place at the Standing committee.

Councillor Craven, who represents the city on the Police Services Board might want to give Ben and Susan Carman a call and learn a little bit more about a community that appears to have a problem with its local police.

Lancaster will have a problem with Craven crossing into her ward – tough – this is an issue that needs attention.

Background links:

Residents don’t support street name change.

Council goes with what the police association members want.

Lancaster and communications skills.

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11 comments to Police have community relationship work to do in Headon Forest: Ward council member needs to get ears closer to the ground.

  • Joe Real

    Mr. Parr

    I noticed you did not publish my other responses. If you are allowing other people to take cheap shots. I would think it is fair to publish responses back to them. Is your web paper become biased all of a sudden??? If that is the case not very professional on your part.
    Editor’s note: We do not require people to say who they are when they make a comment; quite why writers don’t have the courage of their convictions is beyond us. However, we do test every email address and on occasion make a point of getting in touch directly with a writer. The person who sent in this comment used an address that does not exist – that is why we have not published previous comments and it is why we will not publish any other comments from this writer. We suspect the writer is a stalking horse for someone else. We will leave it to you to figure that out.

  • Joe Real


    I totally agree with your comments. All councilors voted in favor of the renaming of Southhampton. Both Councilor Lancaster and Meed-Ward spoke in high regard of our police, fire and armed forces (the ones that put their lives on the line). Thank-you for these brave men and women. Too bad that some folks don’t feel that way. Selfish issues that some may have, for whatever the reason, should take the back seat and understand that there are many of us in the community that are proud of these people and proud of our councilors who have to make decisions. By the way this was a good decision. Koodos to the police and council!

  • Cathy P

    What makes anyone think Lancaster cares about resident views, even during an election year?

    • marie

      Lancaster don’t forget to wear the bag over your head during your campaign.
      Editor’s note> It wasn’t Lancaster with the bag over her head. It was the editor with the Lancaster bag over his head – just a bit of fun at a Lancaster open meeting that was poorly attended. To be fair Lancaster was working the Alton community where they are still getting used to the way city hall works. Lancaster was at least available to the community.

  • MrBean

    As a resident of Headon Forest I have lost any respect I had for the Halton police force. The majority of times I see a Halton police car in my community it is speeding, not stopping properly at stop signs, not using signals, cutting cars off to get one car ahead, or idling in a parking lot at Ireland Park, while we play tennis, for long periods of time chatting with other cruisers or sometimes civilians parked alongside with engines running and the driver-side windows open and A/C on. Maybe I should start video taping these officers I and many have lost all respect for?

    • Madeline Gazolitis

      We should be all grateful for our police, and their active conduct in this area.

      These are the same police that will race to save you when you dial 911 while videotaping a suspicious squirrel trespassing over your front yard one day, notwithstanding your public declaration of lack of respect.

      Our cops are pros, and they do excellent work in protecting and helping people.

      You should actually get a ticket for playing tennis in the paring lot; use the tennis courts.

      • MrBean

        We taxpayers pay police for what they do, it’s their job. There is no excuse for police driving around our city like they own it. As for tennis in a parking lot, if you lived in Headon Forest you would be aware of the tennis courts in Ireland Park. Many citizens have contributed far more to our city and many have died of health related issues, but we don’t see our police demanding a street named after them.

        • Madeline Gazolitis

          Police are also taxpayers.

          There is a drug problem in Headon Forest, and the other apparent problem is people that complain about police should use the tennis courts to play tennis and not the parking lot.

          You have an interesting idea about police driving around the city; maybe they should take the bus or taxi, while they respond to your 911 call for a squirrel trespassing on your front lawn.

          • Stacey

            The police are bullying our neighbourhood. As for Halton police racing around our city, that is old news and has not been put to a stop by the chief of police.

          • Madeline Gazolitis

            Stacey, CALL 911 if you are being bullied by the police.

            And, if the chief of police refuses to stop all the racing, we should put in spike strips at strategic locations in the prestigious Headon Forest neighbourhood; just stay away from all those people playing tennis in the parking lot. It sounds like Headon Forest is turning into a war zone.

            Come on, go hug a cop; you will feel better.

  • Mike Miller

    Of course she didnt return his call. He should have tried to reach her at the Breast Cancer office … would have been able to connect with her there.