Halton police chief decides to ride off into the sunset – announces his retirement to start in June, 2012

By Pepper Parr

BURLINGTON, ON  December 15, 2011  – Gary Crowell, the Chief of Halton Regional Police is hanging up his pistols and will take retirement in June of 2012.  After 41 years of policing, which started with a stint with the RCMP, the chief, who has been with the Halton Regional Police Service since 1999, when he was brought in as Deputy Chief, is bringing a police career to an end.

Crowell was promoted to Chief in 2006.   Prior to coming to Halton, he served with the Peel Regional Police Service.

Police Services Board Chairman Bob Maich and other members of the Board commended and thanked Chief Crowell for his dedication to the Service, and to the community. “The Board is proud of the Chief’s many accomplishments attained over the years. Through the leadership, integrity and decisiveness of Chief Crowell, the Police Service team, the Region of Halton, and all community members have benefited from his contributions”, said Bob Maich. “The Board looks forward to his continued leadership through this transition period.”

Chief Gary Crowell has announced his retirement for June of 2012. Police Services Board gears up to find a replacement.

Chief Crowell thanked the Board for their incredible support and guidance during his six years as Chief. He also thanked the members of the Service for their dedication and commitment in making the Halton Police Service a very effective and professional organization. “With the excellence of the Service team and many volunteers, our community partners and Halton citizens, I am proud that Halton has been able to maintain its recognition as the safest Regional Municipality in Canada”, remarked Crowell. “I will continue my commitment to the Service through to June, 2012.”

Throughout his career, Crowell has been committed to the betterment of the Service and the community. He is a member of the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police (CACP) Crime Prevention Committee, the National Child and Youth Protection Advisory Committee and the Halton Poverty Roundtable. He served on the Joseph Brant Hospital Board of Governors for nine years. He is also the recipient of the Police Exemplary Service Medal, the Order of Merit, the Gold Medal for Excellence by the Human Rights and Race Relations Centre, and the Ontario Women in Law Enforcement’s first President’s Award.

Officer Wendy Moraghan is one of the group of women in the Halton Regional Police Service that Chief Crowell wanted to see in the service as it expanded. Here she works on some equipment with a techie as they prepare for a community presentation.

Crowell was responsible for some significant changes in the number of female police in the Halton service.

The Board will meet early in the New Year to consider the process it will undertake to appoint a new Chief.  The Halton Regional Police Services Board is a seven-member civilian Board that governs the Halton Regional Police. Under the Police Services Act, the Board is responsible for the provision of adequate and effective police services to the citizens of Halton Region. The Halton Regional Police Service has an authorized strength of 925 staff, a net budget of $122.2 million.

The Police Services Board is going through a budget for 2012 that looks as if it will require a tax increase of 3.2%

Among the people that will certainly be in line for the top job is Deputy Chief Bob Percy who is currently as Deputy Chief Operations responsible for all front line and investigative policing. Halton Regional Police Service Operations under his command include:  District Policing, Emergency Services, Intelligence Bureau and Regional Investigative Services.  This task set is the guts of policing – the reason we have men and women in police cars with guns on their hips.

Prior to his promotion to Deputy Chief in May 2008, Deputy Chief Percy served in a wide variety of uniform patrol duties, including as a Coach Officer, Tactical Rescue Unit officer, patrol supervisor, and District Superintendent.

Deputy Chief Bob Percy has handled some tricky situations in Burlington while he did his best to bring competitive cycling to the Region. He currently runs the Operations side of the Regional Police Service.

Percy worked closely with the city of Burlington while they tried to work out a series of problems related to the potential for competitive level cycling that would be part of the selection of members of the Canadian Olympic Team.  The problems proved to be insurmountable in large measure to the cost of police services to handle traffic control.

A couple of months later Chief Crowell appeared before Burlington city council to tell them that Burlington was doing OK from a policing point of view.  The city had not seen the chief for some time.  During that visit Superintendent Joe Taylor took part in the reporting event.  That was another first for some time.  Supt. Taylor proved to be a man with a sense of responsibility laced with a bit of a sense of humour.  That wasn’t a personality trait evident in most senior police officers.

Police Services tend to look within when there are changes in the top levels.  They tend to look for people who are thoroughly familiar with the community and know everyone in the chain of command.

Another candidate that will get a very close look for promotion is Deputy Chief Andrew Fletcher who began his policing career with the Halton Regional Police Service as a Cadet in 1984. He oversees Community Policing Administration as the Deputy Chief responsible for Community Policing Support, Human Resources, Training, Communications Bureau, Information Services, Courts Services, Records, and Administrative Support Services.

Deputy Chief Fletcher currently runs the Administrative side of the Halton Regional Police Service.

Deputy Chief Fletcher is a strong advocate for community policing and public safety. He is dedicated to building relationships with the community through a number of proactive policing and crime prevention initiatives.

Deputy Chief Fletcher also represents the HRPS on a number of provincial policing committees and liaises with the Governments of Ontario and Canada, and other police and emergency service agencies to ensure Halton remains as safe tomorrow as it is today.

In his spare time, Deputy Chief Fletcher enjoys spending time with his family and is actively involved in the community, including spending most of his spare time on local soccer fields as a coach with the Burlington Youth Soccer Club.

Halton Regional Police Service Community Policing Administration functions under his command include: Community Policing , Human Resources, Training Bureau, Communications Bureau, Information Services, Court Services, Records and Administrative Support Services

Deputies Fletcher and Percy came to the Halton Regional Police service at the same time in 1984.    Has there been some rivalry between these two men ever since they came out of the police academy and put on uniforms with the same shoulder patch?

Whoever the new police chief is – that person will face a community that is seeing criminals from Toronto and Hamilton slip into Burlington where they sense the pickings are a little easier.  There was an LCBO break in during the early hours that required more than twenty minutes for a patrol car to arrive on the scene.  Maybe some tightening up within the ranks on the street is needed.

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A tag day for Burlington – not Sea Cadets selling you a tag at the mall – the Region will ask for $1 – maybe more to take garbage.

By Pepper Parr

BURLINGTON, ON  November 16, 2011   The Region is responsible for garbage and waste collection and is going to introduce a tag day – and it isn’t what you might think it is. More of your tax dollars go to the Region than the city but that’s another story.


On Wednesday, November 16, Regional Council approved Halton’s new Solid Waste Management Strategy which will guide Regional waste management programs towards the goal of achieving a 65 per cent waste diversion rate by the year 2016.

While there are six to the strategy the one that is going to catch you eye is the requirement at some point in the future to put a tag on the fourth bag of garbage you put out.  Fun, fun this one – so let’s cut to that chase right away.

The face of things to come - Region approves policy that includes tags for garbage bags that go over the limit.

Word is that you will be able to buy the things in shheets of ten. We suggest having school crossing guards seol the things as a side line..

This is going to be the tough one.  No word on quite when this will get introduced, exactly how much the tags will cost or where you will go to buy the things.  The municipalities are clearly going to have to be part of this – no one is going to drive to Bronte Road for a couple of $1. garbage bag tags.

So how will I get a tag?  Might have to trot down to city hall – oops they close pretty early and they aren’t open on the weekends.

Maybe I can call my council member.  He might have a stash in his desk drawer.  Maybe they will attach a tag or two to their campaign literature – Dennison (my council member) will get my vote for that courtesy.

Retailers won’t want to have anything to do with them but school crossing guards could set up a side line by keeping a pocketful of garbage tags and marking them up by 25 per cent – worth the extra quarter for me – because you know the day you need one of the things – you won’t be able to find it in the kitchen drawer, and it will provide a little extra spending money for the crossing guard.

Can’t ask the neighbour if he has one to spare; haven’t returned the Skill saw he loaned you a month ago because you broke the thing.

One of the more than a dozen Communication specialists employed by the Region advised me that with the policy now approved the thinkers in the garbage collection department will put their minds to this one and come back with rules and regulations that will guide us all.

These things take time to get put together – the bureaucrats should though be able to have it figured out by – say the summer of 2014, which is when you get to re-elect the rascals that gather around the city council table.  There you go – an election issue.

Back to the actual strategy:

Halton Region began a public engagement process this past spring asking residents for their feedback on eleven potential waste diversion initiatives included in the Region’s Draft Solid Waste Management Strategy.  The process included four open houses and a phone and web survey to make it easy for residents to provide feedback and have their say on the proposed initiatives.

“The previous 2006 to 2010 Solid Waste Management Strategy guided Halton Region through significant curbside program changes including the introduction of the GreenCart and weekly Blue Box collection which has led to single family homes diverting 60 per cent of their waste. According to Ontario benchmarking, Halton has the highest waste diversion rate in the province,” said Gary Carr, Halton’s Regional Chair. “By approving this new Solid Waste Strategy, Regional Council is continuing to support Halton as a provincial waste diversion leader in order to work towards a new waste diversion goal of 65 per cent.”

They don`t want to take more than three bags of your garbage - more than that and you will need a tag - that you will have to purchase.

Resident feedback from the public engagement process supported achieving the new waste diversion goal of 65 per cent through the implementation of six key initiatives from the Draft Strategy.  These initiatives have now been approved by Regional Council and will be put into place over the next five years.

1:         Enhance promotion, education and outreach – increased promotion and education strategies include using social media, developing multi-media tools, developing a waste-less campaign and reaching diverse communities.

The Region believes that by educating citizens they will get a better buy in to the changes they need to make in the way they manage waste in Burlington, Oakville, Milton and the communities in Halton Hills

2. Enhance textile communications – expansion of existing textile diversion options for material such as clothing to capture more of this available material.

3. Enhance multi-residential waste diversion – enhancing Blue Bin recycling program and introducing GreenCart composting in multi-residential apartment buildings, engaging multi-residential community ambassadors and developing tenant/landlord recycling pledges.

4. Expand special waste drop-off events – introduce special waste drop-off days in areas not conveniently accessible to a current drop-off centre such as the Halton Waste Management Site.

5. Expand Blue Box materials and enhance Blue Box capacity – expand the list of eligible Blue Box materials to include additional items.

6. Decrease garbage bag limit and introduce bag tags – decrease the garbage limit to three bags/cans of garbage every other week.  In order to place more than three bags/cans of garbage at the curb, residents would need to buy “bag tags” which typically cost $1 to $2 in other municipalities with similar programs.

It is important to note that 80 per cent of all houses currently place three bags or less of garbage at the curb.

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Looking for work…visit the Employment Halton job fair October 19

By Staff

BURLINGTON, ON October 14, 2011  Halton Region’s Employment Halton program will be hosting its annual job fair on Wednesday, October 19, 2011 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Burlington Convention Centre located at 1120 Burloak Drive in Burlington.  The job fair is open to the public and will include many employers from across Halton.  Admission is free.

“We have a variety of employers registered for this year’s fair showcasing great job opportunities that exist in Halton,” said Halton Regional Chair Gary Carr.  “This is an excellent opportunity. Anyone who is searching for a new job can visit the job fair to learn more about what Halton employers have to offer.”

Region holds Job Fair at Burlington Convention Centre

In 2010, over 1500 skilled and motivated job seekers networked with 49 employers from across Halton at the job fair. In addition to the opportunity to meet with employers in Halton, job seekers attending the job fair can have their résumés assessed for free.

To date the following employers have registered for the event:

•       AbleLiving Services (formerly known as Participation House Hamilton Dist.)

•       ABS Machining

•       Aldershot Greenhouses

•       The Bay

•       Bayshore Home Health

•       Benlan Manufacturing

•       Bronte Heights Day School

•       Cogeco Cable LP

•       Comfort Keepers

•       Denninger Foods of the World

•       eMotion Picture Studios

•       G4S Secure Solutions

•       Halton Region

•       Halton Regional Police Service

•       The Home Depot

•       HomeWell Senior Care

•       IKEA

•       Ippolito Fruit and Produce

•       Kubra

•       Nalco Canada Co.

•       Paragon Security

•       Percepta

•       PurePages Inc.

•       Purolator Inc.

•       Stitch-it

•       Sun Life Financial

•       YMCA Hamilton/Burlington/Brantford

•       2Hippos.com

To learn more about the job fair or other services offered by Employment Halton visit www.halton.ca/employmenthalton or www.haltonjobs.ca.  Employers interested in registering to take part in the job fair can register online at www.haltonjobs.ca.


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Popular jazz vocalist at the Alexander Barn of the Halton Museum in Kelso. Take in the fall colours as well.

By Staff

BURLINGTON, ON September 29, 2011  Gary Carr, the Chief Cheese over at the Region wants you to know that  “Fall is the perfect time to visit the Halton Region Museum in Kelso, you can take in the fall colours, the beautiful views and round it out with a top notch performance from two well-seasoned and soulful jazz/blues musicians, Terry Blankley and Al Matthews.”

Cool, quiet jazz vocals in a fall colour setting.

The Chair is absolutely right on this one.  The Jazz at the Museum program is great entertainment and very good value.  It would be nice to see the Chair at one of these events – he could use a little R&R and the Missus would probably like a chance to get out of the house.

Artist/composer Terry Blankley will draw you in and warm your spirits on October the 9th.   Described as a cross between Bruce Springsteen and Tom Waits, Terry has been a regular at the grand Old Opry in Nashville, Tennessee.  Whether singing Billie Holiday’s classic, “Don’t explain” or the Ray Charles hit, “Hallelujah, how I love her so,” or songs from his latest CD, Cold Weather Blues Blankley is fine entertainment.  Terry will be joined at the Museum by Al Matthews, whose brilliant musical styling’s  and vocals are matched by a wicked sense of humour.

Sunday, October 9th – great way to spend an afternoon – take friends.  Limited tickets are available at the door for $20 per person and include light refreshments. The performance  takes place in the Hearth Room in the Museum’s historic Alexander Barn from 2 to 4 p.m. Doors open at 1:30 p.m.  You can reserve a ticket by calling 905-875-2200, ext. 27


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