Time to Put Some Backbone Behind the Motto the Regional Police Have.

SwP thumbnail graphicBy Pepper Parr

May 10th, 2021



The weather is getting warmer; the desire to get outside and enjoy the weather gets stronger every day.

The wearing of masks is getting better – but it’s not as good as it is going to have to be.

Brown and Williams

Dr. Adelstein Brown, head of the Science Table that advises the government, on the left and Dr. David Walker who takes the advice to the Premier.

The science that determines, to a large degree, the decisions the province makes about what we will be able to do and what we will not be permitted to do reacts to the data collected.

The numbers are not really all that much better. Poor enough to have the advisers suggesting that the current Stay at Home be extended two more weeks into June.

The Victoria Day holiday will stress the social cohesion we have even more seriously than it is now.  The Emergency Control Group (ECG) that currently does the thinking, risk measuring, looking for options and doing their best to determine what they will take to Council.

Chief Tanner hard look

Regional Police Chief Stephen Tanner during a virtual meeting with city council.

The comment from the Chief of Police that he did not see Halton Regional Police Service patrolling those locations where crowds tend to converge was much more than a disappointment.

The Mayor is surely thinking through the options as she meets with the ECG.

Something is going to be needed to deter people.   And police can do that.

Meed Ward style

Mayor Marianne Meed Ward: Not amused.

The Mayor has an option; Hire what is referred to as paid duty police service, and have them patrol the parks and the streets on bicycles. These are sworn police officers who do part time work during their off duty hours.

From the Regional Police web site: “The Paid Duty Program will allow clients to hire off-duty officers on a contract basis to provide a police presence at their events. Officers will not be assigned to any function that requires that they act outside the normal scope of police duties.   Terms to be considered when applying for Pay Duty Officers: Events must be within the Region of Halton.”

Then meet with the Police Services Board and let them hear some of her indignation. The Board cannot involve itself in operational matters but they can make their views known directly to the Chief.

The Regional Police use bicycles on a regular basis as part of the way they do their work. Are there any other civic employees using bicycles?

The Regional Police use bicycles on a regular basis as part of the way they do their work. No reason why they can’t be used now. These officers were patrolling Brant Street while a festival was taking place.

The seven members of Burlington City Council are also Regional Councillors. There are all kinds of opportunity to bring pressure on the Region to perhaps allocate additional funds to the HRPS if that is what it needed.

Something has to be done – and whatever is decided upon has to be put in place soon so that city staff are assured that they are safe when they are out meeting with the public.

Mayor Meed Ward has never been shy about picking up the phone and calling the Chief. She may have his number on speed dial.

Salt with Pepper is the musings, reflections and opinions of the publisher of the Burlington Gazette, an online newspaper that was formed in 2010 and is a member of the National Newsmedia Council.

Return to the Front page
Print Friendly, PDF & Email

9 comments to Time to Put Some Backbone Behind the Motto the Regional Police Have.

  • Susan Corrigan

    Anne Mulvale. Shall we talk about the missing ballot during her last marginal win in Oakville? Also she was dating the father of one of oakvilles largest developers. I lived in north oakville and Burton only jumped on the Green bandwagon when he knew it would help him gain votes. We will see how green he really is when they pave over Glen Abbey..Politicians dating developers should be more transparent. Same thing is going on in Burlington.

  • Now more of us understand how it feels when HRPS will not send police to assist in dangerous traffic.that we learnt about in the last election. One Friday place of worship in particular used its charity fund to pay the exhorbitant rates charged by these off duty officers. It has no option when HRPS will not serve and protect the public to prevent dangerous conditions, when huge numbers of worshippers need to get back to work and there are no traffic lights.. The earnings of off duty police officers who do a lot of such duties is enormous. We tried to take this to Halton Council during the Policr budget presentation not long after the election, to speak up on behalf of the community. Thr Council representative who learnt of the situation during the election the same as we did never said a word to speak up about her constituents dilemma.A letter from Graham Milne to the Mosque admin put an end to that. Despite Anne getting over 41,000 votes in the election and committing to continue to serve Halton communities, Clerk Graham Milne advised the Mosque admin. we are not allowed to delegate at any Halton Council meetings. According to Milne there is a direction of council from over a decade ago that prevents the Marsdens from delegating until lthey apologise for advising the public of the Region’s LTC involvement in elder abuse., . Does this serve and protect our community, NO. Is it democratic – NO. Does it speak of love for our neighbor whoever they are, or hate – let readers be the judge. .

  • Susan Corrigan

    Remind me again. What do the police do? All l have seen is strutting.

  • Lynn Crosby

    I agree with S.C. Gardner that the Florida trip is frankly the first thing I think of now when I hear from Tanner or Halton Police. It’s a fact that in my mind, the respect is lost. He should not have gone; Burton should not have approved it; Tanner should have had consequences and we never got the full story.

    The police are here to protect us. If they can pay officers to sit at road construction sites, they can pay them to be at the parks where we are worried of crowding. They attend other events with crowds for crowd control when we don’t have a global pandemic with lives at stake! I doubt very many tickets would have to be issued, hopefully none. Their presence, which can be friendly and positive, would deter 99% of people from breaking any rules and remind them to keep moving along, keep their distance, etc.

    I’d also be interested in hearing how many of the Halton police officers have been vaccinated. Did anyone on council ask Tanner this question? There’s been some interesting articles of late about the makeup of some of the crowds at anti-mask/lockdown demonstrations, the response by police, etc. I would feel a lot better if I had heard that Chief Tanner had said that his number one priority is the safety of Halton citizens and that they will attend wherever necessary to ensure crowding isn’t a problem and that the provincial and municipal rules are being followed to stop the spread of COVID, with their presence and reminders first and issuing tickets only if absolutely necessary. They also have the ability of calling for further help if needed.

  • Francis

    Tanner is the greatest chiefly of all time he should run for mayor

  • Wendy

    Seriously !!!! Use our tax dollars to hire pay duty officers to enforce rules that likely will never stand up in court !!! Make the relationship between “some” of the public and police worse !! Ya great idea there

    • Owen Scop

      My Goodness – you sound just like an ex-cop.

      • Wendy

        My point is …. pay duty officers are requested and paid for by a private company (ie construction, movie shoots) NOT Halton Region, so the suggestion that the City of Burlington request and pay for pay duty officers (out of our tax dollars) is ridiculous. It’s sad to see how the media has contributed to the rise in tension and hate towards the police, of late. AND yes I am proud of my honourable career as a police officer. I worked for HRPS for 30 years !

  • S.C. Gardner

    Is not the easiest solution fire the chief and hire one that knows what to serve and protect means vs being totally political. Still think he should have been fired over his florida trip if rob burton had any backbone. The next election should be interesting we will have to make sure the chiefs mis behaviour is not forgotten.