Chief's Fall Message
The past quarter has brought many changes our way, as well as much progress. I am pleased to share with you some highlights of how we are working diligently to remain at the forefront of community safety and policing excellence throughout Canada.
In July, our Service made headlines when a joint forces investigation into an organized drug trafficking ring resulted in the arrest of 11 individuals and the laying of 29 charges. A significant amount of evidence was seized during the "Project Boomerang" investigation, including a loaded .357 Magnum revolver, $600,000 in cash, one kilogram of cocaine, approximately 43 kilograms of marijuana, and a gram of MDMA.
Our brand new headquarters, located at 2485 North Service Road in Oakville, was officially commissioned on September 13, 2018. The ceremony was attended by a number of dignitaries, including MPs, Halton’s Regional Chair, the mayors of Halton’s municipalities, senior leadership from our first responder partners (EMS and Fire), former and current HRPS Deputy Chiefs and Chiefs, and the Halton Police Services Board, amongst others. The state-of-the-art facility truly sets the foundation for remaining agile and nimble as a police service.
In late September, the entire community was shaken by an incident in which two of our officers were seriously injured. The outpouring of support from our residents, and from people across the country, was incredibly humbling and equally inspiring. You wrapped your arms around every member of our Service, and we are grateful for the thousands of messages of strength and encouragement in the days and weeks following. Our two officers both continue on their road to recovery.
Legislation regulating the consumption, possession, cultivation and distribution of cannabis came into effect on October 17, 2018. These legislative changes will have significant impacts on policing and on our enforcement role as well as our role to ensure public safety. The Halton Regional Police Service has collaborated closely with our Municipal and Regional partners to ensure a consistent service delivery response for members of the public, in all areas of the Region, post-legalization. We remain committed to the safety and well-being of our community, and in this regard, the Service will continue to respond to and investigate complaints involving: i) the alleged illegal sale and distribution of cannabis, particularly occurrences involving the sale of cannabis to youth; ii) incidents of drug-impaired driving; iii) youth (under the age of 19) who are possibly possessing or consuming cannabis; and iv) cannabis consumption in a motor vehicle or on a vessel (boat).
We appreciate that our members hold key positions of trust within our community and are given extraordinary powers as they perform their duties in ensuring the safety of others. While we respect that it is now legal to consume cannabis, we recognize that we are responsible for ensuring that the safety of HRPS members and that the safety of our community are not compromised as a consequence. So effective October 17, 2018, we have in place a Fit for Duty Policy that takes into consideration the legalization of cannabis in Ontario. The policy states that all members, volunteers, and workers performing work on behalf of the Service must be fit for duty.
On behalf of the entire Halton Regional Police Service, thank you for your continued support; it is a pleasure to serve you.
Stephen J. Tanner