A’burg Police open doors to community

By Joel Charron

They’re people just like you.

That is their motto and that is the message the Amherstburg Police Service was trying to convey as they held their annual police open house Saturday afternoon.

“This is a way for the public to come and see their police service,” said Amherstburg Police Chief Tim Berthiaume.

The Police Open House started in 2006 and has been going strong every year since. The open house is designed for the public to know and better understand Amherstburg’s police service and its officers inflatable air dancer.

Forensic Identification Officer Fred Adair demonstrates to Athena and Alex Lazanja how the police dusts for fingerprints.

“We are committed to the concept of community based policing and what better way than to open our doors to the community and let them see what we do and who we are,” said Deputy Police Chief Pat Palumbo.

Visitors were given the opportunity to tour the Amherstburg Police Station while talking to various officers throughout the station.

Forensic Identification Officer, Fred Adair gave demonstrations on fingerprints to children. Adair had children place their finger onto a sheet of paper then showed the young onlookers how the police find and remove fingerprints using a number of techniques.

The Amherstburg Police also had all its cruisers, boat, motorcycle and new ATV on display.

The open house had a new component as well, Mary Tessier, manager of Sharp Bus Line Ltd. was on hand to teach children about the importance of school bus safety.

Berthiaume said the open house is usually held earlier in May, however they decided to delay it a

Auxliary officer Rod Parent turns on the lights on Amherstburg Police new ATV for Tyler and Jackson Dolphin.

couple of week because Chief Berthiame was out of the country.

“This was my first open house as chief and I wanted to be here. It was important to me that I be here,” said Berthiuame.

Berthiaume added that the open house is one of the highlights for the police service.

The police chief also mentioned that the open house helps wash away any negative misconceptions that the public (especially children) have about the police.

“This allows the community to come to us and we get to see the people that we are working for up close and personal,” said Berthiaume.

According to Berthiaume the police deals with 20 per cent of the population 80 per cent of the time and it is because of this Berthiaume admits they can lose touch with the community.

“The people that we deal with during that 80 per cent of the time are not the everyday people,” Berthiuame said. “This open house allows us to see the everyday people.”

The Amherstburg Police Service in conjunction with Wal-Mart and the Amherstburg Rotary Club will be holding a bike rodeo on June 25 at Wal-Mart.

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