A’burg Police open doors to public over weekend

 

By Joel Charron

They are people just like you.

That is the motto of the Amherstburg Police and that was the message that was being portrayed as they held their annual open house last Saturday.

Parents and children roamed the hall of the Amherstburg Police Station, getting an inside look at how their police service is run.

Chief Tim Berthiaume said the annual open house is a way for the public and police to interact while breaking down negative barriers people may have with their police service.

“We do our open house because it gives people an opportunity to see what we’re all about,” said Berthiaume. “It gives the community an opportunity to meet our police officers, to see our facility and to generally be exposed to individual officers.”

Since its inception, six years ago, Berthiaume said the annual event has become a favorite for him, as well as the department. He noted the open house could attract up to 500 people a day.

“They’ve always been successful,” he stated. “I’ve noticed some people come through year after year.”

Berthiaume pointed out that people aren’t exposed to the police unless they need assistance, one of the goals of the open house its to shed a different light on the officers.

“We are a community based police service. We work with the community to solve community problems and issues. (The open house) gives the community an opportunity to give us feedback. We are the most expensive department in the municipality. It gives the community an opportunity to see what they are getting for their tax dollars,” said Berthiaume.

Det. Const. Fred Adair demonstrates to three-year-old Emily Adjin how the police lift fingerprints from assorted surfaces.Activities included fingerprinting, temporary tattoos for children, a look at some of Amherstburg police’s equipment such as the ATV and motorcycle and a tour of the station. Berthiaume added that he enjoys watching the children walk through the station. He said when they first arrive they are usually a little shy and scared, however by the time they are ready to leave, they have warmed up to the officers.

Berthiaume said he is an advocate of community policing and living in the community in which one polices. He is a lifelong Amherstburg resident and he said that has helped him resolve issues over the years due to the fact many people know him.

“This town has been so good to me my entire life,” said Berthiaume. “It’s a great town. The town is on the move.

Deputy Chief Pat Palumbo added that the open house shows the Amherstburg Police’s dedication to community based policing.

“It’s an excellent tool for us to interact with the public,” he said.

 

 

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