Safe as can be

Amherstburg named safest community in Canada

By Joel Charron

Amherstburg residents can breathe a sign of relief, when it comes to safe communities, Amherstburg is number one.

“We are rated the safest municipality in all of Canada,” said Amherstburg Police Chief Tim Berthiaume

In a Statistics Canada crime severity index ranking of 238 police services in municipalities over 10,000 people Amherstburg scored 24.4, the lowest of all.

Berthiaume made the announcement at the Amherstburg Police Award banquet last Tuesday night. Berthiaume said he was “pleasantly surprised” upon learning the news.

“We’re very proud of this rating. I’m proud of the people who work here. We’re proud of our officers who are on the road every day. They are out there working weekends, evening shifts and holidays,” said Berthiaume. “I’m proud of the community as well. Our community comes together, co-operates with the police and they report crime diligently and all of that has led to our high ranking.”

Various crimes in each community were compiled with scores that were based on the amount and types of crime being reported.

Berthaiume noted that Amherstburg finished in the top 10 several years ago, but now is relishing the countries top spot.

“We’re number one,” he says with a smile.

Berthiaume, who is a life long Amherstburg resident, said he has always believed that Amherstburg is a safe community.

“I’ve always known my whole life that Amherstburg is a safe place to live and work and the stats prove it. It’s one more thing the town can pride itself on,” he said.

Although Amherstburg is top dog when it comes to safety, they are not alone with other local municipalities’ police services also ranking highly. LaSalle scored 236 out of 238 municipalities making them third safest. Tecumseh ranked fourth, scoring 235th while Kingsville and Lakeshore ranked 232nd and 231st respectively. Leamington’s score ranked 162nd out of 238 while Windsor police was at 85.

Berthaiume added the police will enjoy its number one ranking, however the challenge is staying on top.

“We are constantly trying to improve. Hopefully with the community’s co-operation, we’ll stay number one,” he said.

The Chief also mentioned that there are a number of factors that contributed to the ranking.

“Overall, our officers are busy. We’ve increased our foot patrols in the downtown area and arena and I think this has had a positive impact on the community,” he said. “We’ve increased traffic enforcement over the past year. We’ve taken advantage of joint forces operations over the past year. We’ve been working with a seconded officer from the RCMP and have increased our marine patrols. I think all of this plays a part.”

In a press release issued Thursday evening the town Mayor Wayne Hurst expressed his gratitude.

“Understand that this rating is the result of the dedicated staff of the Amherstburg Police Service working hand in hand with support from the Amherstburg Fire Department, service club volunteers who do so much, corporate partners, and all emergency services including crossing guards, EMS, and teamwork with emergency service partners from across the Windsor-Essex Region,” Hurst stated.

If that wasn’t enough reason to celebrate, Amherstburg Chamber of Commerce president Scott Deslippe announced that Amherstburg Police is being award the coveted “Director’s Choice Award,” which is awarded to a business or organization that deserves recognition for their contribution and initiatives over the past year.

“We live in one of the most beautiful places in all of Canada. We have some of the most affordable real estate. We have ethnic diversity. We have plenty of fresh water. We have close proximity to the U.S.,” said Berthiaume. “Essex County is a real jewel.”

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