Amherstburg Police Service

New officer in charge vows policing services will stay the same for the public

 

 

By Ron Giofu

 

Now that policing in Amherstburg has switched from being the Amherstburg Police Service to the Windsor Police Service – Amherstburg Detachment, the new person leading Amherstburg officers vows the service residents will see will be consistent to what has always been here.

Staff Sgt. Dave DeLuca, the officer in charge of the Amherstburg Detachment – said there is still training for officers and civilian staff to do but indicated much of the hard work is now behind them.

“All of the heavy lifting was over the last couple of months,” he said, noting he was part of 13 committees that prepared for the dissolving of the Amherstburg Police Service and the welcoming of officers in Amherstburg to the Windsor Police Service.

Transitioning policing from one service to another was “a massive undertaking,” said DeLuca, but what is left is mostly training on the administrative side of the Windsor Police Service.

“We’re taking over the administration of the service,” said DeLuca. “Service delivery is identical. Nothing is changing at all.”

DeLuca said there will still be 31 officers based in Amherstburg, counting himself, and that Amherstburg has access to different Windsor police units such as forensics and K-9 units. Four officers from Amherstburg went to Windsor with one being a patrol officer, one going to the training branch, a third going into court services with a fourth officer becoming the regional cannabis enforcement officer.

“We have six Windsor officers being assigned out here and they are all going to be uniformed patrol,” said DeLuca, adding that two officers from the former Amherstburg Police Service have been promoted to sergeant with the Windsor Police Service – Amherstburg Detachment.

Staff Sgt. Dave DeLuca is the officer in charge of the Windsor Police Service – Amherstburg Detachment.

The remainder of the service stays the same, he indicated, and pledged that service levels will remain the same.

“In Amherstburg, you will always get an officer to every call,” said DeLuca. “It stays 100 per cent exactly as it’s always been. You will get an officer out, just as you’ve always had.”

DeLuca added he is happy with how everyone seems to be settling in and believes much of the concern over the past year was due to uncertainty of what exactly was going to transpire.

“Now that all of the questions have been answered, everyone seems to be settling in really, really well,” said DeLuca.

There may be some services online soon, such as the ability to get police clearances and signing up for the vulnerable persons registry, but DeLuca described those as enhancements and emphasized that officers will still come out to call and work on the same schedules.

DeLuca was born and raised in Amherstburg and continues to live here and raise his family.

Windsor chief Al Frederick (right) was on hand for the swearing in of the Amherstburg officers Jan. 1, including Sgt. Don Brown. (Photo courtesy of the Windsor Police Service)

“I couldn’t be happier to work in town. It’s great,” he said.

The Windsor Police Service – Amherstburg Detachment continues to work out of the office at 532 Sandwich St. S. and DeLuca said the same phone numbers will remain. The number for non-emergency calls remains at 519-736-3622, general inquiries is 519-736-8559 and emergency calls to 911.

DeLuca believes that Windsor police will provide quality service to Amherstburg residents.

“Give us a chance,” said DeLuca. “I think they are going to be pleasantly surprised, especially with the enhancements that are coming. If the town is serious about growth, this is a step in the right direction. We are not taking anything away. Things are not changing.”

The switchover came at midnight Jan. 1, with DeLuca, Windsor Chief Al Frederick and other officials from Windsor on hand to swear in the Amherstburg officers under the Windsor police banner.

Special Olympics hockey game sees police battle General Amherst

 

 

By Ron Giofu

 

Special Olympics Ontario will benefit from a charity hockey game that was held at the Libro Centre before the holidays.

General Amherst High School’s boys hockey team faced off against the Amherstburg Police Service team, though the latter contained officers from other departments as well as family members and supporters. The police team also featured the services of Amherstburg Admirals’ co-owner Wes Ewer and General Amherst principal Melissa DeBruyne.

Mike Cox, the long-time Amherstburg police officer who was also a major part in Special Olympics fundraising over the years, said with the exception of about a three or four year period after the former AMA Arena closed and the Libro Centre opened, the game has been going on for “as long as I can remember.”

The Amherstburg police team and the General Amherst boys hockey team gather for a group photo following their charity hockey game for Special Olympics Dec. 21.

Over the past number of decades, the police played the fire department, the Admirals, General Amherst and even the Detroit Red Wings alumni. He thanked his colleagues for helping out and taking over much of his former duties in organizing Special Olympics fundraisers including Nick D’Amore, Don Brown and Melissa Taylor.

One of the fond memories Cox had included the year two-time Olympic gold medalist Meghan Agosta played for the high school team.

“It’s not often you get to skate with someone who has a couple of gold medals,” said Cox. “She’s such a good person, just a fantastic person.”

Raising money for Special Olympics has long been a love for Cox, and is something he plans on continuing in his post-policing career.

“If we can raise a few dollars to support the cause, it’s something we love to do,” said Cox. “I’ll still be involved with Special Olympics and the Essex County Heroes.”

General Amherst boys hockey team coach Pat Garrett (left) presents an award to Mike Cox in recognition of Cox’s service to the school community.

Cox is hopeful the Special Olympics hockey game continues under the Windsor police banner.

“It’s the community. That’s what it’s all about,” he said. “The more contact with police only makes for a better community.”
General Amherst head coach Pat Garrett, who presented Cox with a plaque in recognition for his service over the years, said it was a great cause the team and school were happy to be part of.

“I think it was a fun day,” said Garrett, noting the work put in by fellow teacher Greg Scott’s fitness and recreational leadership class to make it happen.

Garrett noted DeBruyne was also supportive of the event, adding that honoring Cox “was very important.”

For more photos from the game, please visit our Facebook photo album.

ACS, Amherstburg Police and Mealtime Express team to help area families

 

 

By Ron Giofu

 

A local partnership between a non-profit agency and the Amherstburg Police Service is continuing to aid local families.

That partnership is also aided by local businesses who continue to contribute to the cause.

Amherstburg Community Services (ACS) and the Amherstburg Police Service have teamed up again this year with the latter holding a toy drive. ACS then helps distribute the toys to families they know are in need locally.

There will be 83 children and 40 families helped this year, said ACS executive director Kathy DiBartolomeo.

Mealtime Express’ “Secret Santa Dinner” held last month raised over $12,000 for the cause with a toy drive held jointly between Re/Max realtors John D’Alimonte and Kim Wheeler and Amherstburg Buick GMC also seeing a pickup truck loaded with gifts dropped off.

“We also had the Dupuis family do a lemonade stand,” noted Const. Nathan Harris.

Amherstburg Community Services (ACS) and the Amherstburg Police Service teamed with Mealtime Express again this year on a toy drive as part the Secret Santa program. From left: ACS executive director Kathy DiBartolomeo, Const. Nathan Harris, Ashleigh Harris and Const. Steve Owen.

The family of Const. Nick Dupuis, including wife Lauren and children Kailee, Mason and Jett, raised money in the summer at the lemonade stand.

“This is our fifth year,” Harris’ wife Ashleigh said of the Amherstburg police toy drive, and Nathan indicated it won’t be the last even though the Amherstburg Police Service will be no more come Jan. 1 with policing being done by the Windsor Police Service’s Amherstburg detachment.

“As we switch to the Windsor Police Service, we’re hoping to do this partnership with ACS and Mealtime Express again,” he stated.

“We’re pleased with the generosity of the community,” said DiBartolomeo, with Austin Tyrrell, ACS’ community awareness and fundraising coordinator, adding that “it’s nice to see everyone has come together to make sure people have a nice Christmas.”

“We can’t say thank you enough to everyone who helped out with donations and those who came to the fundraising dinner,” stated DiBartolomeo.

The Amherstburg Police Service isn’t done yet in terms of community involvement, as a they will once again present the Special Olympics hockey game at the Libro Centre. That is scheduled for Dec. 21 at 12:30 p.m. with General Amherst High School being the opponents.

More thefts from vehicles reported last week

 

The Amherstburg Police Service is reporting more thefts from vehicles last week.

Vehicles parked in the 200 block of Kempt St. were reportedly entered Dec. 3 with police saying small items and change were stolen. According to police, the vehicles were unlocked. It was reported around 6:45 p.m. that day.

Another vehicle was entered in the 400 block of Sandwich St. S. Dec. 6 and a GPS and other items were taken. There are no suspects. It was reported that morning around 10:40 a.m.

Other thefts Amherstburg police were called to the 4800 block of Concession 4 North Dec. 5 around 1:50 p.m. for a theft of copper wire from a tower site. There are no suspects at the present time and police say the theft occurred sometime over a 30-day period.

*Christmas decorations were stolen from the front lawn of a home in the 400 block of Alma St. Police say there are no suspects at the present time. It was reported Dec. 5 around 4:40 p.m.

Mischief A pair of vehicles were scratched on two separate days in the parking lot at Western Secondary School. The first report came Dec. 7 around 10:05 a.m. while the second report came Dec. 10 at 3:20 p.m. There are no suspects but the matter is under investigation.

*A vehicle parked in a public parking lot had its tires slashed Dec. 8. Amherstburg police say it occurred in a lot in the 200 block of Dalhousie St. There are no suspects and it was reported that night around 10:55 p.m.

 

Accident A 42-year-old Brampton man was charged after two-vehicle accident on Sandwich St. S. The accident occurred in the 200 block around 2:25 p.m. Dec. 6 and the man was charged with reversing not in safety. Amherstburg police add there were no injuries and minor damage.

 

Stats There were seven 911 hang-up calls, 10 alarm calls and ten traffic-related charges over the past week.

-All information courtesy of the Amherstburg Police Service

Secret Santa Benefit Dinner raises $12,216

 

 

By Christian Bouchard

 

Mealtime Express is full steam ahead to bring smiles to local children.

The tenth Secret Santa Benefit Dinner was held Sunday at the Sandwich St. S. restaurant. The public responded well as tickets to the event were sold out in two weeks.

The local restaurant partnered with Amherstburg Community Services (ACS) and the Amherstburg Police Service to help local kids for Christmas.

Norm Mickle, who owns the restaurant with his wife Janet, said before the first of the four dinners served, they raised around $7,200. The total, as of Monday morning, was $12,216.

“The beauty of it is that it changes peoples lives,” said Mickle. “We’ve had people that we’ve done this for years ago that have shown up here with a cheque to donate to the Secret Santa program. It’s an amazing circle of life that happens here.”

Mealtime Express raised $12,216 at Sunday evening’s Secret Santa Benefit Dinner. A “Secret Santa” program is being run by the local restaurant in conjunction with Amherstburg Community Services and the Amherstburg Police Service.

With the partnership with ACS, families will then get a phone call asking what their child wants for Christmas. From there, a group of people go out to do the shopping and buy what the kids want for Christmas. Once the gifts are all bought, the Amherstburg Police Service gets involved to make sure the gifts get delivered.

“Now it’s become a community event,” said Mickle. “You would not believe the people and local businesses that have shown up and given us stuff that we can raffle off. All the money goes straight to the kids. We don’t take a dime.”

According to Mickle, in the 10 years of hosting the dinner, there have been over 3,000 gifts bought and over 250 people looked after, all locally. He called the partnership with ACS and APS “the perfect marriage” and said how humbled he is to be able to leave smiles on kids faces.

“It gives us an opportunity to give back to the community that’s taken care of us for so long,” added Mickle. “It’s a win-win-win-win situation for everyone involved.”