Amherstburg Police Services Board

Rozankovic aiming to be the next deputy mayor

 

 

By Ron Giofu

 

Bob Rozankovic has his eyes on the deputy mayor’s position and believes the time is right to pursue it.

Rozankovic is running for that job in the Oct. 22 municipal election and has been accumulating a resume of municipal involvement over the last four years. He has been on the Amherstburg Police Services Board (APSB) and is the current chair. He has also chaired the former economic development committee.

Believing there is “going to be a lack of returning experience” on town council, Rozankovic cited that as a reason he is running for deputy mayor.

“I think the deputy mayor needs to be able to fill in for the mayor when the mayor is not available,” he said, “not just at council but at events around town as such.”

Rozankovic said he wants to see the growth of the town continue. He said a lot of open discussion and positive momentum came out of economic development committee’s “Mayor’s Breakfast” with local realtors three years ago.

“It goes to show how much can be achieved with honest and open discussion with as many stakeholders as possible,” he stated.

“There is so much work left to do and I feel that I have a lot to contribute to the process,” he stated. “I have a good working relationship with the current mayor and administration. Not always agreeing, but always having intelligent discourse.”

Rozankovic, a sales manager in the tool and die industry, believes finances have “turned around in the sense that we know exactly where we stand and we can plan ahead. We need to make decisions on solid business cases, always ensuring that residents get the maximum value for their tax dollars.”

Bob Rozaknovic is running for deputy mayor in the Oct. 22 municipal election

The next term of council will be critical, he said.

“I truly believe the next council is going to set the tone for the future of Amherstburg,” he said. “The last four years have been good but the next four years will be pivotal.”

Ensuring the town assists business startups, local organizations, and festivals is critical to developing a community that people want to live in and people want to move to, he added.

“We have to be branded as a community that is thriving, inviting, and progressive, while at the same time maintaining heritage that is at the core of who we are,” he said.

Rozankovic added: “We want to be the premier retirement community in Southwestern Ontario, and we can be just that. But we must commit to a strategic plan for this to be accomplished.”

Rozankovic would also sit on county council, if elected. He believes county council “does a fair job,” particularly with regards to infrastructure but also thinks the library strike “was mishandled badly.” His objectives would be to ensure Amherstburg’s concerns are lobbied for and also to help lobby the province for more infrastructure funding.

On the policing issue Rozankovic stated, “as a member of the APSB I am limited in what I can say at this time. Ultimately it is the decision of council as to the direction the town takes. Certainly there are both pros and cons and I have the ultimate respect for all councillors that voted on this difficult issue, no matter their individual preference.”

Rozankovic added “as a member of JPAC, I can say we attempted to address all concerns put forth by all stakeholders including residents, police officers, and administration. All facts were clearly presented without bias for council’s decision making process.”

There is a lot of “negative energy” around decision-making and Rozankovic said he will provide “leadership that addresses the root causes of voter dissatisfaction and redirect negative political energy into positive outcomes.”

Cost of police clearances becomes a concern of council members

 

 

By Ron Giofu

 

Amherstburg town council lent its voice to the issue of volunteers having to pay for multiple police clearances.

The matter arose due to a letter that was included on the agenda as part of Amherstburg Police Services Board (APSB) minutes on the matter. Amherstburg St. Vincent de Paul Society member Dan Laing wrote the board with concerns about the organizations volunteers having to repeatedly pay for police clearances.

Long-time volunteers have had to obtain clearances and, with those volunteers also having to be fingerprinted, it brought the cost to $85 for one clearance, the letter stated.

“It is a common theme that most of our male members should now be fingerprinted like common criminals to prove their identity,” Laing’s letter stated. “I think this is ridiculous and no way to treat volunteers who are doing their best to keep Amherstburg the safest community in Canada.”

Laing wrote that volunteers from other organizations have been experiencing similar issues.

“Our SSVP conference is composed of single ladies and 15 couples ranging in age from 60 to 92. Most of the couples who go out on calls together, never alone, have celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary,” the letter added. “As well most of us have lived in this community our whole lives and if we were law breakers it would be well known to the local police. I would appreciate it if we could be excused from the fingerprinting requirement at this time or at least the cost of this pointless exercise.”

Laing added: “A new policy concerning the treatment of volunteers who are requesting police clearance would also be most helpful.”

Councillor Joan Courtney raised the issue, noting such volunteers don’t get paid for what they do and are “trying to make life better for residents of Amherstburg.”

Chief Tim Berthiaume said that it is employers and insurance companies who are the ones that seek police clearances and the rules are governed by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP).

“We are working on a policy to help these groups out,” said Berthiaume.

Councillor Rick Fryer called for the fingerprint policy to be changes, stating “once you have the fingerprints once, you have the fingerprints on file.”

Not so, stated Berthiaume.

The police chief stated the fingerprints are not kept in town and are sent electronically to the RCMP. The RCMP doesn’t retain the fingerprint copies, he added.

“It’s not our rule, it’s an RCMP rule,” said Berthiaume. “That’s what leads to the frustration.”

Councillor Jason Lavigne said the RCMP isn’t allowed by law to keep the fingerprints and said the APSB may be able to absorb some of the costs. Fryer voiced concern with that possibility, stating “it’s going to come out of our budget.”

 

Amherstburg Police Service, APSB recognize officers and civilians at awards night

 

By Ron Giofu

 

The Amherstburg Police Service and the Amherstburg Police Services Board (APSB) took time out to recognize community members and some of their own.

The tenth annual recognition and service awards were held at Wolfhead Distillery last Tuesday night. There were two Chief’s Award of Excellence presentations, with one going to a long-time community volunteer and the other to an officer who helped save a woman’s life in the summer.

Award winners and presenters at the Amherstburg Police Service awards night included (top row, from left): Sr. Const. Viktor Burany, Special Const. Piero Amicone, Sr. Const. Nathan Harris, Sr. Const. B.J. Wiley, Sr. Const. Aaron Chambers and Chief Tim Berthiaume. Front row (from left): Const. Steve Owen, Lena Mangoff-Lazanja, Melissa Lywood, Michelle Donlon and Auxiliary Sgt. Ron Paquette.

Award winners and presenters at the Amherstburg Police Service awards night included (top row, from left): Sr. Const. Viktor Burany, Special Const. Piero Amicone, Sr. Const. Nathan Harris, Sr. Const. B.J. Wiley, Sr. Const. Aaron Chambers and Chief Tim Berthiaume. Front row (from left): Const. Steve Owen, Lena Mangoff-Lazanja, Melissa Lywood, Michelle Donlon and Auxiliary Sgt. Ron Paquette.

Sr. Const. B.J. Wiley was called to investigate a report of a missing person June 22. After collecting information on the person, Wiley decided to check her former residence. After finding nothing suspicious around the exterior of the residence, he entered the home with a key that had been provided to him by the complainant. He announced himself but received no response.

Wiley checked the home and located the woman in what was described as a “critical state” then requested an ambulance. The woman was taken to hospital where she was treated.

“Without B.J.’s actions that day, the outcome for the individual and their family would have been much different,” said Const. Steve Owen, the community services officer and master of ceremonies for the awards ceremony.

Wiley said the 78-year-old woman was in distress and his actions were to make sure he “checked off every box” in ensuring he could find the woman. He was very quick to share credit with his fellow officers including every person on his shift that day.

Nine people assisted him in helping the woman and bringing the situation to a successful conclusion.

“It’s not just about me,” said Wiley. “It’s about them too.”

Wiley said the day will be one that he will never forget.

Chief Tim Berthiaume (left) presents a Chief's Award of Excellence to Sr. Const. B.J. Wiley.

Chief Tim Berthiaume (left) presents a Chief’s Award of Excellence to Sr. Const. B.J. Wiley.

Chief Tim Berthiaume (left) presents a Chief's Award of Excellence to Lena Mangoff-Lazanja.

Chief Tim Berthiaume (left) presents a Chief’s Award of Excellence to Lena Mangoff-Lazanja.

“That is something that will stay with me for the rest of my career,” he said.

It is the second time in Wiley’s career that he has saved a life. In 2011, he went into the Detroit River during the winter to rescue a girl who had fallen through the ice.

The second Chief’s Award of Excellence went to Lena Mangoff-Lazanja. Mangoff-Lazanja “exemplifies community involvement” according to her award presentation with her involvement including positions with the Amherstburg Soccer Club, Amherstburg Chamber of Commerce, the Rotary Club of Amherstburg and Amherstburg Community Services.

Mangoff-Lazanja has also fundraised for the Canadian Tire Jumpstart program, which gives kids from families in financial need the chance to participate in sports. She has also been heavily involved with the Amherstburg police bicycle rodeo, an event that is done in partnership with the Rotary Club.

Mangoff-Lazanja, who continues to work on her Ph.D. in education from the University of Windsor, also serves on the Police Chief’s Advisory Committee.

“I am very honoured to be recognized by the police chief and the Amherstburg Police Service,” said Mangoff-Lazanja. “We’ve had a great partnership over the last few years. It’s just continued to grow.”

Noting she can’t accomplish anything without the support of the people around her, Mangoff-Lazanja said she is willing to continue to help in any way she can. She compared the Amherstburg Police Service to the Rotary Club in that both organizations serve the community and also care about the town.

Sr. Const. Viktor Burany received the Police Exemplary Service Medal for his 20 years of service, all with Amherstburg police. During his career, Burany has spent time as a detective in the criminal investigations division where he training in sexual assaults, sexual offenses involving children, warrant writing, investigative interviewing and major case management. He is currently in general patrol and is a scenes of crime officer and a marine operator.

Sr. Const. Viktor Burany (right) receives his Police Exemplary Service Medal from Chief Tim Berthiaume in recognition of his 20 years of service.

Sr. Const. Viktor Burany (right) receives his Police Exemplary Service Medal from Chief Tim Berthiaume in recognition of his 20 years of service.

Sr. Const. Fred Adair, Sr. Const. Nathan Harris, Wiley and Auxiliary Sgt. Ron Paquette were recognized with awards for 15 years of service. Both Adair and Harris were hired by the London Police Service in 2000 and came to Amherstburg in 2001.

Adair works in general patrol and serves as a forensic identification officer when called upon. He has worked in criminal investigations and has received specialized investigative training in the areas of fraud, fires, sexual assaults, and major case management.

Harris has worked in many roles including traffic enforcement, the Windsor Police Drug Unit, and is currently trained in the specialties of technical collision investigator, qualified breath technician, and coach officer. He has also received training in investigative interviewing, identifying and investigation child abuse, and warrant writing.

Wiley was hired by the OPP in 2001 before coming to Amherstburg. He currently works in general patrol and periodically serves as a use of force instructor. Wiley annually participates as an instructor for annual defense tactics, firearms, and conductive energy weapon training for all of the Amherstburg and Windsor Police officers. He is also a trained marine operator.

Paquette first began his volunteer policing career as auxiliary constable in 2001 and was promoted to auxiliary sergeant in 2010. He now is the liaison between the service and the auxiliary constables and works closely with administration to organize manpower at special events.

Receiving ten-year service awards were Sr. Const. Aaron Chambers and Michelle Donlon.

Chambers began his policing career with the Amherstburg Police Service in 2006 and has spent time in specialty units such as criminal investigations, traffic enforcement, and has spent time working with the Windsor Police Drug Unit. Chambers has several special training courses to his credit, including drug investigations, search warrant writing, sexual assault investigations, investigative interviewing, and mobile surveillance.

Donlon was described as “typically the first person to greet anyone attending the office” of the Amherstburg Police Service.

“She works at our front counter and is always friendly, courteous and welcoming,” said Owen. “Michelle will always provide you with the assistance you are looking for. Michelle has also had the pleasure to attend the Ontario Police College as a civilian for the CPIC operator’s course.”

Special Const. Piero Amicone was given a five-year service award. Since being hired in 2011, Amicone has been “the face of the Amherstburg Police Service in Windsor” as he works on a daily basis in the Windsor courtrooms and Windsor cells.

“He always brings a great attitude,” said Owen.

Chief Tim Berthiaume presents the Citizen Recognition Award to Melissa Lywood for her anti-bullying efforts at local schools.

Chief Tim Berthiaume presents the Citizen Recognition Award to Melissa Lywood for her anti-bullying efforts at local schools.

Melissa Lywood was presented with the Citizen Recognition Award. She travels to local high schools, sharing her personal experiences, with the focus of her talks being bullying and the lasting impacts bullying can have.

“She has reached out to thousands of students and created lasting memories for them to carry as they continue to mature,” said Owen. “She provides outlets to those looking for help and promotes a better school environment for students.”

Lywood explained that she grew up in Amherstburg and goes around spreading her story to people. Her sister took her own life in 2003, she said, and Lywood uses that as part of her anti-bullying message.

Chief Tim Berthiaume said the awards ceremony has grown over the years, but noted it was originally started as a way to bring businesses and residents together and recognize their accomplishments.

Berthiaume said Amherstburg is one of the safest communities in Canada.

“When you compare police services of similar size, we are one of the most cost-effective in the country,” he said.

The chief also thanked town staff, noting a strong relationship with CAO John Miceli, and said everyone from treasurer Justin Rousseau to mechanic Randy Riediger have helped make the police service better.

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Amherstburg police business plan meeting sees concerns raised over police costings, unlocked vehicles

 

 

By Ron Giofu

 

A public meeting on Amherstburg Police Services 2017-19 business plan resulted in a lot of concerns over unlocked vehicles and the upcoming police costings.

The meeting was held last Wednesday morning at the Libro Centre with Chief Tim Berthiaume presenting statistics on the police service and seeking public input. Berthiaume pointed out the service’s motto “People Just Like You” and told the people in attendance that “you pay our bills. This is your police service.”

The Amherstburg Police Services has 31 sworn officers, including Berthiaume, and three civilian members though one of the civilians – a special constable – has their salary and benefits shared by the LaSalle Police Service.

Berthiaume said the service is one of the cheapest in Ontario when compared to services of a similar size and also credited the community for making Amherstburg one of the safest communities in Canada.

“You have one of the safest communities in Canada and I think that’s something to be proud of,” the chief stated. He added that “rarely can we solve crimes without the help of the community.”

Susan Monaghan raised the issue of the police costings, stating she saw a petition in a coffee shop. She asked what would be the most effective way to raise concerns on the issue. Berthiaume said it is a decision of town council whether to switch police services once the costings come in. He suggested the best way would be to call or e-mail members of council.

Berthiaume noted that the moratorium on OPP costings was lifted earlier this year but it is expected to take two to three years before the town actually receives a costing.

Even if the town were to eventually switch, Berthiaume said Amherstburg police would continue with the job they are doing right up until the final day.

“We are going to continue to deliver the most cost-effective police service we can to the residents of Amherstburg. Even if the OPP were to come in, we would do that right until the last day.”

Deputy Chief Ian Chappell, who spent 15 years with the OPP, praised them as a very good service that does the big things well. However, he said it would not be guaranteed that the community would see the same officers daily if the OPP were to come in and he believes there is value of the community seeing the same officers regularly.

Some larger services don’t send an officer for break-ins or thefts, he added, preferring to have people call in their reports.

Aburg Police Logo Rev-web

“In a smaller police service, we send an officer. In my opinion, there is value to that,” said Chappell.

Norm Mickle was one of the residents in attendance and he said one way to fill the room would be to touch the police service. He called the idea of switching police services a bad one.

“It’s the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard of – getting rid of the best police service in all of Canada,” said Mickle.

Mickle suggested people start contacting town officials now about keeping the service, believing it would be a “huge mistake” to switch to OPP. Berthiaume said it’s not a competition between Amherstburg police and OPP but plans to give council the most detailed information possible on the current service.

The chief added an OPP bid will be cheaper but said the OPP is a different model of policing. Amherstburg police has to keep a certain number of officers on the road at any one time 24 hours a day, seven days per week.

“We can’t take officers from other areas,” said Berthiaume.

The attendance at the meeting was raised as less than ten people attended. Berthiaume said over 200 flyers were distributed in the business community and that it was advertised as well. He said such meetings are usually poorly attended.

“We’ve always had a dismal turnout,” he said.

Berthiaume added he is open to other ideas on how to attract more people.

“As chief, I’m not sure what else I can do to get people out but I’m willing to listen,” he said.

The issue of thefts from vehicles was also raised during the meeting, with Berthiaume pointing out there has been an “unprecedented level of thefts” from vehicles and that those arrested have ranged from youths to adults, some of whom come from outside the town.

“It’s a preventable crime,” he said.

Chappell pointed out officers checked vehicles one night in the Golfview subdivision and of 180 vehicles checked, 27 per cent of them were found to be unlocked. Officers put “Lock it or Lose it” pamphlets in the unlocked cars.

The next public meeting for the police department’s business plan is Oct. 18 at the Libro Centre starting at 7 p.m.