Amherstburg Police Services

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 make two separate arrests regarding outstanding warrants


A 26-year-old Harrow was arrested and turned over to LaSalle police after being observed in Amherstburg.

The Amherstburg Police Service states the man was wanted on outstanding warrants. The warrants were related to a previous impaired driving charge, failing to comply with conditions, and failing to attend court.

The arrest was made Sept. 25 around 3 p.m.

  • As a result of a traffic stop last Wednesday night at St Arnaud and Sandwich St., a  24-year-old Amherstburg male arrested for outstanding warrants for failing to comply with recognizance and failing to attend court. The traffic stop took place around 10 p.m.


Thefts   Amherstburg police say that sometime on Sept. 14, a bicycle was stolen from Amherstburg Home Health at 433 Sandwich St. S. between 8-10 a.m. The bike is a blue female mountain bike with fenders and a yellow bell.

It was reported stolen Sept. 25.


Found bike   Amherstburg police say a red and white men’s mountain bike was found on the Cypher Systems Greenway near Thomas Road. The owner is unknown at this time. It was found Sept. 26 at 8:45 a.m.


RIDE   A RIDE program was conducted last Friday (Sept. 29) with 350 vehicles checked, one test issued and no infractions.


Attempted break-in   Amherstburg police say two female youths were attempting to break into Belle Vue Sept. 26 around 5 p.m. The females were transported home to their parents.


No parking   Amherstburg police say the north side of Whelan Ave is now a posted no parking zone.  Those found parking on the north side of the road are now subject top being ticketed.


Stats   There were 254 calls for service last week with 74 traffic related charges laid.

—All information courtesy of the Amherstburg Police Service