Enough With Attacking our Cornwall Police Force – OP ED by Jamie Gilcig – February 2, 2013

jg2CFN – My learned colleague from the Standard Free Holder is parroting a few of our City Councilors about police services in Corwnall.  In particular how they need more money.

Cornwall, like many communities has many challenged.    Chief Dan Parkinson and I sat down earlier this week and talked about an issue that is cause for concern for our community.

Domestic Abuse & Violence.

Chief Parkinson shared that there are about 3 calls per day or a little over 1,000 per year for this nature.   How the police force in essence has become a defacto social service in a similar manner that emergency wards are filled with cases that really shouldn’t be in emergency wards.

When that happens that clogs up resources and costs money.   Those 1,000 calls are from a pool of about 17-18 thousand calls per year that our amazing police force service.     The Cornwall police force also faces many challenges, for example attrition where some of our officers jump for greener pastures with the OPP or RCMP.   I would ask Councilor Thibault and friends how switching to the OPP would be less expensive when their salaries tend to be higher.    Would it be less services to Cornwall?

With the Hospital phasing out addiction treatment services at the old Cornwall General in lieu of home care and other limited services surely this will put a higher drain on our limited police forces?

The leadership vacuum in Cornwall and lacking mental health care services create ripe situations where our police are left to clean up the mess.   A healthier community leads to less needs to call upon police services.   Same for long term care for our Seniors who in certain situations end up being police calls.   Those suffering from Dementia or Alzheimer’s can also increase the work load for police.

It’s not all Starsky & Hutch and bad guys.  It’s not all about illegal ciggies and smuggling.

Think about it.  When you’re in trouble who do you really turn to?    The police.

Can the Cornwall Police department do a better job when it comes to budgets and resources?  I’m sure they can, but this gerrymandering and holding the threat of bringing in the OPP for our city is surely the kind of amateur hijinks of politicians void of solutions or ability to problem solve.   IE surgically removing a limb for a mosquito bite.

It’s time that some in Cornwall take more pride in our city and some of the services that actually work, and while not perfect this scribbler thinks we have a pretty darn good police force.

Politicians that drop the buck and allow mental health &  addiction services to slide can only expect higher police costs.   Same goes for senior care.  It’s one of the reasons this scribbler will be speaking Monday night to help save the Cornwall General Hospital for the resource that it has been and should stay for our community.   (LINK)   Investing in taking care of people will cost us less in police and legal services.  It’s that simple.

You can post your comments below.

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  1. Maybe the police need to shift their focus.. Focus on violent crime involving alcohol.. Instead of more money, cut somewhere else that has less or no violence associated with it. We don’t have more money to give you Chief Parkinson, but nice try.

  2. I personally endorse wholeheartedly a police service which is respectful and reflective of the community it serves. As one sector of bureaucracy downloads its problems onto another one can easily understand the ensuing budgetary problems which arise. In reality money is merely shifting pockets within the same pair of pants. Certainly creative thinking needs to apply to meet the current and future demands of an increasing load being placed upon our police services and Chief Parkinson has not in my opinion displayed any reason to doubt his professional capabilities. Think about this if you would, if our teachers in their infinite wisdom choose to continue to use the student population as human shields in their fight to continue to be entitled to their entitlements then perhaps it is time to utilize the talent pool contained within our retirement community to provide extracurricular activities ? This would certainly provide a dependable, responsible and cost effective resource to our students and at the same time build a valuable bridge between generations. Win win as they say. The same progressive thinking could apply to managing resources necessary to meet the demands being placed upon our police services at this time. I believe that Chief Parkinson is that go to person. Stop the knee jerking, belly aching, foot stomping, chest pounding nonsense and let a leader lead.

  3. Cornwall police has become too many things for too many people. It lacks focus and exhausts the police’s financial and human resources. For example:

    – Mobile Community Watch, and Neighbourhood Community Watch. Why are there two programs about the same thing?
    – Autism Registry (?).
    – Bear Management (?)
    – Homelessness Initiative Program


    Many of these programs require the assistance of volunteers from our community. We would like to thank and acknowledge the importance of our volunteers that serve a critical role in the success of these programs.

    On the left side of the page you will find a more detailed description of a variety of these programs.

  4. Admin, please delete this paragraph from my previous post. I forgot to delete it. Thanks you.

    Many of these programs require the assistance of volunteers from our community. We would like to thank and acknowledge the importance of our volunteers that serve a critical role in the success of these programs.

    On the left side of the page you will find a more detailed description of a variety of these programs.

  5. I think that overall Cornwall has a great team of police officers. Nowadays their knowledge and expertise has to be quite broad. One thing is for sure that mental health support for all ages and addiction support here is LACKING! I was NOT IMPRESSED to see the BAD decision made by CCH in the changes that have been made in the area of addiction support. Outpatient crap isn’t going to cut it!!!
    Chief Parkinson thank you for sharing this info/insight with the citizens of Cornwall. This is way more than I have seen from any of the council members in the last several years(not counting Andre). Domestic violence is a horrible thing, especially for the children to witness. It does become a vicious circle and an “accepted” or “normal” shall we say way of life. Just as a lot of the welfare and mother’s allowance mentality way of life that goes on here.
    Good luck and please keep up the GREAT WORK!

  6. Great interview, Jamie. And great questions about the hospital’s phasing out of addiction services and issues for the city’s elderly.

    Very helpful to hear what Chief Dan has to say.

  7. Well said Jamie. We are being we’ll served in the long run.
    I feel sensitivity training has become a major area of police training and on going training that helps them serve us better.

    They still must call a spade a spade however, their is NO ROOM for cockyness or biase’s to be exposed while performing those duties. Tough job to avaid that at the best of times however, to rise above is vitally important overall.

    Again, good job on this one….oh, okay, as usual then.

  8. Jamie i find it odd that your article seems to backup our police chief and his words 100%.So should we give the police unlimited funds to run the force?Well i,m going to leave this subject alone now, and just read what the bloggers have to say on this subject.
    thanks for the article

  9. Author

    Lucky I do not think that they police should have a blank cheque. I do think that the challenge of budgets should be brought to the chief and gain his input as to where cuts can be made if possible. It’s a global picture. The healthier a society the less the need for police service. If the leadership of Cornwall doesn’t get that we either pay the police more money to cover the cost of our lack of vision. It’s you and I as tax payers and voters that have the choice ultimately to make every four years.

  10. This seems to be a common problem all over the place. While the crime rates go down in Canada, the cost of policing goes up. And, of course, the need for more and bigger prisons is obvious.

  11. Police forces are pricing themselves out of jobs, that is not the fault of the smaller town forces though. Like the teachers union, a force (or area) will be targeted for a raise or benefit increase. That area refuses and it automatically goes to binding arbitration. Is the ability to pay ever considered? Probably not. http://www.policearbitration.on.ca/content/english/process/arbitration/arbitration.html
    Toronto Police get a new contract, and Toronto Fire wants the same, and from town to town it goes.

    New ways of doing things must be looked at soon. During that Ex Col Williams case, the OPP were set up in front of his Ottawa home for several days ( 24 hours per day) while investigators went through. Could a a few trained guards not have been used spending 20 an hour instead of 60 plus?

  12. One of the real issue is the fact the Fire Dept. needs to cut, cut and cut some more. 4 guys at food basics in a huge fire truck to get groceries, seriously what a huge slap in the face. And they do it without a single care what the general public think, why? ignorance. I am curious if they used their $200 boot allowance.

  13. Hi,
    Law enforcement never rests. Look at the recent news about King Richard lll. Disappeared more than 500 years ago. His remains were found last week under a parking lot in Great Britain. It shows again, “You can run, but you can’t hide”.


  14. Cornwall hasn’t grown in 50 years, but the size of the police force has more than doubled??

  15. Although Cornwall has not grown in population our society structure currently bears little resemblance to the past. The present make up of our community is what drives policing requirements to where they are now. Is there currently more supply of officers than demand ? Examine similar size communities and see what the ratio is between the general public and officers. Better yet call the police chief and ask him how many nuisance calls that waste valuable resources come in each week. Calls that police officers should not be wasting tax dollars on.

  16. Author

    If you cut the social net and reduce quality of life you of course will spend more on policing.

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