Will More Police Officers Be Available at Busy Times?

A reader contacted me with some thoughts on the deployment of the 50 officers.  That while there will be an even amount of officers in each division all the time, there may not be extra officers on, say, the busy week-ends in Waterloo at the uptown bars.  I am posting  the Chief’s reply.

Reader: I was reading your blog and noticed that you wrote about a change to the way police are deployed that would mean more police on the beat during busier times.
That is not my understanding of the issue, as it would mean a change to the police contract regarding their shift schedules.

Chief Torrigan:The new deployment model will see a greater likelihood of officers being available in the areas where they are needed most. If that is the beat during peak times, so be it. At other times during the day, they will be required elsewhere. This is still dependent on having the right number of resources on the front line. We are not there yet, but with some additional resources we will be.

 We can also increase patrol presence with minor changes to the schedules, but that is only part of it. We can get there without changes to the schedule, but we will still require more resources.

  Jane: So I will be asking that question on the 23rd. Looks like a change in the police contract is needed to tweak the shift schedules and that is a difficult thing to manage. On the other hand, there will also be more officers available in the day and evening with the increase in officers overall, to do crime prevention and follow up. I should also note the following in the police report, Neighbourhood Policing, under next steps:

  • Studying how our shift schedule can be improved to better match the variations in calls for service demands while improving the work-life balance of our members

Also an addition I heard when the Chief spoke to Regional Council He noted that the Break and Enter unit was combined with the unit that deals with Drugs etc., Both units had 10 officiers and was reduced to 5 that do all the investigations, so he needs more staff.

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