MEETING PREVIEW: Guelph Police Services Board for February 16, 2023

This month’s Guelph Police Services Board meeting will start to fulfill the Chief’s promise last meeting to start bringing data and information to the Board. For February, that means an update about the Service’s premier property crime fighting unit and some information about how the Service is implementing their Strategic Plan. What will learn from the Guelph Police Board this month? Let’s take a look…

NOTE: This meeting takes place virtually at 2:30 pm but it will be broadcast on Guelph Police’s YouTube page.

PRESENTATION: Community Response Break Enter Auto Theft Team Update – Inspector Steve Gill will provide information about the success of the BEAT team, who focus on fighting property crimes like break-ins and thefts in the city. There was no formal report with the agenda, but some statistics about the BEAT team’s effectiveness were offered in a later report: in 2022 they executed 28 search warrants; arrested and charged 90 individuals; laid 600 charges; and recovered over $500,000.00 in stolen property.

Board Correspondence Report Information – The only correspondences this month are outgoing, letters of congratulation to the new hires of the Guelph Police Service.

Canadian Association of Police Governance Decision Membership Renewal for 2023 – Last month, the board approved the decision to renew the service’s membership in the Ontario Association of Police Services, and this month it’s the Canadian Association of Police Governance turn for renewal. The board has to approve spending the $2,080 from the tax supported budget fro the renewal, which has increased $40 from last year.

Towing and Storage Contract Award Information – The Police Board has an actual policy called the Vehicle Towing and Release Policy, which means that the Board has to approve a towing operator to be available 24/7 to provide towing and storage services at the request of the police. Two services applied by the time the tender closed on January 9, and it’s been decided that the service will continue on with Bob’s Towing for the next year, and three other renewable one-year terms.

Community Account Annual Report Information – Guelph Police maintains a community account, which, as outlined in policy, is to “cover a Community Organization’s accumulated deficit or debt; or to support political organizations, events or activities.” In 2022, the account was worth nearly $15,500 due to funds gathered from mature GICs, the results of police auctions, and found (meaning unclaimed) cash. The account then dispersed two-thirds of those funds last year to the tune of $10,515, but the report doesn’t go into detail about how those funds were spent.

*All the items to this point are technically on the consent agenda. Unless a member of the board pulls an item for questions or further discussion, all the above items will be approved as a slate.

Chief’s Monthly Report – As usual, Guelph Police Services Chief Gord Cobey will deliver a verbal report about the latest goings on at 15 Wyndham Street South.

Strategic Plan Update – Chief Cobey will talk about the progress in 2022 on the six priorities identified in their own Strategic Plan including Community Policing, Organizational Health and Service Effectiveness, Community Wellness, Road Safety, Drugs and Property Crime, and Downtown.

Some highlights from the report includes news that the Service saw a 50 per cent increase in the value of drugs seized in 2022 (approximately $1.13 million for the year), plus a “very significant increase” in the amount of time frontline Patrol and Tactical Unit officers were doing pro-active foot patrols downtown to increase visibility there. Police also say a string of overnight break-ins at commercial properties late last summer and early fall (16 in all), and that a commercial vehicle inspection blitz last June revealed that 73 per cent of trucks inspected were found to have defects that required immediate action.


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