Tasers likely in OPP’s future
Police services in Ontario now have the option to have all police officers trained and allowed to use conducted energy weapons (CEW) or “tasers,” but it will be a while before this new policy is implemented here.
“Right now, I think there is an issue with the cost of [tasers] and the training that would be required,” detachment commander Insp. Steve Shouldice told the local Police Services Board this morning.
“I think it’s being discussed at our headquarters, and I think it’s something the OPP would like to be able to do,” he added.
Insp. Shouldice noted that right now, only frontline supervisors and members of specialized units, such as the OPP Emergency Response Teams (ERTs), were allowed to use CEWs.
He estimated it will take at least a year to implement such a change since it will take that long to get all OPP officers trained.
Meanwhile, in response to complaints by downtown businesses about bar patrons loitering around late at night and causing problems, a nuisance bylaw has been drafted which recommends food vendors on the sidewalks in front of licensed establishments not be allowed to sell food after 11 p.m.
“It’s the reason people come out of the bar at closing time and hang around the streets and make noise,” said Insp. Shouldice, who has reviewed a draft of the bylaw.
“A vendor there selling food with music playing—there’s no reason for people to disperse and go home,” he remarked.
Another issue that needs to be addressed is transport trucks parking on King’s Highway directly in front of Tim Hortons.
Insp. Shouldice said it’s not only illegal for these trucks to do this, but very unsafe.
The problem is a sign posted at Tim Hortons, asking vehicles not to block the entrance and exit to the business, does not say “no parking” in the space in-between.
When truckers are approached about this and asked to move, they indicate the sign does not specifically say they can’t park there.
And there is no other signage along that stretch of highway saying that parking is prohibited.
Insp. Shouldice added the problem is with out-of-town truckers, who also park on the highway right in front of the Husky gas station.
Local truckers know to park elsewhere, then cross the road to go into Tim Hortons or Husky.
Mayor Roy Avis noted there is no place for trucks to park in that part of town.
He said some do park in the Rainy Lake Plaza lot and cross the highway on foot, but added the property’s owner is none too pleased with it.