Police response time critical

by Vance Gutzman

In the end, it all boils down to response time.

That was the message coming out of at least one of the open houses last week as part of Deep River’s consultation plan to determine whether the municipality should retain its current police service or transition to the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP).

Deep River hosted four public open houses as well as a forum for businesses and institutions.

Presentations were made at each one by the Deep River Police Service (DRPS), the OPP and the town itself.

Kim Rodgers, administrator of the North Renfrew Long Term Care Centre (NRLTC), expressed satisfaction with the service currently provided by the DRPS.

The NRLTC, Rodgers noted, is a repository of drugs for its residents and there have been incidents of “high school kids using drugs” trying to climb through its windows at night.

“If they (staff) call now there’s somebody there in five minutes,” Rodgers said of the DRPS response time. The police here have been very good to support us.”

Rodgers asked if the NRLTC could expect the same response times from the OPP, in light of the fact they won’t have an office here in town.

“It’s hard for me to sit here today and give you a minute response time, but it would be immediate,” OPP detachment commander Inspector Mark Wolfe told Rodgers, noting OPP officers would be on patrol on town streets and the highway.

“You’re not going to be abandoned by the OPP.”

Richard Bedard, chief executive officer of the Deep River and District Hospital also expressed the importance of fast response times.

“Emergency departments can be very emotional areas,” said Bedard, noting that he’s been witness at other hospitals to situations involving suicides, gangs and even automatic weapons.

“It’s all about response time and police presence,” Bedard said. “When we need them we need them, and we need them yesterday.”

> for more on this story, pick up a copy of the June 21 North Renfrew Times…