Essex to Roll Out Anti-Bullying Campaign

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The Town of Essex is taking a stance against bullying.

Council has agreed to roll out an anti-bullying campaign following a request from deputy mayor Richard Meloche.

Meloche says several complaints were coming in from residents about bullying and foul language in local parks.

The campaign will include a social media blitz, enhanced staff training and additional signage promoting 'Bully Free Zones' at town facilities.

Meloche says the local OPP are fully on board.

"The police actually came out and said they haven't had any call-ins telling us about the bullying that's going on in the parks. So the police are kind of excited about it as well because they're saying, "Put our number out there. We want to know what's going on in the community."

He says residents will notice an increased police presence at parks.

"They're actually making routine visits to several parks throughout the entire community which is awesome. Parents are looking at this and the kids are looking and this and going, "Wow, this is just fantastic." It's another opportunity for our police to interact with residents."

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Essex Deputy Mayor Richard Meloche seen after a council meeting on July 2, 2019 (Photo by AM800's Zander Broeckel)

Meloche adds town staff have embraced the initiative as well.

"Now we're going to see some additional training that goes to staff so they can recognize bullying in our facilities and sort of be an intervention for any bullying that is going on, not just always relying on the police or residents to do it themselves. In a lot of instances, I think our staff would have stepped forward anyway, but this will give them some formal training."

The only cost to the town will be $750 for additional signage which is expected to go up at town parks and facilities within the next month.