Owen Sound Police Service ready for stay-at-home enforcement

cjos police

Owen Sound Police Chief Craig Ambrose says they're ready to go. 

He's referring to the new provincial stay-at-home order and directions for police on how to enforce it. 

Ambrose tells Dock News all the chiefs across Ontario had a conference call Wednesday night with Solicitor General Sylvia Jones. 

"Its a difficult task, as you can imagine, drawing up these regulations but we received direction late last night and we're working through that now." 

He says the regulations are fairly clear along with the exemptions but its a matter of getting that message out to our officers and making sure they're up to date and well aware of the rules. 

As far as the new regulations and changes under the stay-at-home order he says officers will be made aware of those during their daily briefings as they come on shift. 

"We'll be in a position to enforce the order today." 

Ambrose says however they will not be pulling over vehicles randomly and asking where people are headed. 

"Any of the things we would normally pull someone over for - highway traffic act offences, proof of registration or drivers license - are the only reasons we'd pull you over moving forward." 

The Chief says its important for people to understand that this is a public health emergency and the regulations and changes are for everyone's well-being so he hopes if someone is out and about, they'd be offering up a reason as to why they had to leave their homes.  

"We trust people will voluntarily comply before we ever get to the enforcement stage." 

He says while they have them pulled over they would ask some questions and if a fine is appropriate then they'll be facing a fine.  

When asked if there will be some time for education Ambrose says we're past that point. 

"We're eleven months into a global pandemic and the time for education is probably done.  People are well aware of the rules and regulations.  Its been pretty clear messaging from the province and around the world that we really need to tackle this second wave." 

He says there are a range of fines depending on the offence and what order has been breached.  

There are also new changes to legislation for officers to enforce against corporations and businesses that don't have a good reason for being open. 

The Chief also says he expects they'll see an increase in calls like they did during the first lockdown when people called in reporting others who they believed to be in violation of the rules. 

"We get quite a number of calls  and since this announcement came out on Tuesday about the stay-at-home order,  the number of calls to police have increased." 

The province says one of the key changes included in Tuesday's stay-at-home announcement is that it allows provincial offences officers and other law enforcement to issue tickets to those who breach the order and disperse crowds larger than five people, if they're not part of the same household.

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