Police Upgrade Communication with Public

Cobourg Police are continuing to improve their transparency and efficiency and for those reasons recently hired Laurie Debattista as their Corporate Communications Coordinator.  As well as freeing up officers from this work, Laurie is also upgrading the process.  As well as being sent out by email, information on activities is now also sent out via Twitter and added to the police web site.  The web site is also being re-vamped with a new version scheduled for this summer. Cobourg News blog does not report on every incident – for that you should follow the Police Twitter account or maybe go to Pete Fisher’s Today’s Northumberland – but sometimes I do report to give an overview on how well our police are serving their community.  Let’s start with their weekly report.

Cobourg Police Station
Cobourg Police Station

This week, there were 190 “calls” and the weekly report indicates the category of 172 of them – here is a list of calls with their category, in alphabetical order:

12 for 911, 5 Alarm, 2 Ambulance Assist, 4 Assault, 1 Bail violation, 22 Community services events, 3 Disturb the peace, 4 Domestic dispute, 3 Family dispute, 3 Fraud, 6 Impaired driver, 4 Mental health, 3 Mischief, 7 Motor vehicle collision, 4 Noise complaint, 3 Person wellbeing, 20 Police assistance, 11 Police information, 15 Property related, 1 Robbery, 4 Shoplift, 11 Suspicious persons, 8 theft, 3 Threats, 7 Traffic complaint, 3 Trouble with youth and 3 Unwanted person.

By using the link below you can download the full list and the accompanying “examples of calls for service” descriptions. However, I have selected some highlights.

Highlights

8 April 2019 – Police responded to a report of an impaired driver in the Town of Cobourg. Police located the impaired driver, who was arrested, charged and released from custody when they were sober.

9 April 2019 – Police conducted 3 Traffic Enforcement which resulted in Highway Traffic Charges for Fail to stop at a Stop sign.

10 April 2019 – Police responded to a local business in regards to a Fraud in progress. A male was located by Police who was attempting to cash fraudulent cheques. The male was arrested, and released with a court date and with conditions to not attend the business.

13 April 2019 – Police attended a local residence in regards to ongoing neighbour disputes. The complainant advised police that their neighbour had spot lights pointed directly into their windows during the night. Police attended the neighbours, who agreed to move the spot lights away from the complainant’s residence.

14 April 2019 – At approximately 2:40 pm, the Cobourg Police responded to a call for an armed robbery near Ontario Street and Sutherland Crescent, Cobourg. Both victims were walking southbound on Ontario Street near the area of the dog park when a brown, older model 4-door Honda Civic slowed beside them.  A male suspect exited the front passenger seat of the vehicle and pointed a handgun at one of the victims. The suspect then struck the victim several times and stole his backpack. The suspect was last seen northbound on Ontario Street in the Honda Civic.
Cobourg Police are asking for the assistance of the public to identify the suspect. Call 905-372-6821 or Crime Stoppers: 1-800-222-8477
Suspect Description:
Male, white, 16-18 years, thick eyebrows, wearing a white hooded sweat shirt, blue jeans, red baseball hat and a red bandana covering his mouth and nose.

Other Police news this week:

April 8 – Theft at Local Business

Police Suspect
Police Suspect

The Cobourg Police Service is seeking the public’s assistance in identifying a man involved in a theft that occurred at a store in the west end of Cobourg on April 8 at approximately 5:00 p.m.
The man attended the store and snatched several items while an employee was distracted. The man fled the store on foot and left the scene in a waiting vehicle. The vehicle was described as a dark grey Dodge Caravan with no license plates on the vehicle. Images were captured of the man involved in the theft.

April 13 – Male arrested for Break and Entry

Cobourg Police responded to a 911 call to a residence for an unknown male in the complainant’s residence. While on-route the complainant advised police that the unknown male had left the residence. A short time later the unknown male was located in another residence.
As a result of police investigation, Cobourg resident Emanuel SUTHERLAND, 25 years old, was arrested and charged with two counts of Break & Enter commit.  Emanuel SUTHERLAND is currently being held for a bail hearing scheduled in April 2019.

April 15 –  Male arrested for Theft

On Monday April 15th, 2019 at approx. 10:37 a.m., Cobourg Police were dispatched to a downtown business where staff had reported a theft in progress. When police arrived, 29 year old Peter MUNRO of Cobourg was placed under arrest. Subsequent to police investigation MUNRO was charged with Theft under $5000 contrary to section 334(b) of the Criminal Code, Possession of property obtained by crime contrary to section 355(b) of the Criminal Code as well as two counts of fail to comply with probation contrary to section 733.1(1) of the Criminal Code. MUNRO was released on a promise to appear and officer in charge undertaking.
Anyone with information regarding these incidents is asked to contact the Cobourg Police Service at 905-372-6821 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.
Pete Fisher’s web page has a good description of this incident here.

April 16th – Fraud / Possession of Property Obtained by Crime (Added on April 16)

April 16th, 2019 at approximately at 8:02 am, the Cobourg Police received a call to attend the Canadian Tire store regarding two males trying to purchase items with a credit card that the clerk did not believe belong to them. Upon arrival police located the two parties involved and place them under arrest for Fraud contrary to section 380.(1) of the criminal code and Possession of Property obtained by crime, contrary to section 355 (b) of the criminal code.
As a result of the police investigation police charged Peter James Munro, 29 years old, and Thomas Palmisano, 45 years old, of Cobourg with multiple counts of property crime charges. Both were held for a bail hearing. [Note by JD. Looks like the same guy who was “released on a promise to appear” the day before could not stop committing crimes and I’d suggest Police were right to keep him in custody pending a bail hearing].

The Police also provide a map showing the location of some of the incidents.  It’s called a Crime Plot Map and is available here. Read their FAQs to understand what’s omitted but you can see that most crime occurs around the downtown area.

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warren

The Policing statistics that are perhaps most important are –
How does Cobourg’s Policing costs-per-capita and crime rates compare to other comparable towns/municipalities?
Our Police Chief is justifiably positive that Cobourg Police Operating expenses have not increased more than
cost-of-living in recent years.
However, the latest ‘standard’ Provincial information available (*FIR Reports), indicate that the
Cobourg per-capita cost of Policing is significantly higher than in comparable Ontario communities.
There seem to be “apples-vs.-oranges” and Cobourg Police ‘Background Check’ business revenue factors that confuse the situation. I hope to meet again with a combination of the Chief, the Town Treasurer and the coordinating Councillor to clarify and understand the situation.
John may let me report back here.

* “The FIR (Financial Information Return) is the main data collection tool used by the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing to collect financial and statistical information on Municipalities. The ‘FIR’ is a standard document comprised of a number of Schedules which are updated each year to comply with current legislation and reporting requirements.” https://efis.fma.csc.gov.on.ca/fir/Welcome.htm