Not locking vehicle doors breeds crime: police chief

Cornwall police board members discuss Dec. 2, 2015 what the board could do to help resettle Syrian refugees. Pictured, from left, Leslie O'Shaughnessy, Manon Thompson and Pat Finucan. (Newswatch Group/Bill Kingston)

CORNWALL – The city’s police chief said Wednesday, people not locking their car doors is effectively breeding crime in their neighbourhood.

“A fisherman knows where to go fishing,” Dan Parkinson told the police board, suggesting thieves who know where people don’t lock their doors will come back again and again.

The comments came up during a Cornwall Community Police Services Board meeting reviewing programs, such as the ongoing “Lock It Or Lose It” campaign, the force concentrates on as part of its crime reduction strategy.

Mayor Leslie O’Shaughnessy said it’s affected his family and the issue has become “prevalent” in Cornwall.

“It’s affected my family and families of staff that have mentioned it to me is the fact it’s – lock your doors … prevention … isn’t that the same thing as we hear from fire department? That’s where you focus on is prevention. I think it’s happening. A great job is being done,” O’Shaughnessy told Cornwall Newswatch.

The mayor said it’s not only when you’re shopping but in your own driveway. O’Shaughnessy said his daughter became a victim after someone rifled through her car though nothing appeared to be taken.

O’Shaughnessy said his and his wife’s vehicle were locked in the driveway but his daughter’s wasn’t. “They’re in there for 10 seconds. They’re looking for change and that’s as simple as change,” the mayor said.

Here are some other highlights from Wednesday’s police board meeting:

  • The 2016 budget has been approved in principle with an overall increase of 0.91 per cent. Contractually obligated salaries and benefits make up 88 per cent of the budget. The police force is spending 40 per cent less on capital needs next year. The budget still has to be approved by city council.
  • CCPS has accumulated $2,543.49 in found or seized money. Under the Police Services Act, they have been able to transfer than unclaimed money to the auction account that is used for charitable causes.
  • A donation from that auction account will be going towards a retiree wall in the police station. It will honour all retired and fallen officers back to 1957. The police board approved a $1,000 donation. The two police unions are putting $5,000 toward the $6,000 memorial. The idea was spearheaded by police and fire dispatcher Josee Lalonde, who was inspired to create the memorial wall after the death of Insp. Daniel O’Reilly.
  • Board member Pat Finucan made a presentation asking what role the police board could have in settling Syrian refugees in Cornwall. Mayor Leslie O’Shaughnessy suggested the board wait to see what’s in a special report coming to city council on Dec. 16.
  • Due to some problems bringing the event together, the CPA (Cornwall Police Association) Policeman’s Ball won’t be back this year. Instead, it’s being transformed into a New Year’s Eve gala at the civic complex. The Cornwall Optimist Club and the Cornwall Hospital Foundation have teamed up with the CPA with benefits from the fundraiser helping mental health programming. The board had sponsored the event for $2,000 and the majority of the board was agreeable to letting its donation stand.
  • They are ready to bargain. With their contract set to expire at the end of the year, CPA President Dave MacLean told the board they are ready to sit down and negotiate. Board chairman Andre Rivette indicated they would be in touch in a couple days.

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