The Perth County detachment of the OPP, along with the St. Marys Police Services Board (PSB), will hold a presentation to the public on Tuesday, April 9 in the Town Hall Council Chambers. It was clarified at the monthly PSB meeting on Wednesday, March 27 that this would not be a delegation at a regular Council meeting as initially thought. Instead, the board, along with the OPP, will present its statistics and a general review to the public regarding policing in the county, and hope to garner public input from those in attendance.
The meeting will be chaired by PSB Chair Henry de Young.
There was some confusion at the PSB meeting regarding a typographical error in the OPP’s calls for service report. The initial count for February had St. Marys at 121, whereas in fact the town had only accounted for 105 of the detachment’s total of 1,129 calls for service. The correction brings St. Marys’ average down to a more standard level.
Typically, the OPP only present detailed statistics to the PSB regarding criminal code driving, drugs, property crimes, and violence; but there are hundreds of categories that comprise calls for service — everything from cats in trees to mental health issues. PSB Secretary Jim Hutton noted how, while the top four categories presented may see their averages drop, it is possible for the average as a whole to rise. When no information is given regarding the other categories, this can cause some confusion.
It’s interesting to note that North Perth receives the bulk of the Perth County detachment’s calls for service. Listowel and surrounding area saw 421 calls in February alone. Compare that number to the next highest municipality, Perth East, which had 285. These numbers include property crimes related to the illegal drug trade.
One individual, in possession of seven grams, was arrested in North Perth in February and charged with possession for the purpose of trafficking methamphetamine, while two more people from the Waterloo Region were also arrested for meth distribution and weapons offenses.
St. Marys, meanwhile, is not immune to the illegal drug trade; current investigations into the trafficking of prescription medication and cocaine in St. Marys are ongoing, it was reported at the meeting.