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Kawartha Lakes police receive community input

DAN CEARNS, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, for The Standard

KAWARTHA LAKES: Kawartha Lakes Police (KLPS) has released the findings from a community input study they undertook, which started late last year.

“In December 2020, the Kawartha Lakes Police Services Board entered into a partnership with Forum Research Inc. to consult with our community about the current state of policing and gain input about future priorities. Over the ensuing months, Forum Research Inc. conducted three strategic focus sessions with a number of stakeholder agencies in Kawartha Lakes. Members of the public were also invited to participate through an online survey as well as a random telephone survey,” a KLPS press release read.

One of the points police learned from the survey was most residents feel safe in Lindsay and Ops Township and are satisfied with the current police services.

“For those who said they were dissatisfied, the most common reasons are: related to police not stopping crime/drug dealing, not dealing with problems properly and police having a bad attitude. Participants from the focus group discussions pointed out the importance of the police taking on more proactive roles to address crimes and issues rather than being reactive when a situation arises,” a report from Forum Research stated.

However, most responding residents want a larger police presence in their community.

“When asked how the police can improve how they work with the community to address issues of concern, having more police presence and visibility was [the] most mentioned,” the Forum Research report read.

“Many participants from the focus group discussions also brought up the importance of having police presence. Having [a] presence and visibility, especially during positive events, can help the community and youths to develop more positive impressions of the police rather than associating the police with negative events.”

The issues Forum Research found most residents were concerned about were “impaired driving and drug-related crimes.” Those involved in the focus groups felt police could benefit from further training to help them deal with mental health issues and situations.

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