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Multiple issues discussed during municipal DRPS update

Multiple issues discussed during municipal DRPS update

DAN CEARNS, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, for The Standard

BROCK: Durham Regional Police (DRPS) Staff Sergeant Colin Shaw recently provided Brock councillors with an update on police work done in Durham Region this year, specifically in North Durham. At a meeting on Monday, October 19th, he mentioned this year has been challenging for local officers, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. “At the start of [the pandemic], back in March, a lot of our stuff kind of shut down in terms of traffic stops, interaction with the public, community engagements, public meetings, all those things,” S/Sgt. Shaw explained. While there were less vehicles on the road for a portion of the year due to the pandemic, S/Sgt. Shaw said, “now [the police are] back to pretty much full [work on] traffic related issues.” He said motor vehicle collisions in North Durham are “right on the yearly average.” Due to continued strong numbers of vehicle infractions in Brock, S/Sgt. Shaw stressed the local police force has “fairly strong enforcement in Brock Township.” Though Durham police have seen some encouraging numbers regarding impaired driving. “We have a 75 percent reduction in accidents involving impaired drivers where there were injuries or deaths,” S/Sgt Shaw told councillors. Durham police are currently working on a plan regarding how to target marijuana grow operations in North Durham that are growing plants in excess of the size or amount they are licensed to by Health Canada. S/Sgt Shaw stated Durham police have “dismantled numerous” marijuana grow operations through Project Mosquito. “What we’re finding is, almost all of the locations in North Durham have licenses issued from Health Canada, but they’re growing in excess of what their license permits them to do. For us, it’s problematic, as our drug unit isn’t the unit that deals with marijuana any longer, because marijuana is not a controlled substance under the Criminal Code anymore. So we need to think of some creative ways to develop manpower to dismantle these areas, while the drug unit deals with illegal drugs,” S/Sgt Shaw said. He called control of cannabis operations “the biggest issue in North Durham.”

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