Barrie city police will let citizens and politicians ‘Inside the Call’ Monday.
Police will make a presentation to city council about what’s involved when police are called - from dispatching officers, the canine unit or tactical unit, to paramedics and firefighters, to forensic services, criminal investigators and victims’ assistance, right to the Crown Attorney and the courts.
“We are working to increase awareness of the Barrie Police Service (BPS) and the many different initiatives and units within our service,” said Barrie Police Chief Kimberley Greenwood. “(The presentation) will give an inside look at how our service responds to occurrences and all the different elements that are required to keep our community safe.”
Greenwood also said the presentation is part of ongoing community engagement during the 2021 police budget process.
Council will experience a PowerPoint presentation of photos, video and audio on ‘Inside the Call’ at Monday’s virtual meeting.
“That slide deck (presentation) was eye opening even for me,” said Mayor Jeff Lehman, who sits on the BPS board. “I'm not sure the public always have a sense of how complex some police calls are, and certainly because only two members of council (Coun. Robert Thomson is the other) are on the police board, I think doing a presentation like this is very helpful to give council and the public alike a sense of what all the legal requirements and dimensions of police work can entail.”
Lehman said during this term of council ‘101’ learning sessions have been scheduled for most departments, such as planning 101, which introduce and outline all the aspects of the work done by city departments, and this is the police equivalent. It is a city police initiative.
Policing Barrie is a busy job. In 2019, officers dealt with 74,000 occurrences, made 7,052 arrests and lodged 3,113 prisoners.
Occurrences included 932 vehicles reported stolen, 297 vehicle collisions with personal injuries, police dogs being called out 191 times and fingerprints taken for criminal charges 3,180 times. Electronic devices were analyzed by the technical data recovery examiner 135 times and 5,001 Crown briefs were created.
Statistics Canada released its most recent safe cities report in May, 2020 with numbers from 2018.
That year, Barrie police reported an overall crime rate of 3,970 incidents per 100,000 population, 3% lower than in Ontario (4,113) and 28% lower than in Canada (5,488).
During the 2008-2018 decade, police-reported crime declined by 28% in Barrie, while a smaller decline was seen in Ontario (-16%) and Canada (-17%).
The severity of crime in Barrie increased by 12% between 2017 and 2018, mostly due to an increase in breaking and entering, and fraud.
And during the 2008-2018 decade, the severity of crime in Barrie declined by 20%, compared with a 15% decline in Ontario and a 17% decline in Canada.
The BPS community safety survey is available until Dec. 11 for those who live, work or spend time in Barrie to share their feedback on safety in the community, as well as levels of trust and confidence in the BPS. It is available at BarriePolice.ca/Survey.