Norfolk policing committee takes shape

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The make-up of the Norfolk County Community Policing Committee is coming into focus.

At its monthly meeting on June 24, Norfolk’s Police Services Board appointed representatives for five of the county’s seven wards and several members who will serve at large.

Members approved include:

Rita Collver in Langton-area Ward 2.

Justin Corner in Delhi-area Ward 3.

Joshua Lightheart in Windham-area Ward 4.

Jean Montgomery in Simcoe-area Ward 5.

Daniel Avey in Waterford-area Ward 7.

Appointed at-large were Michele Hough, Brenda Proracki, Gordon Rollo, Anthony Melvin Thompson, Reginald Vandenberghe and David Kerr.

When it came up with the Norfolk-wide concept, the PSB envisioned representation from every ward, with two members from Simcoe-area Ward 5 to reflect its larger population.

An application from Port Rowan-area Ward 1 was not received while the applicant in Port Dover-area Ward 6 withdrew. PSB chair Dennis Travale says Ward 1 Coun. Tom Masschaele and Ward 6 Coun. Amy Martin have been asked to canvas their respective communities for potential candidates.

When the new committee convenes, one of the first orders of business involves determining the duration of each member’s term. The committee’s terms-of-reference include the staggering of terms so membership turns over gradually and not all at once. The PSB will leave these decisions to the newly-minted committee.

“We’ll let them sort that out,” Travale said. “I would hate to dictate that to anyone.”

The committee will hold its first meeting electronically in July due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the need for social distancing.

The PSB promoted a county-wide model to replace the numerous community policing committees that served Norfolk County since the 1980s.

Travale recalls how there were 11 such committees when he began the first of two terms as mayor of Norfolk County. By 2014, the number of committees had dwindled to five due to what Travale describes as “volunteer burnout.”

The PSB hopes residents of Norfolk County get acquainted with their ward policing representative and bring any policing and public safety concerns to their attention for committee consideration.

“The idea is to represent all wards to bubble up concerns to the PSB,” Travale said.

 

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