So much has changed in such a short time

Chief Danny Aikman ~ Walking the Beat with the Chief
So much has changed in such a short time

March 17th seems like so long ago, but it was just over 30 days ago the Province of Ontario declared an Emergency to deal with the COVID 19 pandemic. So much has changed in such a short time and that is truly incredible on a number of levels.

The Cornwall Police Service (CPS) continues to respond to calls for service, even though the manner in which our officers respond may differ than before. Non-emergency calls are now handled by phone or by other electronic means. The CPS will continue to strategically address public safety through this very difficult period.

Our police officers continue to investigate criminal activity and have had some recent success in solving an arson at a former McConnell Avenue school building, along with a string of thefts from motor vehicles in the Riverdale area. Kudos to the members of our Criminal Investigations Division who worked alongside Community Patrol members to bring those investigations to successful conclusions.

In the past 30 days, the CPS has transitioned from our traditional public safety role, focusing on crime reduction and community partnerships, into more of a public health-focused role – one like never seen before.

CPS is working closely with the Eastern Ontario Health Unit to identify gaps in compliance with the Orders issued by the Province of Ontario under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act (EMCPA). Our primary focus is on educating members of the public and businesses as to the requirements under the EMCPA and the local Orders issued by our Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Roumeliotis.

Though our emphasis may be on education, CPS is prepared to take enforcement action in circumstances where the Orders are being flaunted or blatantly disregarded. We will do this to reinforce the message of staying home whenever possible and not assembling in groups to reduce the spread of the COVID-19 virus.

CPS is only one part our community’s response to COVID-19. We are fortunate to have excellent municipal leadership during this emergency, led by Mayor Bernadette Clement and CAO Maureen Adams. Both have set an appropriate tone, while allowing First Responders and City of Cornwall staff to conduct their business under very difficult and unique circumstances.

Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Paul Roumeliotis, has provided outstanding leadership during this Public Health crisis. Cornwall and the surrounding area is fortunate to have, not only his expertise, but his unquestioned commitment to keeping the number of cases of COVID 19 within his jurisdiction as low as possible.

Myself, along with all CPS staff, express our thanks to the front line health care workers in our community. Whether they work at the Cornwall Community Hospital or at the numerous Long Term Care Facilities in our city, a “thank you” does not adequately express our appreciation for the sacrifice you make every day coming to work under the most trying of conditions. CPS is here to support you in any way we can. Stay strong and stay healthy.

Perhaps staying strong and committed will bring some positive news about flattening the curve and an eventual return to what we used to think of as normal. Stay together by staying apart.

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