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First year on job mostly positive: Chief Kalinski

January 20, 2016   ·   0 Comments

He sees his first year as Orangeville’s new Chief of Police as a mostly positive one, with an increase in community engagement as well as police presence on the streets in Orangeville, amidst other successes.

Chief Wayne Kalinski met with the local media last week to discuss some of the achievements of the Orangeville Police in 2015, their statistics, and some of the plans for the future.

“Engaging with the community and meeting community needs is a priority that the Orangeville Police has, as our motto reads we’re focused on our community, and that has to be paramount,” said Chief Kalinski. “Always considering that community safety is our number one concern, but focusing on our community is very important to not only the citizens of Orangeville, but to the Orangeville Police as well.”

While almost all the statistics for arrests, charges and other incidents either increased or decreased between the 2014 and 2015 years, Chief Kalinksi explained that it is difficult to gage whether these numbers altered because of increased police presence, less or more of a certain crime, or are just part of the general fluctuating numbers that can be seen from year to year.

“Our first priority is safety in the community. The statistics reveal some of our crimes are down. I can’t exactly pinpoint why, but I am pleased,” he said. “The numbers go up and down every year.It can depend on everything from whether or not police have been more involved, different types of things that are happening in the community — even the weather can impact those statistics.”

Some of those statistics from 2015:

• aring enforcement: 3049 parking tickets, up 989 from 2014

• ighway Traffic Act charges: 3982 (up 415)

• riminal Code charges: 746 (down 26)

• rug related charges: 53 (down 41)

• ther arrests: 502 (up 47)

In 2015, Orangeville Police officers also logged a total of 2038 hours doing ‘foot patrol’, which includes walking around some of the main areas of Orangeville throughout the day or evenings.

Some of the reasons that could have contributed to the different numbers include now having an officer dedicated to traffic enforcement. When it comes to drug-related issues, Chief Kalinski added that through the department’s attention to drugs, it has become evident that the issue is not out of control locally.

“It is a manageable issue right now,” he said. “However, the Government has announced the decriminalization of marijuana, which could have an impact on those drug related charges. Once it is legal, there could be less people calling in to file complaints. Right now, it is still business as usual. Possession of marijuana is still considered a criminal offence.”

The year also saw Orangeville Police turn a new leaf for fiscal responsibility, with Chief Kalinski not only being able to present a budgetary surplus but to see that money go back to the Town as well.

“We still have a few items that need to be considered, but we will be giving back approximately half a million dollars to the Town, as part of our ongoing goal to show that fiscal responsibility,” said Chief Kalinski. “In 2016, I was able to present a budget with a zero-percent increase to the Police Services Board.”

That zero increase will prove to be a challenge, as this year both the uniformed and civilian officer contracts have expired and will need to be renegotiated. But the Chief remains positive that this will be achievable, even with the loss of the County 9-1-1 contract.

“We will be working on fiscal sustainability and looking at revenue we get from elsewhere,” he said. “The Orangeville Police Service currently has RFP’s (Requests for Proposal) out to do dispatch in other areas as well.”

A big part of the new direction of the Orangeville Police under Chief Kalinski’s direction has been on community interaction and helping familiarize residents with both the Chief and the officers.

“My duty as a police chief is to be accessible to the community, whether it’s at an event or meeting,” said the Chief. “That’s what the community wants, and that’s what I want. And I enjoy the interaction, I learn from the interaction. It functions as a barometer of how the police are doing.”

He added that the community has been incredibly receptive of seeing him out at events, and the feedback he has received has all been positive.

The visibility of the officers has also been a positive move, and one that Chief Kalinski hopes is showing the community how dedicated these men and women are to both their job and the town.

“Every member of the Orangeville Police Service is professional and proud of their job,” said Chief Kalinski. “Our members are committed to doing a fantastic job. It’s important that our officers are professional and are proud of their uniform as well as the job they do. I’m pleased with the commitment I have seen from them.”

On Tuesday evening it was announced that the new Orangeville Police Services Business Plan, a project which Chief Kalinski mentioned has been developed over the last several months, is available to the public online.

“The Business Plan will have action items that have time set deliverables for the police, and we will be adhering to the time lines set out,” he said.

The Plan, which spans over the next two years, was drafted through input from members of the public as well as the police service, through internal surveys, and several community consultations held by Chief Kalinski to determine the policing and safety issues affecting those who both live and work in Orangeville. The plan is the result of a culmination of feedback received from various sources, and identifies a set of priorities based on that feedback and consultation.

Several of those themes include: promoting road safety through strategic enforcement, education and community engagement; bullying prevention, school crime prevention programs and youth related issues; increased foot patrols and improving public communications.

The full 2016-2018 Business Plan is available on the Orangeville Police Service website at www.orangevillepolice.ca.

“As the Orangeville Police Service Chief, I am proud of where our service is and where it is heading to,” said Chief Kalinski. “We have fantastic people, both civilian and uniformed, who do their jobs with pride and distinction. I would put them up against any service nationwide.”

By Tabitha Wells
         

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