TAY VALLEY TOWNSHIP - The OPP is warning that an increase for calls for service will mean that policing will suffer.
Insp. Gerry Salisbury, the detachment commander for the Lanark County OPP, revealed, that Tay Valley Township had seen a 9.8 per cent increase in calls for service.
“That’s a significant amount for a small municipality,” said Salisbury during his report to the township’s police services board on Tuesday, Jan. 15. “We don’t have an increase in staffing,” to go along with the increased demand, he added. “Something is going to give. Something will suffer. They guys are going from call to call to call. They can’t do any proactive work.”
The number of domestic assaults in the community is up as well, “and they take a lot of time to investigate.”
911 calls are up “an awful lot across the county” and, less seriously, but aggravating for the police, is that “we are getting pocket dials daily,” from people’s cell phones.
Salisbury pointed out that the increase for calls is amounts to an increase of 1,200 hours in investigative time alone.
“That’s a lot of man hours,” he said.
By his own personal opinion, Salisbury surmised: “I think the economy drives that a bit,” but, also, that people are more likely to report incidents than they may have in the past.
Across the county, the number of car-deer collisions continues to rise.
“We are going in the wrong direction with car-deer collisions,” said Salisbury. “I wish I could give you an answer on how to solve this but I don’t know.”
He pointed to statistics that showed that in 2010, there were 182 such collisions in the county, which jumped to 205 in 2011 and 219 in 2012.
“Two members of my own family have hit deer too,” admitted Salisbury. “Last year the weather contributed. It was a very good winter for deer and a lot of them came on to the road. They are pretty hard (cases) for us to solve from an enforcement perspective.”
Salisbury reminded motorists to be careful while driving to be on the lookout for whitetails emerging from ditches, high grasses and forests along the road, since a large deer hitting a vehicle travelling at a good speed can prove fatal for both animal and motorist. He promised that the matter would be discussed further at the Lanark County association of police service boards joint meeting on Wednesday, March 6, in Lanark Highlands.
When it comes to non-animal-involved crashes, Salisbury admitted that he finds the statistics “interesting because they are cyclical.”
While areas like Fallbrook and Glen Tay, identified as traffic problem areas, have not seen any recent collisions, Balderson has seen a few, but County Road 10 has been pretty bad too.
There were 90 motor vehicle collisions for the third quarter of 2012, compared with 87 for the same period in 2011 in Tay Valley.