Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Timmins Police back on the beat

The Timmins Police Service is bringing back something that was once a common site in the city – regular foot patrols.
In what deputy police chief Des Walsh refers to as a tried and true method of policing, two veteran officers will be dedicated to a new community-oriented foot patrol unit.
Constable Guy Lauzon and Constable Richard Losier, the officers assigned to the foot patrol are both well-known police veterans who know the city inside out.
But instead of merely “walking the beat” in the downtown area, the officers will be patrolling wherever they’re needed. Their responsibilities will include foot patrols in residential areas, parks, trails, shopping areas, and schools. They will also be seen riding on public transit.
Aside from having a wealth of background ranging from forensics to detective work, both officers are known for police volunteer work with community groups.
Walsh said the decision for returning to foot patrols follows a lengthy process of public consultations.
“Over the past few years, we heard loud and clear from all segments of the city… that they want to see a return back to the days when the cop was on the beat, walking in the neighborhoods, in the malls in the recreation areas,” Walsh said.
With an unintended pun, Walsh mentioned that in assigning Lauzon and Losier to the new foot patrol, it would become “their sole function…”
Both men will be assigned to the Police Traffic and Community Services office, under the new leadership of Sergeant Bill Aird.
Aird said he took pride and pleasure in seeing the foot patrol become part of the community service branch of policing in that the officers would focus on interacting with the public and problem solving.
“These officers will be visible in Porcupine, South Porcupine, Schumacher, Timmins proper and Mountjoy; the entire city of Timmins,” he said.
As part of the announcement, Timmins Police Chief Richard Laperriere gave each officer a new pair of police walking boots in exchange for their keys to their police cruisers.
“This is a great day not only for the police service but also for the citizens of Timmins. We’re making a real commitment to being proactive throughout the city and I have full confidence in these two officers,” the chief told assembled reporters.

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