Gananoque police won’t conduct random checks; Brockville undecided

(Newswatch Group/Bill Kingston, File)

Update 1:05 p.m. Saturday: This story has been updated to add position, comments from Brockville Police Service.

GANANOQUE – The Gananoque Police Service says it won’t be taking advantage of new powers afforded by the provincial government to exercise random checks on drivers and pedestrians.

In an email to Brockville Newswatch Saturday, Chief Garry Hull says the service “will be in lockstep with the position of the numerous other services across the province. We will not be conducting random stops.”

The chief says they will continue to practice the four Es: Engage, Explain, Educate and, where appropriate, Enforce.

The move by GPS mirrors the position taken by a lot of other municipal police services in Ontario, including Ottawa and Cornwall.

The chief of the Brockville Police Service says they are awaiting direction from the government on exactly what the rules are.

“Once we have the information we will be in a better position to respond. We have not directed staff to perform random checks,” Scott Fraser said in an email to BNW.

“We are working with the city with regards to park closures and will provide updates as we get information,” he said.

Fraser adds they are talking with other services “so we can provide a consistent approach regionally.”

The Ontario Provincial Police, which polices the counties of Leeds and Grenville, has made it clear that it “now has the ability to ask anyone outside their residence, including motorists, to indicate their purpose for leaving home and provide their address.”

Increased restrictions announced by the Ontario government Friday to get the COVID-19 spread under control, included giving police officers and provincial offences officers additional power under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act.

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