Editorial was not about police doing their job well, but about an overabundance of officers

Northeast Town councillors mustn’t have been downtown on Haweater

To the Expositor:

Re: Your editorial of August 5 ‘Haweater’s energy may be diminished by police numbers’ (Page 4)

I would like to congratulate you on this editorial.

Contrary to what Councillor Bill Koehler told (Northeast Town) council (Northeast Town Council Notes, August 12, Page 25), I do not believe that you were speaking bad about the police, only questioning the need for so many and yes, the cost.

The old saying goes something like this: “One bad apple doesn’t necessarily spoil the barrel,” referring to Sunday night episodes in 2009.

So one bad episode shouldn’t make what was once an enjoyable family weekend get-together spoiled by an overabundance of officers. Especially on four wheelers.

Councilor Koehler could not have been down town on Saturday, nor the rest of council, to witness this.

They also seem to have forgotten how much of the NEMI budget goes to policing which should be done all year, not just on one big weekend.

Police presence is not in such large numbers at other big weekends on the Island.

On the Saturday of Haweater, I had the pleasure of having my two grandchildren, age 4 and 5, taking in the many events that the Little Current Lions Club had arranged. Starting at 10 am with Cindy Cook of Polka Dot Door and finishing around 5:30 pm with the clowns, and in between seeing Spiderman, Batman, the matchbox car races, old cars and vendors and taking in some of these more than once.

I thought how nice it was having the front street blocked off to motorized traffic, I wasn’t going to have to be so worried about their safety. Hey, what can happen when everyone is walking?

However, I soon realized this was not the case. To my shock and surprise when I was at the Cindy Cook concert I watched as two police officers on four wheelers came around the blockade, close to the people on the sidewalk and proceed down the main street. Watching this, I noticed that people hearing the noise of these machines were having to move out of the way to let them through.

This did not happen just once, but several times, even when we were walking up to see the old cars. So much for the safety of the public and my grandchildren.

Was this really necessary?

Haweater Weekend was promoted as a festival. Have you ever been to a festival and seen this type of travelling mode by the men in blue?

Ironically I had heard Community Services Officer Al Boyd on the radio prior to the weekend telling the public that we would see officers on foot, on bicycles, on four wheelers and that they would also be doing spot checks during this weekend. Well what happened to foot patrol and bicycles?

Foot patrol would have been a more logical means of transportation on the front street as it was supposed to be blocked off to motorized vehicles. Are four wheelers not motorized vehicles?

I would be remiss if I didn’t tell the public that yes, I did see a spot check being set up on Friday afternoon around 2:30 pm when I was leaving to go to Little Current. I also encountered a police officer on a four wheeler on Water Street as I walked from the park along to Low Island on Friday night, but I never did witness any officers on foot patrol or bicycles, only on four wheelers.

Sending a letter to Staff Sgt. Webb might in council’s opinion be a nice gesture, but that is their opinion, not necessarily that of the people they represent.

This same council seems to have forgotten the taxpayers of their community.

You see a letter that I sent to both Staff Sgt. Webb and council three years ago regarding the speeding traffic on the Townline Road in Sheguiandah has never been addressed. We are told walking is good for our health, but at what cost? Safety on this road just isn’t important to these two parties.

Sincerely,

Linda Bowerman

Townline Road

Sheguiandah