Pubdate: Tue, 09 Jan 2007
Source: Port Hope Evening Guide (CN ON)
Copyright: 2007 Port Hope Evening Guide
Author: Valerie MacDonald


The decision by police services in Cobourg and Port Hope to set up 
criminal record screenings is paying off in a big way, say the Police 
Chiefs of the two communities.

Differing approaches to the prevalence of drugs is also working, the 
two chiefs add.

In Cobourg, the department is decreasing-by several hundreds of 
thousands of dollars-the monies taxpayers pay for policing, says 
Cobourg Police Services Board chairman Bryan Baxter.

In Port Hope, Chief Ron Hoath predicts, once year-end figures are 
totalled, the gross amount generated in 2006 will hit $1-million in 
his community.

"We're able to do police checks within a couple of days," says Chief Hoath.

That's why residents see Oshawa taxis lining up on the streets near 
the Port Hope police station near year's end-because Durham Regional 
Police cannot provide such a quick service, he says.

Another strong thrust by both police services in the past year has 
been in dealing with drugs.

In Cobourg, the Chief's Drug Challenge to say "No to Drugs" started 
in the separate schools targeting young people in Grades 7 to 10, 
explains Chief Clement.

He gives a straight talk based on what he has seen drugs do to 
people. It's not a scare tactic but it's real life experiences, he explains.

In addition to marijuana and crack cocaine "I'm told now crystal meth 
is heating up our town," Chief Clement said.

In 2007 it will be important to get councils and communities on side 
to appreciate the drug problem and attack it with education, 
treatment, enforcement and harm reduction, he said.

In Port Hope Chief Hoath says joining the Kawartha Combined Drug 
Enforcement Unit has put pressure on illegal drug users in Port Hope.

"We've done that in spades," he says. "They are reeling...knowing we 
may come in their doors or windows at any time."

The number of search warrants executed has doubled previous years and 
at least four times a month the target is right in Port Hope. There 
have even been weeks when two raids were done, he added.

Crack cocaine is a big issue, along with marijuana and the 
pain-relief prescription drug, Oxycontin, commonly known as "Hilly 
Billy Heroine."

"I'm pleased we're able to do something about it," added the Chief.
- ---
MAP posted-by: Elaine