Beaverton resident urges council to address lack of police presence

Dear Brock Township council,

I would like to state some of my concerns about the policing in my community.

I live in Beaverton on Lakeland Crescent and have lived in this community for 42 years. I regularly walk my dog (often three times a day, including evening times) along a number of streets in the town, and upon doing these walks, and observing vehicular traffic, I have a serious concern that there is a lack of police presence, particularly in the evening hours (approximately 6 to 10 p.m.), when I observe vehicles travelling at excessive speeds.

There are several streets of particular concern that I notice this happening: Mara Road (chronic speeding both into town and from town out to Highway 12), Simcoe Street (especially from the harbour up to the railway tracks), Victoria Avenue (from the Beaverton Fish and Chips Restaurant down to Morrison Avenue), Main Street East (from the Strand movie theatre out to Highway 12), occasionally Main Street West (from the arena to Parklawn Avenue) and the street on which I live, Lakeland Crescent (which was designated a Community Safety Zone recently by reason of a petition signed by many of the residents on the street).

I have phoned in a number of times, while on my walks with my dog, to the DRPS and have had some discussions, but, unfortunately, even with the growing population here in Beaverton there has not been a noticeable increase in law enforcement of the speed limits established.

On several occasions during the summer months, I have been able to speak to DRPS officers about this matter, and the response is that there are only two police cruisers for all of Brock Township. This does not seem at all adequate, given the growing subdivisions, both in Beaverton and in Sunderland.

I feel that more needs to be done about this issue and that Brock Township council should discuss this and perhaps bring this  to the DRPS about the need for more police presence, especially in the evening hours.

To also point out that this is an issue, during the summer months this year, I have witnessed young male adults driving recklessly on motocross road motorcycles on different streets in Beaverton. These motorcycles have no licence plates and no signal lights nor headlights. One police officer was able to catch up to one of these unlicenced drivers and issue a warning, as I was told by the officer at a later date.

My second concern is that the DRPS substation in Beaverton is not accessible to the public. There is a phone beside the door to this building, which, upon lifting the receiver, dials directly to a dispatcher, somewhere in Durham Region.

Sometimes, there are police vehicles parked in the parking lot next to the substation, but citizens cannot speak with the officers using these vehicles and who use the substation, unless, by chance, they are able to catch them on the way in to the substation or on the way out.

This is a source of frustration for a number of residents, some of whom have mentioned to me that they would like to see a return to the OPP patrolling the town, which also included, back in that time period when this police force patrolled Beaverton, an accessible police office on Highway 12 at the current mini-plaza where several stores are situated.

Citizens who would like to or are required to obtain a police background check must travel to the police detachment on Highway 12 near Manchester, and if they require a vulnerable sector check, must travel to the police station on Taunton Road in Whitby.

I know this as I am a volunteer for several organizations in Brock Township, including being a volunteer driver for students at Beaverton Public School, and have had to travel to the police station in Whitby to acquire the ‘vulnerable sector check’. My point here is, that it would be much more convenient for those citizens who require background checks, if these could be done at the currently inaccessible police substation in Beaverton.

In closing, I would like to say that, with the current growth in the communities of Beaverton and Sunderland, there needs to be a definite increase in the number of police officers to enforce the laws and protect the citizens, keeping the communities safe in Brock Township. I am hoping that your council will address these issues and follow up with the DRPS on the matters I have presented.

Ken Scruton

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