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Ontario’s Police Leaders Honour Police Services for Exceptional Initiatives on Liquor Enforcement

For Immediate Release: June 18, 2013

(Toronto, ON) – The Ontario Association of Chiefs of Police (OACP) is pleased to announce that the Waterloo Regional Police Service (service over 500 employees) and the St. Thomas Police Service (service under 500 employees) are being honoured with the OACP’s 2013 Outstanding Liquor Enforcement Award for initiatives that have significantly increased public safety related to liquor licence enforcement.

“Police Officers work closely with government officials, licenced establishments, and our communities to make sure liquor licence enforcement remains a key component of our public safety work,” said OACP President Chief Steve Tanner.  “We commend these two services for their outstanding commitment to liquor enforcement and ensuring all members of the community can safely enjoy licenced establishments.”

The Waterloo Regional Police Service is being honoured for the work of its North Division Community Oriented Response Team (C.O.R.E.).  This team was formed to respond to the growing popularity of the City of Waterloo’s entertainment district, which has 32 licenced establishments within eight city blocks.  With two major universities in the area, with a student population of 45,000, the challenges related to liquor enforcement in this area are significant.

A particular challenge is the annual St. Patrick’s Day celebrations, which attract 4,000 to 8,000 often intoxicated revelers every year.  By emphasizing public safety, effective liquor enforcement, and community partnerships, the C.O.R.E. team has ensured no major incidents around this celebration for the past two years, and has become a model for enforcement strategies around liquor enforcement related to major community celebrations.

The St. Thomas Police Service is being honoured for its work in partnering with Alcohol and Gaming Corporation of Ontario (AGCO) inspectors and the Elgin St. Thomas Public Health Unit to increase the effectiveness of liquor enforcement in the community.

By working with AGCO inspectors and the Tobacco Enforcement Officer from the Health Unit, officers from the St. Thomas Police Service’s Drug Enforcement Unit, Criminal Investigations, Uniform Patrol Division, and the Intelligence Officer were able to engage in blitzes of licenced establishments which were identified as a result of complaints received or confidential information received.  Charges laid included selling liquor to intoxicated persons and persons under 19 years of age, and being intoxicated in public.  The resulting greater awareness by liquor licence holders of the increased level of enforcement has greatly improved public safety in St. Thomas.

The OACP’s annual Liquor Enforcement Award is sponsored by the Alcohol and Gaming Corporation of Ontario, and will be presented on June 25 at the OACP’s Annual Meeting taking place June 23-26 in Peterborough (#OACPMtg2013).

Click Here for the OACP Media Release.

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