Police Beat with Const. Tom Wood
The summer months can be an enjoyable time for everyone in our community. Many of our residents are heading off to trips to the beach or other vacation destinations. Others are also having “staycations” and enjoying the many summer events that the Town of Amherst has to offer.
The police would like to inform the public that during the August long weekend, police agencies throughout Canada will be kicking off Operation Dry Water.
Operation Dry Water is a national awareness and enforcement campaign focusing on reducing the number of alcohol and drug related accidents and fatalities and fostering a stronger, more visible deterrent to alcohol and drug use on the water.
Alcohol has been a factor in approximately 40 per cent of all boating fatalities in Canada. The Canadian Safe Boating Council is partnering with the Canadian Chiefs of Police on this campaign. Residents should be well aware that the same penalties are in effect for operating a boat impaired as it is with operating a motor vehicle. In fact, there are added stressors in place in a boat (sun, waves, wind, rocking of the boat) which all increase the dangers of operating a boat while intoxicated. Residents should keep this in mind while they enjoy the various waterways that we have in the Cumberland area.
The Amherst Police would also like to remind youths in our area that the drinking age for bar establishments is 19 years of age. Typically in the summer months, the Amherst bars tend get an influx of young people attempting to sneak into the bars underage. These actions could possibly cost a young person a summary offence ticket under the Liquor Control Act. Youths will also be put on the barred suspension list for one year after they turn 19 years of age. Individuals who provide fake ids or lend their legal ids to underage friends could also face charges as well.
Cops For Kids will also be returning for its third year from Aug. 11 to Aug. 15. Last year we had 40 cadets divided into two platoons and the camp ran for five days from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
I had the opportunity to supervise one of the platoons while the Amherst Police School Resource Officer supervised the other platoon. The camp is designed for children ages eight to 11 and is free for children living in the Amherst area.
We are hoping that the camp provides kids with an opportunity to see what police do. We are also looking at breaking down the barriers between the police and young persons in our town. I personally felt that I had made life-long friends from the previous camp participants and I hope that this year’s academy will be even better.
Cons. Jason Galloway was instrumental in getting this program off the ground and was the officer who had first envisioned a Cops For Kids camp here in Amherst.
The Amherst Youth Town Council has also been very helpful in ensuring that this event runs smoothly year after year. The only problem that we have is accommodating all the kids who wish to attend. The Amherst Police Department would like to thank the Town for their support as well as the various businesses who have been very generous in their support for Cops For Kids.
While the registration for this year’s event is coming to a conclusion. I would encourage all residents to consider sending their kids to our camp in the coming years. We also encourage Amherst residents to show support to our “cadets” when you see them patrolling the Amherst streets in the next couple of weeks.
On behalf of the police department, I wish everyone a relaxing and safe summer this year.
Const. Tom Wood is the community policing officer for the Amherst Police Department. His crime prevention column appears bi-weekly in the Amherst News.