Kingston Police are calling 2016 a busy, but successful year.
There were no homicides, and the number of violent crimes is down.
But as the New Year approaches… there are still staffing challenges to overcome… like keeping up with a growing population.
Gilles Larochelle/Chief of Kingston Police:
“The city, good news, it’s growing. It’s a tourist town. We are tied with Ottawa as the lowest cop to pop ratio in the province.”
With officers kept busy responding to calls for service, other areas like traffic enforcement, often take a back seat.
The Police Chief says traffic enforcement is a top priority in the community. The only problem is, the local traffic unit is small in number… but there are plans to beef up enforcement in that area come 2018.
“For us to support the community and ensure safety. I’ve got to increase my numbers in that area.”
Some drivers say they witness bad driving habits far too often on the roads.
“Every intersection you come to basically, people are running a red light or running a yellow light at least.”
“Distracted driving I think is pretty bad here and sometimes people [are] running through yellow lights that turn into red.”
After spending a few minutes at some busy intersections in the west end, it was easy for [CKWS staff] to spot some dangerous habits.
Drivers say they don’t see enough officers cracking down on problems like red light running, speeding, quick lane changes and other traffic infractions.
“They have to be visible to stop this.”
“I don’t see too many no. And there probably should be.”
“Not enough in this area. There’s a lot of accidents at Gardiners Road and Taylor Kidd… so I’m sure they could do a lot more.”
Chief Larochelle says 2017 will be busier than ever, as he plans to work on a new 3 year business plan that will likely include a call to hire more officers to focus on traffic enforcement and community policing.
On a brighter note, the police department recently celebrated 175 years as municipal force…. raising thousands of dollars for charities.
Source (with video): CKWS TV