Chief of London Police rejects new police powers enforced by Ont. government
(Source: London Police Service)
LONDON, ONT -- Chief of London Police Service, Steve Williams said police members will not be randomly stopping individuals and drivers despite the Ontario government allowing them to do so.
On Friday afternoon, the Ontario government gave police temporary powers to enforce its stay-at-home order by allowing them to stop individuals and vehicles and ask their reasons for leaving their homes.
Solicitor General Sylvia Jones made the announcement Friday afternoon as part of the new measures introduced by Premier Doug Ford's government to stop the further spread of COVID-19.
"We have made the deliberate decision to temporarily enhance police officers' authority for the duration of the stay-at-home order. Moving forward, police will have the authority to require any individual who is not in a place of residence to first provide the purpose for not being at home and provide their home address," Jones said.
In a social media thread, Chief Steve Williams rejected the new enforcement powers.
Chair of The London Police services board, Dr. Javeed Sukhera realeased a statement on Saturday morning, encouraging the Provincial government to shift their focus.
"(We) encourage the Provincial government to shift their focus to stabilizing the health system, ensuring equitable access to vaccines, and following the advice of Health experts."
A statement by the Ontario Association of Chiefs of police, said police will use discretion in using such measures.
"Under the new enforcement measures introduced today, police officers will have the authority to ask anyone outside their residence to provide their address and indicate their purpose for being outside theirresidence. This includes stopping vehicles and pedestrians to make these inquiries. If a police officer has reasonable grounds to believe that the individual is in violation of any of the Emergency Orders, the person will be required to identify themselves in order to facilitate the issuance of a ticket, with a fine of approximately $750."
The statement continued as follows.
"As we review the new authorities provided today by the Government of Ontario and communicate these authorities to our police officers, Ontario police services remain committed to ensuring their police officers and personnel work in a transparent and accountable manner whenever they interact with Ontarians during these trying times."