BlackburnNews.com file photo.

Amherstburg Policing Preparations ‘Going Very Well’

Windsor’s police chief says he is pleased with the progress made in the efforts to take over policing in Amherstburg.

Chief Al Frederick provided an update on the transition process during the Windsor Police Services Board meeting Thursday. With the Ontario Civilian Police Commission (OCPC) having approved the plan to have Windsor absorb the Amherstburg police department, the chief says the transition efforts are running smoothly.

“It’s going very well,” says Frederick. “There’re at least 12 subcommittees all working with the chair and a combination of Amherstburg and Windsor members, working toward all the transitional issues.”

Those issues include differences between the two services concerning shift scheduling, equipment, and others. The chief says Amherstburg will soon fall under the rotation of 12-hour shifts currently followed by Windsor officers. Equipment issues include tools used in the field, such as body cameras, which Amherstburg uses but Windsor does not. Frederick also says Amherstburg will eventually move to a more computerized system of record keeping and statistics, such as the one used in Windsor.

A divided Amherstburg Town Council signed off on the proposal earlier this year and submitted it to the OCPC, which has the final say on such matters province-wide.

Throughout the application process, there had been concern among Amherstburg residents about job security for police officers. Frederick reiterated that all Amherstburg officers will keep their jobs, with their police chief and deputy chief taking on administrative positions with WPS. The chief also says there will be more options for Amherstburg officers who are considering advancement.

“If you want to stay in Amherstburg, you can stay in Amherstburg. But if you want to come to Windsor and have opportunities for different types of work, which we have lots of,  then they’re eligible for that,” says Frederick. “If they want to enter our promotional systems, they’ll be eligible for that.”

Frederick says he hopes the system will be entirely in place for the transition to happen on January 1, 2019.