Police Services Board Briefs – June 11, 2019

Chatham-Kent mayor Darrin Caniff, left, Const. Rene Cowell and police chief Gary Conn, right, stand for a photo with scholarship winners Kayla Coates and Abby Thompson on Tuesday.

Chief thanks officers involved in ‘project fresh’

Chatham-Kent Police Services Chief Gary Conn recognized those who were a part of the largest drug bust in Chatham-Kent history.

During Conn’s report at the police board meeting on Tuesday, he took time to officially close the books on a drug investigation dating back to April 2018 which netted $3.2 million worth of controlled substances. He touts it as the largest bust in the municipality’s history.

Over the course of the four-to-five month investigation, Project Fresh led to 19 arrests and 82 charges.

“The recipients of this are most worthy of this given scope and nature of this investigation of a bust of this size,” said Conn. “They are the subject matter experts in regards to not only drugs but the intel and the organized crime investigations surrounding a lot of the drugs we are dealing with.”

The members of the intelligence drug unit were at the board meeting on Tuesday. Due to the nature of the job – sometimes being undercover – photos were not permitted to be taken.

Conn said he commends the group for their teamwork and organization.

High school students earn scholarship dollars from CK police board

Two high school students in Chatham-Kent received some financial help from the police services board in the form of a $1,000 scholarship.

John McGregor Secondary School students Kayla Coates and Abbi Thompson were the winners of a contest designed to get students thinking about one of three topics; road safety, mental health, and property theft. All of which were highlighted as major issues in the CKPS strategic plan.

The students submitted interactive videos talking about one of the three topics.

Coates’ video was a fully animated look at statistics around youth and mental health, while Thompson created a “how to” video on the dangers of distracted and impaired driving.

Both were commended for their efforts by police Chief Gary Conn, and were awarded scholarship money for their work.

Legalization of marijuana leading to fewer complaints, says police chief 

Following the conclusion of the police services board meeting on Tuesday, police chief Gary Conn said marijuana legalization is leading to fewer complaints in the municipality.

Statistics from the 2018 CKPS annual report show the total value of marijuana plants that were taken decreased by more than half the dollar amount between 2017 and 2018.

In 2017 the total value of plants eradicated was around $1.35 million in 2017, compared to $502,000 in 2018, according to the report.

Statistics also show the total value of drugs seized increased almost five times the previous amount.

Police seized $467,669 worth of drugs in 2017 compared to approximately $2.8 million the following year.