- Hub staff

Police logos on private vehicles have drawn the attention of people driving through West Grey.

After the mass shootings two years ago in Nova Scotia involving a replica police car , the challenges to the public and law enforcement are still part of the 18-month public inquiry.  Discussions are ongoing about the use of police emblems . Police have warned the public after Ontario incidents of individuals impersonating police and making traffic stops.

We wrote to the Chair of the West Grey Police Services (WGPS) Board, Mayor Christine Robinson, and to the Solicitor General's office, asking about policy and law on this subject.

We received an email from the Chief Administrative Officer of the Municipality of West Grey, Laura Johnston, who wrote:
"West Grey Police Service has not received any complaints from the public on this matter.
West Grey Police Service has contacted all parties who have been identified as using the emblem, excluding the West Grey Police Association who have permission to use the logo for their sign campaign. All other parties have removed the logos from their private vehicles as requested."

We enquired of the Chief of the West Grey Police, Robert Martin, if the Police had requested people remove the logos from their vehicles out of concern for misunderstanding or misrepresentation. Chief Martin is away until Thursday without access to email, but our question was forwarded to Inspector Jeremy White, and we will update this article with his reply when it is received.

Brent Ross, Spokesperson for the Ministry of the Solicitor General replied:

westgreypolicelogo“Concerns about members of the public displaying police logos in a manner that is likely to cause others to believe they are peace officers should be directed to the local police service who have jurisdiction to enforce the Criminal Code of Canada, including the provisions as they relate to personating a peace officer.”

This would be Criminal Code, RSC 1985, c C-46. 130 (1) Everyone commits an offence who: (b) not being a peace officer or public officer, uses a badge or article of uniform or equipment in a manner that is likely to cause persons to believe that he is a peace officer or a public officer, as the case may be.

At their May 3 council meeting, a West Grey councillor raised the concerns of some constituents, citing the Nova Scotia tragedy and possible confusion over the proper use of the police emblem. She asked that the subject be discussed at a future council meeting in the interest of public safety.

The West Grey Police Services Board took offence at the request. Following a closed meeting, the Board approved the following motion: "The West Grey Police Services Board condemns the comments made by Councillor Hergert at the May 3, 2022 Council meeting, wherein she compared the Nova Scotia massacre in which 22 innocent people were killed to the community movement in West Grey to save the West Grey Police; and requests a public apology from Councillor Hergert to the members of the West Grey Police Service, members of the public, and members of Council for her inflammatory and disrespectful comments."

The vinyl decals which were placed on the driver and passenger doors of some vehicles were made by a local sign company.  The company also created the “Save our police” signs following West Grey Council's approval of a notice of motion requesting an OPP costing for police services.

The council of the Municipality of West Grey is inviting expressions of  interest for the provision of policing services. Registrations for bid packages are being received on or before May 17, 2022.  Owen Sound Police Services had expressed interest in bidding earlier this year.




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