Kingston Police is joining a growing number of Ontario police forces in stating that officers will not be conducting random vehicle or pedestrian stops after new restrictions were put in place by the provincial government on Friday, Apr. 16, 2021.
In those restrictions, the Government of Ontario announced a two-week extension of the current province-wide stay-at-home order, and also announced enhanced enforcement measures for police officers under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act (EMCPA), to restrict mobility in order to stop the spread of COVID-19.
Those enhanced enforcement measures included the ability to stop vehicles and pedestrians to ask for their identification and ascertain whether the reason for their travel fell under the category of “essential.”
“Members of the Kingston Police will not be conducting random vehicle or pedestrian stops,” said Chief of Police Antje McNeely in a statement. “We will continue with traffic enforcement, engaging with members of the public and responding to calls for service, to keep our community safe. We will continue to do so in a fair and equitable manner.”
Kingston Police joins police forces in Toronto, Ottawa, Peel, London, Waterloo, Guelph, and several other Ontario municipalities in making the declaration.
“The Kingston Police will review the new regulations once released by the government, to determine the most appropriate response for those not in compliance,” said Kingston Police in a statement. “However, at this time, our current enforcement response will remain the same – both complaint driven or proactive, with the goal of gaining compliance. Those who refuse to comply will receive the appropriate penalty.”
“It is important to reiterate that everyone in our community has a role to play in stopping the spread and transmission of COVID-19, and that includes staying at home unless for essential reasons, and practicing public health guidelines,” said McNeely. “As always, we will be working collaboratively with the City of Kingston and KFL&A Public Health in response to the ever-changing nature of this pandemic.”
“Thank you to our members for keeping our community safe,” McNeely concluded. “Thank you to the citizens of Kingston for abiding by the stay-at-home order and doing your part in stopping the spread.”