Augusta Township defers vote on Police Services Board recommendation for Township to withdraw licence for the final Wheels A Churnin event scheduled for September 21 and 22, 2019
Augusta Matters by Mayor Doug Malanka
On Monday, August 10, 2019, Augusta Council, on the advice of legal Counsel, deferred to its next regular meeting of Council a recommendation from the Township’s Police Services Board (PSB) that the Township withdraw its licence for the final Wheels A Churnin event this year scheduled for September 21 and 22, 2019. The recommendation by the civilian members of the PSB followed an emergency meeting of the Augusta Police Services Board earlier in the day called by the Chair, Glenn Mackey to receive information from the Grenville OPP regarding the Wheels A Churnin events on June 1st and 2nd on July 27th and 28th, 2019.
At the meeting, Inspector June Dobson told Board members that the Grenville OPP had dedicated 112 hrs, plus an extra 40 hours of OT during the first Wheels A Churnin event on June 1st, and 2nd. 2019. Inspector Dobson noted that the calls for service charged to the Township above core service charges ranged from traffic complaints, ambulance assists, impaired persons, property related mischief to property, missing person, and hours of RIDE checks. Inspector Dobson further told the Board that the Grenville OPP dedicated approximately 105 hr, with an extra 64 hrs of OT during the second event on July 26-27, 2019. She noted that the calls for service charged to the Township ranged again from traffic complaints, a serious assault, unwanted parties/trespass and numerous hours of RIDE. In connection with the July event, the Board was told that a police officer proceeding to the event location at 6:30 am narrowly missed a head-on collision with a car being operated by an individual under the influence only by virtue of his special driving training.
Based on the information from the Grenville OPP that the cost to the Township for calls for service at the Wheels A Churnin events are significant and increasing and their concerns regarding the seriousness nature of the calls for service and other incidents that threaten the health and safety of participants and the public outside of the track, the Board made the following recommendation to Council, “The Police Services Board recommends to Council to revoke the September 21, 2019 Wheels a Churin’ event licence on the grounds that the event poses a public safety concern based on police observations and incidents of calls for service and noncompliance with the Criminal and Provincial Offenses Act such as: impaired driving; drug use; under age abuse of alcohol and drugs; serious assault incidents; mischief and the inability of onsite security to provide and maintain control of the event; and that the resources used by the OPP are substantial and the cost to the community associated with calls for service are significant”.
Council agreed to defer the motion to the next meeting so that Staff can investigate into the situation including meeting with event organizers and prepare a report to Council with recommendations.