Kingston Police has responded to a new emergency order, announcing that they will not be conducting “random vehicle or pedestrian stops.” The announcement comes as a growing number of police forces in Ontario respond to new powers issued by the Ontario Government on Friday.
“Members of the Kingston Police will not be conducting random vehicle or pedestrian stops. We will continue with traffic enforcement, engaging with members of the public and responding to calls for service, to keep our community safe,” said Chief of Police Antje McNeel. “We will continue to do so in a fair and equitable manner.”
The Kingston Police also said that they are going to be reviewing the regulations as they are released by the government. “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,” she added.
The new restrictions include a two-week extension of the current province-wide stay-at-home order, in order to stop the rapid growth of COVID-19 case rates. The announcement drew criticism after it enhanced enforcement measures for police officers under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act (EMCPA), intended to restrict mobility in order to stop the spread of COVID-19.
“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 McNeel. “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.”