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HomeNewsConversation about noise complaints in Bracebridge continues at council table

Conversation about noise complaints in Bracebridge continues at council table

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Out-going Bracebridge OPP Detachment Commander Michael Burton understands how frustrating it is for residents to see enforcement officials pointing fingers at each other.

In February, Deborah Anderson and Ray Zylstra spoke to Bracebridge council about a “dangerous, destructive and abusive” situation that led council to direct staff to look at making changes to the town’s noise by-law.

It was the second time the pair spoke to council about what’s been happening near where they live n Matthiasville Road. 

Burton, who is retiring Monday, was invited to council last week to speak on the specific situation and how police handle others like it. He told council that it’s tough in situations like the one detailed for officers to enforce anything. He said he has reached out to the people who complained and has watched a video of what is alleged to have happened but said, in this case, there’s not much that can be done since the people involved in the incidents are never visible, only their vehicles. However, Burton added an officer has been assigned to speak to all the parties involved. “The type of situation they’re describing to us, it’s very difficult for those responses to result with actual enforcement action,” he went on to say.

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“From my experience, quite often those types of conservations lead to a successful resolution,” Burton said.

Burton explained that the polices’ role isn’t “solely enforcement and nothing else.” When appropriate, he said, they do explore “other options”.

“We do everything we can so our residents, visitors to our area, feel safe in our communities,” he said. “That’s right in our mission statement.”

To report similar incidents, Burton said the first step should be to contact the detachment’s communications team at 1-888-310-1122. That will put them in touch with an officer on duty. He said to explain the situation to them and, if they don’t feel like they’re getting the response they need, ask to speak to a supervisor. “There have been several examples within the town – without me getting into specific details – where that has occurred,” he said.

Coun. Don Smith asked about improving communication between the town’s by-law department and police. “Quite often one will hear it’s outside of by-law’s perspective, or it’s outside of OPP’s area of concern,” he said. “Are you satisfied we have the right communication going forward?”

Burton agreed that communication is key between the two sides. “We all have a different role to play at the table,” he said. While not specifically answering if he’s satisfied with the communication between by-law and the police, Burton said officers are encouraged to work with by-law on cases where it’s necessary. He said they want to “reduce the fruition that people might be experiencing when they see us, or another enforcement agency, pointing the finger at each other.”

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