The London Police Association fully endorses the decision not to randomly stop individuals.

London, ON, April 17th, 2021 – We share the shock and concern of our fellow community members regarding yesterday’s provincial government announcement to extend police powers. The London Police Association was neither consulted nor given advance notice that our members would be put in this position. Once again, we find ourselves unwittingly thrust into the middle of the debate centered on a public health crisis and the police. We commend the statement released by Chief Williams and fully endorse the decision not to randomly stop individuals.

Our position has been consistent for over a decade. Be it mental health, homelessness, addiction, subsequent overdose deaths, or COVID-19, police have a limited and measured role in any public health crisis.

The London Police Association has been outspoken regarding the very real concerns we have with core policing matters such as the dramatic increase in guns on our streets. We simply do not have the resources to tackle gun violence, human trafficking, child exploitation and COVID-19, all while going call to call to call.

Furthermore, we do not believe it is in the best interest of our community to confirm the intentions of individuals outside their home. The police are granted a level of authority in our community that is matched by very few professions. With that authority comes the discretion to do what we believe is in the best interest of our community and the relationship between our members and the community they serve. Given the extenuating circumstances of the pandemic, we do not believe that confirming the intentions of individuals who have simply left their homes is in their best interest, our community’s best interest, or LPA members’ best interest.

To our members, our message is clear. You have an extremely challenging and stressful job in good times, let alone now. We urge you to stay the course. Continue to do what you do best in a professional and community-minded approach. There is no time, let alone need, to randomly stop anyone in London.