Hamilton police refocus limited volunteer resources

News May 18, 2017 by Craig Campbell Dundas Star News

A decline in volunteers has resulted in Hamilton police streamlining volunteer programs to focus on issues unique to policing, like road safety, while scrapping projects other organizations can provide.

Sgt. Barry Mungar, crime prevention co-ordinator, said police have limited resources and must allocate them responsibly.

“By narrowing our focus, we avoid spreading ourselves too thin, and we believe that doing several things well is better than doing a large number of things poorly,” Mungar said.

According to an annual report presented to the Hamilton Police Services Board's May 11 meeting, the crime prevention branch and community policing centres — which oversee at least 26 volunteer programs and events — experienced significant changes during 2016.

"The retirement of two longtime volunteer co-ordinators, coupled with a downward trend in the number of volunteers, resulted in the need to assess and evaluate each volunteer program," the report states.

At the time the annual report was prepared, some programs had been deemed valuable and sustainable, while others were recommended for modification or termination.

The report does not name specific programs recommended for termination.

Mungar said volunteer programs have become difficult to sustain, particularly as a result of a recent decline from 150 to 80 volunteers.

“Programs involving road safety initiatives, like Speed Watch and Red Light Runner, are community favourites,” Mungar said.

He noted traffic issues represent the largest number of public complaints received by police, so related volunteer programs are strongly supported within the service.

“Traffic programs are unique to the police and we’re the only organization enforcing road safety,” Mungar said. “On the other hand, reading programs and clothing donations can, and are, being facilitated by a variety of organizations.”

According to the annual report, in 2016 volunteers in several different traffic programs sent 1,540 followup letters to registered vehicle owners with date, time and nature of a traffic violation and potential consequences.In 2015, 1,368 letter were sent.

The reading buddies program provided 906 volunteer hours, serving 1,083 students in three Hamilton elementary schools. Another 658 volunteer hours went to after-school literacy programs at Eva Rothwell Rec Centre.

Last year, crime prevention branch volunteers also participated in car seat installations, the Lock-it-Or-Lose it education campaign and Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design Audits. They helped co-ordinate Police Week, Crime Prevention Week, the Cyclemania education program and Citizen's Police College, and also supported the Ancaster Food Drive, graffiti prevention, child fingerprinting, Somali homework circle program and Gym for Kids fitness at Sir Winston Churchill Rec Centre and clothing collection for the Eva Rothwell Centre.



Hamilton police refocus limited volunteer resources

Road safety programs are unique to police and supported by the service

News May 18, 2017 by Craig Campbell Dundas Star News

A decline in volunteers has resulted in Hamilton police streamlining volunteer programs to focus on issues unique to policing, like road safety, while scrapping projects other organizations can provide.

Sgt. Barry Mungar, crime prevention co-ordinator, said police have limited resources and must allocate them responsibly.

“By narrowing our focus, we avoid spreading ourselves too thin, and we believe that doing several things well is better than doing a large number of things poorly,” Mungar said.

According to an annual report presented to the Hamilton Police Services Board's May 11 meeting, the crime prevention branch and community policing centres — which oversee at least 26 volunteer programs and events — experienced significant changes during 2016.

By narrowing our focus we avoid spreading ourselves too thin, and we believe that doing several things well is better than doing a large number of things poorly.

"The retirement of two longtime volunteer co-ordinators, coupled with a downward trend in the number of volunteers, resulted in the need to assess and evaluate each volunteer program," the report states.

At the time the annual report was prepared, some programs had been deemed valuable and sustainable, while others were recommended for modification or termination.

The report does not name specific programs recommended for termination.

Mungar said volunteer programs have become difficult to sustain, particularly as a result of a recent decline from 150 to 80 volunteers.

“Programs involving road safety initiatives, like Speed Watch and Red Light Runner, are community favourites,” Mungar said.

He noted traffic issues represent the largest number of public complaints received by police, so related volunteer programs are strongly supported within the service.

“Traffic programs are unique to the police and we’re the only organization enforcing road safety,” Mungar said. “On the other hand, reading programs and clothing donations can, and are, being facilitated by a variety of organizations.”

According to the annual report, in 2016 volunteers in several different traffic programs sent 1,540 followup letters to registered vehicle owners with date, time and nature of a traffic violation and potential consequences.In 2015, 1,368 letter were sent.

The reading buddies program provided 906 volunteer hours, serving 1,083 students in three Hamilton elementary schools. Another 658 volunteer hours went to after-school literacy programs at Eva Rothwell Rec Centre.

Last year, crime prevention branch volunteers also participated in car seat installations, the Lock-it-Or-Lose it education campaign and Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design Audits. They helped co-ordinate Police Week, Crime Prevention Week, the Cyclemania education program and Citizen's Police College, and also supported the Ancaster Food Drive, graffiti prevention, child fingerprinting, Somali homework circle program and Gym for Kids fitness at Sir Winston Churchill Rec Centre and clothing collection for the Eva Rothwell Centre.



Hamilton police refocus limited volunteer resources

Road safety programs are unique to police and supported by the service

News May 18, 2017 by Craig Campbell Dundas Star News

A decline in volunteers has resulted in Hamilton police streamlining volunteer programs to focus on issues unique to policing, like road safety, while scrapping projects other organizations can provide.

Sgt. Barry Mungar, crime prevention co-ordinator, said police have limited resources and must allocate them responsibly.

“By narrowing our focus, we avoid spreading ourselves too thin, and we believe that doing several things well is better than doing a large number of things poorly,” Mungar said.

According to an annual report presented to the Hamilton Police Services Board's May 11 meeting, the crime prevention branch and community policing centres — which oversee at least 26 volunteer programs and events — experienced significant changes during 2016.

By narrowing our focus we avoid spreading ourselves too thin, and we believe that doing several things well is better than doing a large number of things poorly.

"The retirement of two longtime volunteer co-ordinators, coupled with a downward trend in the number of volunteers, resulted in the need to assess and evaluate each volunteer program," the report states.

At the time the annual report was prepared, some programs had been deemed valuable and sustainable, while others were recommended for modification or termination.

The report does not name specific programs recommended for termination.

Mungar said volunteer programs have become difficult to sustain, particularly as a result of a recent decline from 150 to 80 volunteers.

“Programs involving road safety initiatives, like Speed Watch and Red Light Runner, are community favourites,” Mungar said.

He noted traffic issues represent the largest number of public complaints received by police, so related volunteer programs are strongly supported within the service.

“Traffic programs are unique to the police and we’re the only organization enforcing road safety,” Mungar said. “On the other hand, reading programs and clothing donations can, and are, being facilitated by a variety of organizations.”

According to the annual report, in 2016 volunteers in several different traffic programs sent 1,540 followup letters to registered vehicle owners with date, time and nature of a traffic violation and potential consequences.In 2015, 1,368 letter were sent.

The reading buddies program provided 906 volunteer hours, serving 1,083 students in three Hamilton elementary schools. Another 658 volunteer hours went to after-school literacy programs at Eva Rothwell Rec Centre.

Last year, crime prevention branch volunteers also participated in car seat installations, the Lock-it-Or-Lose it education campaign and Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design Audits. They helped co-ordinate Police Week, Crime Prevention Week, the Cyclemania education program and Citizen's Police College, and also supported the Ancaster Food Drive, graffiti prevention, child fingerprinting, Somali homework circle program and Gym for Kids fitness at Sir Winston Churchill Rec Centre and clothing collection for the Eva Rothwell Centre.