Quinte, On. real estate agent: Trenton Ontario deserves a better Police Force

Trenton Ontario deserves a better Police Force

An incident occurred on New Years night in Trenton.

A man alleges that he was beaten by the police, and the photograph accompanying the article would suggest that there are merits to his allegations. The fact that he was in breach of his probation and the the man's arm length criminal record will be factors in the investigation. I do know the man in question, but I don't know anything about the events of that night other than what I have read in the newspaper article. I will wait for the SIU to conclude their investigation before forming any opinions on this particular matter.

But I do know this;

The Quinte West O.P.P. (Ontario Provincial Police) detachment have a lot of trouble dealing with the public. I have quite a bit of first hand experience with them. I can sympathize with them to a degree, Trenton is a pretty tough town to police. This, however, is no excuse for the way they behave and the methods they employ, they are supposed to be a professional police force.

The Quinte West O.P.P. will often ask people to identify themselves with no reason. I suspect that they do this so that they can run the person's name and see if there are any outstanding warrants. We are not a police state, and this should not be a method used for policing. It might be a successful method of collaring criminals, but it infringes on the rights of people going about their own business.

The attitudes of the officers vary, but there are a few who are sneering, belligerent, rude and act like bullies. When there is absolutely no reason for me to provide identification, I don't. I make a point of it. Their response is no better than bullies in a schoolyard. They will walk right up to me, face to face and come within centimetres of chest bumping me backwards. I have been called a "scrawny bastard" by one (who was talking with another officer and thought I wasn't within earshot). I have been pushed to the ground, handcuffed unnecesarily, had an officer put his knee in my back while I'm on the ground, frogmarched to a police car, been berated, belittled, and lied to by these same men and women who my taxpayer's dollars are going towards protecting me. (Oh yeah, a middle aged guy in a shirt and tie standing outside his own house smoking a cigarette matches the description of someone who was seen looking into parked cars with the intention of breaking into them). The buggers have ruined two of my favourite shirts.

I was once at a court case involving a friend of mine where an O.P.P. officer from the Quinte West detachment had botched some paperwork and then lied on the stand (in front of a judge) about it. That's a very serious allegation, but I can back it up, so I'm not worried about making it.

I personally have been asked for identification at least fifteen times in the last three years while walking down the street minding my own business. I reiterate, Canada is not a police state. Unless they have reason to believe I have comitted a crime, or they catch me in the act of one, I have no legal obligation to provide them with identification. I suppose the fact that I walk with a limp gives them reason to think I'm inebriated.

The kicker is, if they asked politely, I'd probably just tell them who I am and give them my driver's license. They don't though. They have such a lack of respect for the public and have such a sneering attitude that I have no desire to comply with their demands. The way they handle themselves will guarantee that incidents will occur. I suspect that there are a few officers who actually want this to happen so that they can get physical with people. They treat people like criminals before they have any evidence to prove that they are. I suspect that they assume that any one who isn't cooperating with their demands must have something to hide. The absolute lack of civility and manners in the officers' approach will create a lot of bad situations out of nothing.

2011 was not a great year for the Quinte West O.P.P., there has been a lawsuit brought against them, an officer who was charged with criminal harassment committed suicide, and another SIU investigation cleared some officers of wrongdoing. We are starting to see a lot of smoke, so it's time that the fire was addressed.

The Quinte West O.P.P. behave like a street gang on steroids. Frankly, I do not have confidence in them policing my community any more. We, as a community deserve much better.


Comment balloon 14 commentsMalcolm Johnston • January 05 2012 01:42PM


I agree with you 100% the attitude that the trenton police force carries is a shame. I grew up in trenton my whole life and ive lived in alot of places one of those being toronto. Ive been arrested by t.o police and to my surprise trenton cops were def more ignorant, abrasive and condescending towards me than the police from t.o and that is saying alot. They threaten ppl ( first hand exp) with jail time and such if you dont cooperate etc.... I lost trust and confidence in the trenton police force along time ago. Its time to clean up the school yard.... BULLY FREE ZONE!!!!! Isnt that what we are supposed to ne teaching our kids???

Posted by Mandy over 7 years ago

This does not say much for Trenton as a place to visit or live.  I hope they take a good hard look at how the public views them.  Sounds more like LA or Mexico.

Good luck.

Posted by Mary Yonkers, Erie/PA Real Estate Instructor (Alan Kells School of Real Estate/Howard Hanna Real Estate) over 7 years ago

Malcolm - This is disturbing to hear.  Where are the Mounties in all this?  Is there an RCMP detachment in Trenton?  Our Vancouver police department is too busy going after the various criminal gangs who are shooting each other to bother with regular city folk.  I'm very sorry this has happened to you.  You need to show them your squirrel videos - then they'll know you're as kind as they come.

Posted by Sally Weatherley, Vancouver Home Staging, Home Stager Vancouver, B.C (EXIT STAGE RIGHT) over 7 years ago

Malcolm, I agree with Sally. I believe that when a force has lost the confidence of the community, it is best to bring in an outside force like the RCMP to investigate and start changes.

Posted by Janice Ankrett, Staging Professional (Janice Ankrett Home Staging) over 7 years ago

Mandy, it's really a shame when so many citizens mistrust their own police force, but this is the reality in Trenton.

Mary, I'm not sure if they know that they are viewed in a bad light. I still think they are under the illusion that it's a few bad apples grumbling about them.

Sally, we do have a rather big drug problem here, so I think they have developed an "end justifies the means" attitude.

Janice, we had our own police force until about 10 years ago when the O.P.P. took over. In my view things have got worse.

Posted by Malcolm Johnston, Trenton Real Estate (Century 21 Lanthorn Real Estate LTD., Trenton, Ontario) over 7 years ago

Geez, for a minute I thought I was reading about LA--we certainly have our share of stellar police moments...

My guess is the guy at the top needs to be replaced with someone with a more humanitarian attitude.  

Posted by Norma Toering Broker for Palos Verdes and Beach Cities, Palos Verdes Luxury Homes in L.A. (Charlemagne International Properties) over 7 years ago


I am not surprised. I'm tell you some stories when we get together.


Posted by Brian Madigan, LL.B., Broker (RE/MAX West Realty Inc., Brokerage (Toronto)) over 7 years ago

I was a citizen of Trenton for many years but am no longer living there, I have watched the city deterioate over the past few year with the loss of jobs and welfare increasing but I by no means think the the problem is just welfare rising, any time I come back to visit family I notice more and more how the police force does not act in a professional manner and also how CFB Trenton seems to be the mainstay of the city and that is not a positive thing in my eyes, they may be employing people but how many of them are actually Trentonians and on this note maybe the OPP should police the base their behaviour would fit right in....


Posted by Gloria Clegg over 7 years ago

Hey Malcolm,all I can say is..I'm so not surprised!Text me,I have a similar story for you that happened to me on Dec 22nd while at Tim Horton's having a coffee,minding my own business!

Posted by June Kellar-Parr over 7 years ago

Hey Malcolm,all I can say is..I'm so not surprised!Text me,I have a similar story for you that happened to me on Dec 22nd while at Tim Horton's having a coffee,minding my own business!

Posted by June Kellar-Parr over 7 years ago

Hey Malcolm,all I can say is..I'm so not surprised!Text me,I have a similar story for you that happened to me on Dec 22nd while at Tim Horton's having a coffee,minding my own business!

Posted by June Kellar-Parr over 7 years ago

Malcolm, what is the response of local government to the concerns of its people?  The mandate of the police should be to serve and protect

Posted by Chris Smith, South Simcoe, Caledon, King, Orangeville Real Esta (Re/Max Chay Realty Inc., Brokerage) over 7 years ago

Norma, I don't really know all that much about who's at the top of the organization and where this stems from. L.A. has had more than its fair share of police shenanigans, that's for sure, in Trenton's case its just small time buyllting.

Brian, I'm really looking forward to that.

Gloria, Trenton was deteriorating for a while, but it really seems to be bouncing back in many ways. There's a lot of investment happening, a lot of tidying up in the downtown core, and a real sense that we finally are moving forward and getting over that big hit that the town took in the 1980's with the loss of jobs. We have a very good business minded mayor who took the bull by the horns and has addressed a lot of issues.

Hello June, how are you? You can always send me a Facebook message about the incident. I'm not trying to become a spokesperson for this issue though, I am content with saying my piece.

Chris, that's a great question, and I don't have an answer. The mandate of the police should definitely be to serve and protect, and I'm not discounting how tough their jobs are. I do have a healthy respect for the profession, however, I do believe that certain members of this force are not professionals. Having said that, there are several long serving officers of this detachment who I like and respect very much, and I'm sure they are dismayed with what's going on around them.

Posted by Malcolm Johnston, Trenton Real Estate (Century 21 Lanthorn Real Estate LTD., Trenton, Ontario) over 7 years ago

Very interesting story, Malcolm - thanks for sharing it - here in BC we don't often hear about the local issues occuring in other provinces.

Posted by Karen Hawkins, MBA - Langley & Surrey, BC (Royal Pro Real Estate Network) over 7 years ago