Welcome to the Unofficial Start of Summer

Finally! The weekend we’ve been looking forward to for months… Victoria Day weekend, the unofficial start of summer!

Whatever your plans involve, we hope it’s safe and enjoyable. Here are three important reminders:

  • Bringing out summer toys, such as your camper, boat, RV, jet skis or ATVs? Be sure your insurance is up to date and that you’re fully covered.
  • Travelling out of province this weekend or at any time? Yes! Even the Government of Ontario states you need travel medical insurance. 
  • Remember to be a patient and courteous driver, and always have a plan for a safe way home. Please don’t drink and drive.

Victoria Day Gibb Insurance

From our families to yours, we wish you a safe and enjoyable Victoria Day weekend.

The Importance of Shopping Locally

The Importance of Shopping Locally Windsor Essex AmherstburgTis the season for spending money! While it can be very convenient to shop online, score deals stateside or choose a mall or big box retailer for ‘one stop-shopping’, we’d like to you to consider making the effort to ‘shop local first’. Whether holiday shopping for gifts, choosing a company to cater your event or meeting up with friends or co-workers; shopping locally benefits you and your community.

How do I benefit by shopping locally?

A percentage of every taxable dollar you spend locally, stays local! This money goes to valuable community services such as police, fire, youth and senior programs, our libraries, parks and maintenance of essential systems – all which improve our community and the quality of our lives and those who visit our small town.

Further, your continued support of local businesses helps attract more businesses and entrepreneurs to our community; which has a domino effect of more selection, more tax dollars for local improvements and opportunities for tourism = all which positively impact you!

Local business owners are our family, friends and neighbours. They support charitable events, they hire your neighbour. They sponsor your child’s hockey, dance, baseball, soccer teams. They volunteer their time at local events to make the community a better place.

Save time and money. Think you’re scoring a deal heading into the city to buy gifts? Although we’re enjoying relatively low prices on gas now, think of how much of your money and time commuting would be saved (not to mention stress dealing with unruly deal-seekers!). Local businesses are often more accessible to all than huge big box retailers or malls.

Selection and availability of products. You may be surprised at what is available in your small town. Ask friends and families where they shop locally and make a quick call to a local business to see if they carry what you’re looking for. Park your vehicle and explore local businesses on foot – you may just find more of what you need on a weekly basis is right here in your town!

Connect with your community. Whether you’re new to our town or lived here your whole life; shopping locally is a fantastic way to connect with the pulse of your town. Meet your neighbours, learn about upcoming events, feel connected to where you live!

If you’re a business owner, thank your customers for choosing your local, independent business! Ask how or why they thought to patronize your business – and in the future, focus your advertising dollars to those sources… And remember to support local businesses yourself!

Final thoughts

  • Could you allot an additional 25 percent or more of your holiday shopping dollars to local businesses?
  • Could you include on your wish list gifts purchased from local business?
  • Could you encourage your friends, family and co-workers to also shop locally?

Let’s give it a try and see how we all benefit. Let us know!

Do Your Part

Essex County is currently experiencing drought-like conditions from the lack of late spring and early summer rainfall.

Water conservation Windsor EssexIt’s important that we all do our part with water conservation to make the drought conditions less taxing on our local water supply.

Speak to your family and ask that they be more mindful and conservative in their use of water.

  • Skip watering the grass (the grass is not always greener on the other side of the fence!) and instead just water your outdoor plants, gardens and young trees
  • Re-wear your clothing when possible – washing one less load of laundry a week can save gallons of water
  • Don’t leave the tap running while washing dishes or brushing your teeth
  • Check your toilet tank for leaks – place a few drops of food colouring in the tank of your toilet, if the water in the bowl turns the colour without flushing, then you may have a leak which could be wasting up to 800 gallons a month
  • Never flush or put in the drain oils or chemical waste – one small drop of oil can make 6 gallons of water unfit for drinking, which is taxing on our water systems

Please find more water conservation tips and ideas here.

While many of us and especially the farmers are hoping for several significant rainfalls, in the meantime, please do your part and conserve water when possible.

Police Body Cameras: What do You Think?

Amherstburg Police - Body Cameras

Photo credit and thanks to CBC News Windsor

As of January 1st 2016, the front-line officers of the Amherstburg Police Service are wearing body cameras while on duty.

Here are some interesting points about the use of body cameras in Amherstburg:

  • Amherstburg officers only turn the cameras on when on duty and responding to a call.
  • They are required to inform people that they are being recorded.
  • If a person is in public, they cannot refuse to be recorded.
  • If in a private home, the residents can request the recording be stopped.

Pros of body camera use by police officers:

  • Helps prevent violence: A recent study has shown that when officers wear the cameras, the likelihood of violence by a civilian and excessive force by an officer decreases by more than 50 percent.
  • Video footage helps determine gaps in training and is a supervision aid.
  • The videos make the officers accountable for their actions and conduct.
  • The recordings can provide unbiased video evidence in court.
  • Helps prevent accusations and complaints of wrong doing or misconduct against police.
  • The recorded interactions help the public feel safe and well served.

Cons:

  • Privacy concerns – As example, what if a sexual assault victim is being interviewed in public and doesn’t want her image recorded?
  • Some police departments find the data collected via the video overwhelming. Properly cataloging and storing the data can be challenging.
  • The cameras are controlled by the officer and are susceptible to human error (forgetting to turn it on).
  • Technology failure concerns (battery failure or obstructed lens) can be of particular detriment if the officer is relying on the camera for key evidence or information.
  • Purchasing and maintaining the equipment along with accurately documenting and storing the data is expensive and time (resource) consuming.
  • A technological malfunction or officer error (forgetting to turn the camera on) may be viewed as purposeful and with malicious intent by the officer.

It appears fairly obvious that the pros outweigh the cons. There are some other considerations worthy of mentioning:

  • The Amherstburg police department considers the data they are collecting through the cameras as manageable.
  • There is within the recording and documenting software the ability to obscure a person’s image.
  • Unknowns – Can a person request that the videos be released to the public? In the United States, police departments are being inundated with public release requests, using up department resources to meet the demands. The videos are ending up on entertainment video based websites like YouTube. The results of which could be embarrassing for individuals, officers, the department or even the town.

How do you feel about Amherstburg police officers wearing body cameras? Please fill our our poll or leave a comment below.

How do you feel about the the front-line officers of the Amherstburg Police Service wearing on body cameras?