June 10, 2019
HANOVER, ON – Public engagement, commitment of volunteers, partnerships and generous donors are some of the key ingredients of the Hanover Trails ‘Eyes and Ears’ initiative that was launched on June 10th. This idea began in February 2019 when the Town of Hanover and Hanover Police Service jointly hosted a Trails Safety meeting. With input from the more than 50 residents in attendance, a joint action plan was created by Hanover Police Service and the Parks, Recreation and Culture Department to enhance the safety on our trails system.
The action plan for 2019 includes the initiation of the Trails ‘Eyes and Ears’ volunteer program, increased patrol of the trails to enhance police presence by the Hanover Police Service and installation of trail marker signage.
In late March, a volunteer recruitment meeting was held and again there was strong attendance from the community with over 50 attendees. Chief Knoll and Sherri Walden outlined the expectations of the volunteers for the Trails ‘Eyes and Ears’ program. Fifteen community members have been approved as volunteers.
‘This is another great example of our community’s commitment to making Hanover a safer place to be’, shared Mayor Sue Paterson. ‘Concerned community residents, in partnership with municipal staff and Hanover Police Services have stepped up to the plate in creating this tremendous initiative.’
Volunteers will wear identifiable Hanover apparel when they are on the primary and secondary trails. The apparel is red and includes either a ball cap, t-shirt, vest or jacket with the Town logo on the apparel item. These individuals will be noting any areas of concern such as maintenance related items or mischief, such as graffiti to Town staff and Hanover Police Service. As well, these volunteers may offer assistance to other trail users when they see them on the trails, including directions to nearest exits or support should the trail user be experiencing a medical issue. All volunteers have completed Police and Vulnerable Sector Checks. The volunteers have been provided with an identification card.
Our Parks, Recreation and Culture Department has been logging all information since April 2019. While the program has just formally been launched, a number of our volunteers have been providing ‘eyes and ears’ notes for some time. To the end of May there have been 14 items noted and Parks, Recreation and Culture staff are addressing these in a timely manner. The overall intent of our ‘eyes and ears’ initiative, along with increased police presence along the trails, is a reduced level of reported incidents. Volunteer Doug Karn noted recently that, ‘all has been clear and quiet on the secondary trails these past couple of weeks. That's a really good sign’.
The Hanover Police Service will be enhancing their regular patrols on the trails through September. “ Our Bike Patrol Unit will enhance our Community Trail and Downtown Core patrols that will create a more visible, engaging experience between our police officers and the members of the public’, stated Police Chief Chris Knoll. ‘ Our assigned Bike Patrol officers will complete the required training in the next couple of weeks and look forward to engaging with our community member.
‘Our community supporters have also been generous in assisting in re-establishing our Bike Patrol Unit’, stated an appreciative, Mayor Paterson. Chief Knoll echoes, ‘many thanks to Hanover Lions Club, Hanover New Car Dealers Association (Hanover Chrysler, Hallman Motors and Hanover Honda) and Hanover Canadian Tire for their donations of cash and equipment that will allow our officers to be visible and accessible in our community’.
The following quote relates well to our trails initiative- , ‘There is no power for change greater than a community discovering what it cares about (M. Wheatley)’. ‘Thank you. Our residents and donors have clearly demonstrated they care about our trails’, noted Mayor Paterson.
For more information about the Trails ‘Eyes and Ears’ volunteer initiative, please contact Sherri Walden, Director of Parks Recreation and Culture, firstname.lastname@example.org or 519.364.2310 x2123
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Individuals in photo are left to right: Volunteer Peter Hambly, Tom Karl, Town of Hanover, Volunteer Doug Karn, Constable Trevor Rogers, Chief Chris Knoll, Volunteer Matt Bender, Constable Derek King, Mayor Sue Paterson, Volunteers Darlene & Eric Wilston, Volunteer Christina Duguay, Volunteer Lisa Schnittker
Sherri Walden, Director of Parks, Recreation & Culture
519.364.2310 x 2123
Chris Knoll, Police Chief
519.364.4280 x 1