Mr. Brooks told Free Press Online via email this afternoon they first
applied for paid duty officers on May 2. He said they informed about
"discrepancies" then resubmitted on May 10. On May 16, he noted,
another message from OPP was received "telling us the rates have gone
up." On May 24 Mr. Brooks said they received a further email
"asking us to complete the new OPP application."
"This was on a Friday and we were preparing to open our gates to our
Vaughan Ribfest so I was not checking my emails at that time," he said.
"Only until Monday evening did I see this email request. I was given
until May 29th until 4 pm to correct the application.
On May 29th we submitted the new application at 1 pm. We received an
email back saying there are discrepancies and that we needed to add in
one vehicle. So we did that and resubmitted by 1:30 pm. Then we get
another email from ... Nottawasaga OPP saying I need to resend the
application because of formatting issues. By 2:30 pm I asked for help
and if I could send it in in another format. I received no response. I
kept trying to figure out the glitch in the form I was experiencing and
by 4:32 pm that day I submitted and I received an email back minutes
later saying due to discrepancies and time delay Nottawasaga OPP could
not accept my application. This was a week ago. Plenty of time to have
a conversation and fix the problem."
Mr. Brooks said they hired licensed security but the Town would not
approve the weekend permit without paid duty officers.
Nottawasaga OPP Inspector Steve Clegg told Free Press Online there is a
standard policy related to paid duties.
"The event organizers failed to complete the necessary Paid Duty
Request Application within reasonable time expectations and thus
hampered the OPP's ability to identify available officers within the
restricted timeframes," said Inspector Clegg. "Any application for paid
duty requests to the OPP, requires mandatory information related to the
event and specific details to what resources are being requested is
required to be made in a timely manner. Nottawasaga OPP regrets the
Alliston Ribfest was not able to proceed and remains committed to
continuing to provide overall safety and security at all future
Inspector Clegg also explained, "In regards to application timelines, when submitting an application for a paid duty, the requester should take into consideration the size and complexity of the event to ensure there is sufficient time to review and approve the proper allocation of resources to meet the safety and security needs. We make every effort to accommodate paid duty requests when we have all the required information."
Mr. Brooks said they had no choice but to cancel the event.
"We are at our mercy with Nottawasaga OPP and I have the email trail to
back up the complications, lack of assistance or information."