Sunday, 22 April 2012

Should media be prohibited from re-broadcasting police and other emergency service radio transmissions?

In the Markham Economist & Sun, Friday April 20, 2012, the question was asked whether our media should be prohibited from re-broadcasting police and other emergency service radio transmissions? Readers voted and the results are......
No (34%)

Yes (66%)

Total Votes: 117 
.........dear reader, I have provided this information verbatim in recognition of a fine officer as well as the issues surrounding this travesty that will not end any time soon. Feel free to vote yourself at.....

York Regional Police Const. Garrett Styles was fatally injured during a traffic stop east of Newmarket on June 28, 2011.

York police officer dies after being dragged 300 metres by van.

by: Curtis Rush, Henry Stancu and Liam Casey Staff Reporters, York Region Media Group,

Tuesday, June 28, 2011,

In the last dramatic moments before York Regional Police Const. Garrett Styles died, his colleagues heard him calling for help over the police radio while pinned beneath a minivan. Styles, who had been dragged 300 metres following a traffic stop east of Newmarket just before 5 a.m. Tuesday, was able to talk for several minutes with dispatchers until ambulance and fire arrived.

“I’ve got a car on top of me,” he said. “Help. Help me.” The dispatcher told him to hold on: “We’ve got help on the way, just sit tight.” Styles’ breathing grew more difficult as the dispatcher kept the frantic officer in radio contact. Another police officer joined in: “Garrett, keep talking to us,” he told Styles. The dispatcher tried to assess the situation and the pain became almost too much for Styles to talk. “I’ve got a van on my waist, I don’t know . . . it hurts. And I’ve got some people inside the van. I don’t know how they’re doing.” Styles’ voice grew still just as emergency vehicles got to him. He was still alive en route to hospital, but was pronounced dead at Southlake Regional Health Centre in Newmarket.

Styles stopped the vehicle at Highway 48, just south of Herald Rd. in the town of East Gwillimbury at about 4:50 a.m. Police said he pulled up behind the van and ran the plates. Inside were four youths, including an unlicensed 15-year-old behind the wheel. A police source said the van was taken without permission from a family member. Styles walked back to the van and reached inside for the keys when the driver accelerated to escape. The officer was dragged 300 metres before the van lost control and flipped, pinning him underneath.

Later in the afternoon, the 15-year-old was taken on an emergency run to the Hospital for Sick Children with a police escort. He suffered severe spinal injuries that may result in paralysis. The three other passengers in the van are cooperating with officers, police said. Styles, 32, was a seven-year veteran of the service who was working general patrol for A Platoon out of Newmarket. He would have turned 33 on Sunday.

He leaves behind his wife, Melissa, a civilian with York Regional Police, and their children — a 2½-year-old girl, Meredith, and a 9-week-old boy, Nolan. “This is a tragedy for us, his family and his community,” York Regional Police Chief Eric Jolliffe said Tuesday afternoon. “His supervisors spoke of him as a dedicated, professional, hard-working officer who always had time to assist others. He was well-liked among his peers and he loved being a police officer,” Jolliffe said. A colleague of Styles was almost too overcome to speak.

“He was a wonderful friend, a wonderful father and a wonderful police officer,” Det. Const. Erin Tester said before breaking down in tears outside Southlake Regional Health Centre. Tester and Styles both have children about the same age. Tester said she has known Styles for 13 years. Tester’s husband, Brad Gallant, also a York Region police officer, was at the Styles’ residence in Keswick in the afternoon to pick up family belongings and take them to a temporary undisclosed location. Gallant said Styles’ wife is “holding up surprisingly well.”

Styles, who comes from a policing family, graduated from Newmarket High School and joined York Regional Police in December 2003. He became a constable in May 2004. His father, Staff Sgt. Garry Styles, just retired in January. Jolliffe said Styles had recently written an exam for promotion to sergeant, scoring an 82 per cent average. Roy Frederick, who lives across the street from the family, said Styles was a good neighbour who would exchange tips with him on lawn maintenance and share weed-cutting equipment. Frederick said he knew something was wrong when he saw a lot of commotion at the house at 5:30 a.m. “I saw three or four vehicles, so I thought something was wrong. At first, I thought a kid was sick or something like that.” Frederick said Styles and his wife moved to the street in 2005. “He was a really nice guy. I saw him (Monday), and I spoke to his wife just after the birth of his son a couple of months ago. I remember two years ago, our lawns were so messed up with weeds and we talked to each other about that. We would just chit-chat.” Styles didn’t make it well known what kind of work he did, Frederick said.
“I knew he worked with the police force, but I didn’t know if he was an officer. He didn’t talk about it much. I think I’ve only seen him once in uniform. “This is so disturbing,” he added. “It’s really sad when nice people like that die, especially through a traffic accident. When somebody is sick, you can accept that a little more.”

Premier Dalton McGuinty issued a statement Tuesday afternoon, calling Styles’ death a “loss to all of us.”
“My deepest sympathies go out to his family, friends and to the York Regional Police during this very difficult time. His death is a tremendous loss not only for those who loved him, but for all of us.” The public asks a lot from those who serve as police officers, McGuinty added.
“We ask them to uphold our laws, protect our homes and, if need be, put our safety before theirs. Our police, and their families, agree to protect us and ours knowing that doing so may mean paying the ultimate sacrifice. “Today, we’re reminded once again of the depth of that selfless service.” This is the second York police officer to be struck by a vehicle and killed in four years.

Det. Const. Robert Plunkett was pinned against a tree in Markham on Aug. 2, 2007, after he tried to stop a stolen car. The driver, Nadeem Jiwa, 23, was recently found guilty of manslaughter.
At the beginning of this year Toronto police Sgt. Ryan Russell, 35, was killed by a man driving a stolen snowplow. The 11-year veteran of the force was the 40th Toronto police officer killed on the job.


With files from Amanda Kwan, Zoe McKnight, Richard J. Brennan, Tanya Talaga and The Canadian Press.

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