‘Situation Table’ marks first anniversary of helping people in Cornwall and SDG

Representatives from several agencies on the table as well as key community partners celebrated the CSDG Situation Table’s first anniversary. From left: Tammy Hart, Deputy Mayor of the Township of South Stormont; Tammi Simcoe, Research Analyst at Community Safety Services; Jeffrey Simpkins, Staff Sergeant with the Ontario Provincial Police; Shawna Spowart, Inspector with the Cornwall Community Police Service; and Jim McDonell, MPP for Stormont-Dundas- South Glengarry.

CORNWALL — The Cornwall Stormont Dundas Glengarry (CSDG) Situation Table met June 12th at the Children’s Aid Society of SD&G to celebrate its first anniversary of helping people. Representatives from several agencies on the table as well as key community partners were in attendance.

“We’re very happy with what was accomplished in the past year,” says Inspector Shawna Spowart at the Cornwall Community Police Service. “The Situation Table provides wrap-around support for those who are experiencing extremely stressful and risky periods in their lives.”

From its launch in May 2017 until early May 2018, the work accomplished by the Situation Table has helped 30 local individuals and 11 families.

The CSDG Situation Table is composed of 26 frontline, acute care and social service agencies that work collaboratively to help ensure the safety of individuals, families and groups of people who are at high risk of suffering from violent acts.

When a case is referred to the Situation Table, the various partners in the project, which include school boards, the police, the Children’s Aid Society, the Cornwall Community Hospital and the Canadian Mental Health Association, meet and work together to reduce the imminent risk of harm, usually within 24 to 48 hours. The Situation Table remains involved in the case until the level of risk has been reduced.

“An early collaborative intervention from the Situation Table has proven it helps prevent crimes and improve the safety and well-being of the community and local residents,” explains Elyse Lauzon-Alguire, Situation Table Chair and Interim Coordinator. “Rapid mobilization Tables such as the CSDG Situation Table make police services part of a stronger safety net, rather than being the entire net themselves.”

Most situations that come to the Table concern a single individual, a family, or a group of people that are affected by multiple risk factors, including mental health issues, domestic conflict, addictions and homelessness. The CSDG Situation Table works to mitigate the risks rather than wait for a harmful incident that would require an emergency response, all while protecting the privacy of the people being assisted.