Cops on buses

Tipsy teens thought sneaking away from their parents was enough to get liquored up in peace.

Not while Ottawa police are riding the bus.

Two Orléans girls — who turned 18 in June and July — were stopped mid-sip as they guzzled vodka and Gatorade en route to Hull Wednesday night.

“You know what gave them away? Every time they took a swig, they sort of gagged,” said Ottawa police Staff Sgt. Roley Campbell.

“At least they weren’t drinking and driving.”

The Sun tagged along as cops partnered with OC Transpo for a blitz.

A briefing at Transpo offices was held first — the Sun wasn’t allowed in — and problem areas were identified.

“People want to feel safe on the bus, so that’s why we’re here to help out,” said Dave, a cop whose last name can’t be used.

Police were “just watching for the same thing we watch for on a regular day,” he said.

If suspicious individuals are paying attention to cops, “then more than likely, we’re paying attention to them. It’s a red flag.”

East-end officers in plain clothes joined Transpo special constables at two locations, then took buses to various stations.

The Sun rode in a cop cruiser with a uniformed officer, tailing them.

“We’re not going to go in until they request us for either transportation to cells or verifying conditions and names,” he said.

“They’ll radio us.”

It never happened.

A quiet night saw just seven charges, including four liquor violations, two trespass to property, and a ticket for panhandling.

A similar sting on June 8 and 9 resulted in 51 charges: 21 were Liquor Licence Act violations, and police seized 7.4 grams of marijuana and one gram of crack cocaine.

The first sweep was well received by the public and cops were hoping for similar numbers this time.

“It was unusually quiet,” said Campbell.

East-end police are consistently getting calls from Greenboro, South Keys, Blair, and Hurdman transit stations, said Dave.

Cellphone robberies and swarmings remain a major issue, although significant arrests have recently been made, said Campbell.

Hurdman station is troublesome due to the sheer volume of passengers.

Another cop was impressed by the combination of law enforcement patrolling the Transitway.

“I’m surprised that anything ever goes wrong here … just because of the amount of presence,” said Bruce.

West-end cops executed a similar sting Thursday night with results expected to be released Friday.

kelly.roche@sunmedia.ca

Twitter: @ottawasunkroche

http://www.ottawasun.com/2012/08/24/cops-on-buses

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