In a surprise move and hot off the wires, Midland’s Police Chief has responded the the social media storm surrounding today’s earlier press release from Midland RibFest’s organizer, Glen Moffat where he cancels the event and all but directly blames the Midland Police for the cancellation.
In Chief Michael Osborne’s blog he writes:
“I have read with disappointment, a press release prepared by Glen Moffatt of Slam Promotions in which he says there were “a lot of obstacles to overcome” and then specifically mentions the Midland Police stating we were asking way too much for a first year event. It is unfortunate that Mr. Moffatt did not list the other “obstacles” to this event as this would provide the reader better insight into the reasons his Ribfest is not going forward. I do however appreciate that organizing these events can be a daunting task that has led to the cancellation of other Ribfest’s such as the one in Owen Sound. http://www.owensoundsuntimes.com/2016/02/10/its-a-sad-day-for-rib-lovers…
Mr. Moffatt is a businessperson and I recognize that the less he pays for event security, the greater his profit. However, the Midland Police Service is responsible for the safety of Midland and its guests. When dealing with large scale, licensed events we must bring-in additional officers to address potential problems that have surfaced in the past including fights, property damage, domestic disturbances, unwanted persons and more. We could bill these additional costs to the taxpayer but we have been instructed to have the organizer pay for additional police out of their profits.
Regardless of whether it is a first time event as Mr. Moffatt indicates, or a longstanding event, safety measures are still required. You don’t have to look far to see an event that has been very successful for many years in the Town of Midland. The event I am thinking of has a detailed Operational Plan, a Planning Team, a Professional Security Team, and Police presence to reduce the chances of injury or damage.
Mr. Moffatt has never submitted a final Operational Plan but he did make it clear that he did not wish to pay for a police presence or the recommended number of security personnel that would protect the interests of Midland residents; even though these measures were consistent with other Ribfest’s. I would welcome Slam Promotions to reconsider, or any other promoter to establish a Ribfest because I think it would be a nice addition to other activities in our community.
The Midland Police Service will continue to meet with organizers of events and assist them in preparing plans that respect all of our interests.
Chief Mike Osborne”
As I recall, Deputy Mayor Mike Ross was an enthusiastic supporter of RibFest at Council. Since he sits on the Police Services Board, perhaps he could comment on these realties since he must understand the balance between risk and public costs associated with these events. We hope to hear from Mike Ross in the comment sections or via our news feedback section.