Chief Zvonko Horvat announced Thursday, April 30, that Aylmer Police would not lay any charges in connection with a drive-in service conducted by Aylmer Church of God on John Street North on Sunday, April 26.
Police believed they had reasonable and probable grounds to lay a charge for a violation of Ontario’s emergency order banning gathering of more than five persons for a religious service, he stated.
“However, Aylmer Police Service has decided to use the incident on the 26th of April 2020 as an educational tool for the Church of God organizers and parishioners so they have a clear understanding that the gathering is in violation of the Emergency Order enacted to prevent the spread of COVID-19 global pandemic.
“With this decision and education, we anticipate that the Church of God organizers and parishioners will respect the emergency order in place to minimize the risk to their parishioners and community.
“This decision is yet another example where Aylmer Police are taking the measured and educational versus retributive approach in achieving compliance with emergency orders put in place by our provincial leaders.
“Aylmer Police will continue to respond to complaints of emergency order breaches and take appropriate action based on the evidence collected. ”