Aylmer Police Chief Zvonko Horvat, in a statement on Monday, May 4, commented on the latest drive-in service at Church of God on John Street North in Aylmer on Sunday, May 3.
He said that before the service, officers told organizers that, with the onset of warmer weather, they were concerned about the potential harmful effects to occupants of vehicles which had windows rolled up.
Organizers told police that congregation members had been instructed to start their vehicles and air conditioning as needed to “avoid any health issues associated with heat exhaustion,” Chief Horvat said.
He noted that police saw about 70 vehicles at the service, each with multiple occupants, as well as 14 vehicles parked on the shoulders of nearby John Street North.
Police received one formal complaint and one anonymous complaint about service violating provincial emergency orders banning gatherings of more than five persons for a religious service.
He said that this was part of an “ongoing investigation” of the services.
However, he added, “Aylmer Police would like to focus on the positive aspects of this contentious community issue and current provincial emergency order violations. We would like to thank all other faith based groups, citizens and business owners in our community for abiding by the current provincial emergency orders to minimize the spread of COVID-19 global pandemic.”