Sleeping security guard removed from Wheatley blast site

Sleeping security guard removed from Wheatley blast site

Wheatley gas explosion. (Photo courtesy of the Municipality of Chatham-Kent)By January 25, 2022 1:16pm

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Another security guard responsible for keeping the integrity of the evacuation zone in downtown Wheatley has been caught on camera sleeping and has been removed from working at the site. Chatham-Kent Chief Administrative Officer Don Shropshire said on Tuesday the municipality received a report and a photograph that showed what appeared to be a sleeping security guard in a car last week. Shropshire noted Chatham-Kent police oversee the security of the evacuation area and Police Chief Gary Conn raised the concern with the owner of the security company.

Shropshire said the employee was immediately removed from the site. GardaWorld Regional Branch Manager  Dean Mougenot said he’s not at liberty to discuss the matter because it’s an internal personnel issue. Mougenot added that if an employee was found in that situation, then they would be removed from the site and disciplined.

However, he would not confirm if the security guard in question was fired. The resident who filed the complaint and sent the photograph said residents have been dealing with the ongoing issue of sleeping guards for months. The security guards were hired to protect the downtown core while it is cordoned off due to the explosion on August 26, 2021.

Some security guards at the Wheatley blast zone were fired in November for sleeping on the job. West Kent councillor Melissa Harrigan brought up the concerns from residents at a council meeting in early November. At that time, she said residents were raising concerns about people trespassing at night and looting.

Some expressed concerns about personal belongings being taken from the evacuation zone.

The complainant, who wants to remain anonymous, is echoing the same concerns.

She says she is a business owner in the downtown area and has a vested interest in her property and its contents being protected, as well as the properties and belongings of her fellow business owners and residents.

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