Police hold community meeting to reassure residents after murder of young woman

Elizabeth Nugent
Elizabeth Nugent

Many thanks to the Halton Regional Police Service for hosting a community meeting shortly after the tragic murder on Oct. 27 of Elizabeth Nugent, 32, a resident at 478 Pearl St., a large apartment near Brant and James Sts in downtown Burlington.

HRPS officers in attendance included Barbara Kent Deputy Chief Andrew Fletcher, A/Superintendent Kevin Maher, and A/Inspector Hansen. Close to 100 residents attended the meeting at the Burlington Lion’s Club, most of them residents of 478 Pearl St. or 477 Elizabeth St., both operated by the same property management company.

I also attended the meeting, which allowed us to come together as a community.

“We’ve seen tragic events this week and sometimes that shakes our feeling of safety,” Deputy Chief Fletcher said at the meeting.

The community gathering provided an opportunity for police to answer questions about the event and ongoing investigation, distribute safety tips for apartment living and reassure residents that despite this horrific and tragic incident, downtown Burlington and the city as a whole remains one of the safest.

Between 2010 and 2014 (to date) the most calls in this area have been for motor vehicle property damage, at 66 incidents over four years (8 to date for 2014).

See crime statistics for the whole city here:
Burlington Crime Statistics, 2012-2013

Police also reassured residents that their safety was never at risk during the incident. The officers praised Hillbrooke Property Rentals, including vice-president Sammy Roth who attended the meeting, alongside property managers Branka & Milos Droca (478 Pearl) and Jack Straiko & Wendy Yardy (477 Elizabeth). Due to the security features of the building, Hillbrooke staff was able to assist police with tactical information and evidence for the subsequent investigation.

Police have arrested Nugent’s boyfriend Malcolm Copeland, 42, of Markham. He is charged with second-degree murder.

Residents had high praise for the police in securing the building and arresting the suspect. There was loud applause when a resident thanked police “for protecting the neighbourhood.”

Police thanked residents for their efforts during the situation, including calling 911 when they first heard an altercation in Nugent’s apartment. “We rely on you,” said the officers, because police can’t be on every street corner all the time. Police encouraged residents to call police whenever they see something suspicious.

Residents can help keep their neighbourhoods safe by getting to know your neighbours. Learn more about HRPS’s Know Your Neighbour initiative here:
Know Your Neighbour

Written by Marianne Meed Ward

I was inspired to seek public office because I believe, like so many of you, “I can do something about that” on the issues we face. As councilor, my role is to take a stand on what’s best for residents and go to bat for it. Pushback is inevitable from those who don’t have the community’s interests at heart. I will stand with you and for you, to achieve the best interests of our city, without caving to unacceptable compromise in the name of consensus.

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