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72 hours to comply

Thursday, February 06, 2014   by: Darren Taylor


The Sault Ste. Marie Police Service Board has approved the implementation of a proposed cost recovery “compliance notice” service.

The service would replace the current “green tag” process, which gives a motorist a chance to correct a minor traffic infraction (such as a burnt out headlight or failure to produce an insurance slip) instead of being charged by an officer on the spot.

A report to the Board from Police Chief Bob Davies states: “The benefits to the proposed service would see motorists continuing to receive an opportunity to correct a minor traffic infraction without being charged in the first instant and it provides cost recovery for providing a service that ties up staffing resources.”

The Compliance Notice Program would include an administration fee of $20, pending approval from City Council for a resolution to amend the Police Service’s fee schedule.

The current 72 hour notice green tag program allows motorists with minor offences 72 hours to appear at the Police Services building with proof that the infraction has been corrected, and the ticket cancelled at no charge.

Sault Police issued over 1,800 green tag notices at no charge to motorists in 2013.

Following similar programs now in place by Police Services in London and Stratford, and currently under consideration by Police Services in Guelph and Brantford, Sault Police would adopt a new Compliance Notice program whereby a motorist with a minor infraction is allowed 72 hours to attend at the Sault Police Service building with proof the infraction (a burnt out headlight, for example) has been repaired, and pay an administration fee of $20 to have the notice cancelled.

Sault Police Board members stated the Compliance Notice program should not be considered by the public as a punitive measure.

Rather, Sault Police look at the $20 fee as an alternative to paying the full amount of the fine for minor traffic infractions (which typically range between $65 and $110). 

Chief Davies also emphasized to the Board at its last meeting that the $20 Compliance Notice fee is “not a cash grab” by Sault Police.

The fee of $20, Chief Davies said, was determined by breaking down the time spent by the issuing officer, duty desk officer and Traffic Services clerk with respect to rate of pay.    


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shju 2/6/2014 10:50:00 PM Report

I didn't think local police services could rewrite the highway traffic act at this level of government. Doesn't it have to go through provincial law makers and get it pass as law? The $20 fee seems more like a bribe to look the other way for 3 days. $20 seems cheap compared to the $100+(I don't know amount) price of the ticket but is also expensive when the police just said have it fixed and show us in 72 hours depending if you were an ass to them when they pulled you over. Interesting to say the least.
madmaymax 2/6/2014 10:57:28 PM Report

Honestysucks 2/6/2014 11:06:23 PM Report

Such a great idea!!
scottstewy123 2/6/2014 11:10:07 PM Report

Failure to pay that $20 fee within 72 hours will result in a higher fine.

Chief Davies said the Compliance Notice program should not be considered by the public as a punitive measure.

Chief Davies also emphasized to the Board at its last meeting that the $20 Compliance Notice fee is “not a cash grab” by Sault Police.
When Government says its not a cash grab .......I say YA RIGHT
S.M.A.R.T. 2/6/2014 11:10:49 PM Report

This is UNBELIVABLE! What a disingenuous load of crap! I'm so sick of politicians and bureaucrats treating us like idiots. We already pay the police personnel alluded too in this news release through our TAXES which let me remind everyone, city council has said will be going up. What else is new? Smaller municipalities are finding their budgets stretched to the limit by ever increasing O.P.P salaries. Base salary for a 3-year constable reported at $90 000. The people involved in issuing and administering the tickets in question are just doing their jobs. And now we are being told that we will have to pay a premium to have them do their jobs. Just another cash grab in the form of a mandatory fee. And I know of what I speak. I got one of these tickets for a burned out headlight. Got it fixed and headed up to the police station. Went to the desk. Pleasant officer greeted me, asked me if I had the light fixed, giggled and answered his own question by saying that I wouldn't be there if I hadn't, scratched something on the ticket, and said goodbye. And that was that. And now they want to charge us 20 bucks for this and the chief wants us to believe that this isn't a cash grab. Pure CRAP!
Beej 2/6/2014 11:15:29 PM Report

Bob's retirement fund? :)
Right of Centre 2/6/2014 11:34:53 PM Report

"The Compliance Notice Program includes an administration fee of $20, pending approval from City Council for a resolution to amend the Police Service’s fee schedule."

So contact city council and tell them you don't want it. I also thought they were already being paid to do their jobs.
BP7245 2/6/2014 11:39:58 PM Report

under the Highway Traffic Act, it is officer discretion whether the charge is laid immediately, or a 72 compliance is given. From what I can understand here, from a policy perspective, there is really no amendment to the act itself, just an administrative fee being added by the service.
suddenrushsarge 2/6/2014 11:47:02 PM Report

This needs to be stopped. This is a punishment, disguised as a fee. I really hope the police don't enforce it. That would be a dick move on their part.
Grumpish 2/7/2014 12:02:33 AM Report

Not a cash grab? Po-tay-toh, Po-tah-toh
Piper555 2/7/2014 12:06:14 AM Report

I do believe this is a proposed cash grab, even though it's stated otherwise. I mean, why else would they state that it wasn't? If per say this was implemented last year, according to what's stated above in this article, the police would be making $20x1800 which = $36,000 yearly off this fee. All for doing their jobs to begin with.
nitrocircus199 2/7/2014 12:30:14 AM Report

They'll have money for that new building in no time lol
JustMe1234567 2/7/2014 12:33:15 AM Report

Ok wait a sec, I do agree this cost recovery thang is a bit much.


AS the owner of a vehicle it is your responsibility to make sure your car has working lights,

Do we really want our cops to be using their time having to pull over people because of a headlight out, and in this weather with the godawful condition of our roads, it is a hazard and they do have to do it!

Look around you will see it a lot, I have! For some reason lately tons of cars lights are burnt out. Does the cold weather kill lights faster or something?

Anyway I digress...

It's just so easy to turn this into a police bash-a-palooza but the onus rests on us, the car owners when it comes down to it I think.

Once I told the girl at the drivethrough to tell the guy in front of me his taillight was burnt out. As a courtesy I did this.
He got mad. lol.
Asked the girl when she told him "Ya so what's your point?"
I haven't done it since.
Bad Dawg 2/7/2014 12:56:10 AM Report

I have followed people for blocks to let them know they had a burnt out light all were very grateful.

and I agree don't they get paid already to sit at the desk?? they sure as hell aint volunteers. they sure don't stop people now for minor infractions but they will crack down for $20... stopping 50 cars covered in snow at 20 bucks a shot everyday is 1000 dollars..... crooks!!
Shaggy 2/7/2014 3:26:33 AM Report

"The fee of $20, Chief Davies said, was determined by breaking down the time spent by the issuing officer, duty desk officer and Traffic Services clerk with respect to rate of pay."

Aren't these costs covered buy the ridiculously high taxes we currently pay? Is it really necessary for our police force to resort to extortion using the threat of higher fines to raise money?

Call it what you want, Chief Davies, but his is a cash grab plain and simple.

Thank-you so much for the oppourtunity to have our pockets picked by yet another branch of government.
riverdipper 2/7/2014 6:15:50 AM Report

People are gonna get fed up with this money grabbin crap and gov givin hundred of million dollars away to forien countries. They want every penny you have
dawgg007 2/7/2014 6:35:10 AM Report

I feel this would be a cash grab. However, this might be the lesser of two evils for if this gets voted down by council (contact your council reps), the directive from above to the hard working men and women patrolling the streets might be forget the grace period and give the full ticket; "I'll show you" if you please.

If the citizens of Sault Ste. Marie are fortunate enough to be spared by this cash grab, I would hope that council can/does monitor the stats on this to see if we aren't reprimanded for not giving chief Davies what he wants.

Chief, don't go out like a lion or like a lamb, just go.
thesharr 2/7/2014 6:42:50 AM Report

So every Cop will have a debit machine or visa in their cars,wow!How about a timi's card valued at 20 bucks?
Me Myself an I 2/7/2014 7:18:37 AM Report

If they really wanted a cash grab, they could just issue a policy of NOT giving you 72 hours to correct the infraction and just give you the $100 ticket
dawgg007 2/7/2014 7:33:32 AM Report

To Me Myself an I:

I absolutely agree with your post and my concern is that if the $20 fee isn't granted, the directive will be to cease with the 72 hour grace period which is certainly well within the officer's discretion.
Call it progress, call it a sign of the times or as the Conservatives call it 'modernization', we continue to pay more for nothing more.
Wild Turkey 2/7/2014 7:46:03 AM Report

I say leave it as it is.This is one of the few cases where an officer has the discretion to give the driver a break.If it's going to save me a $110.00 fine I really appreciate it.Besides,occasionally, a pull-over results in impaired, or other charges not related to the burn out.(light)This system is not broke.Don't try and fix it.
flyhawk25 2/7/2014 7:47:49 AM Report

Great scam and I wish I'd have thought of it while teaching.'Your child was cheating on a test/found guilty of stealing/has been chronically late.I will meet with you on my own time to discuss this for a professional service payment of twenty dollars . Failure to comply will result in a failing grade and the fee for an appeal is $100.'
Great scam chief.
frizz 2/7/2014 7:54:47 AM Report

I agree with Wild Turkey if this is implemented....I will carry bulbs in my car. one bulb is probably the price of the $20. Problem is the drunk drivers and drug traffickers will probably do the same thing. Less traffic stops, more collisions and all the other issues go up. More collisions, more deaths. Maybe, just maybe they will start to concentrate on the cellphone issue. That's worse than headlights. I see more company truck drivers using cells and then I am in no position to write the name down in the course of business day. I have been in vehicles where drivers still pick cells up and call and say they could care less. Lets get a handle on the real issues and cut people a bit of slack on the bulbs.
sparky 2/7/2014 8:20:08 AM Report

if you are driving in Southern Ontario, I dont think they have this 72hours to comply. If you get pulled over for an infraction, it's an automatic ticket and you have to go to court to fight it. No 3 days to prove anything. I think we have it good here and are lucky we have 3 days to fix the problem and go in and prove it's fixed. I know people that have a burnt out light for weeks for one reason or another don't get it repaired, they know if they get pulled over it will force the issue. This $20 fee might make them get it done immediately.
zzeke 2/7/2014 8:29:35 AM Report

Bad example of a minor offence . He should had said ...missing ins slip, obscured vision, covered license plate. Or how about 2 out of 3 brake lights out. As for the headlight . How many times have you seen a headlight out AND the marker light beside it out as well? That deserves a ticket because you know that person is not looking at their vehicle for defects
*Berriez* 2/7/2014 8:48:44 AM Report

I've got one for ya's

Pulling into our OLD Hospital, parked up to a guard rail, and noticed the headlight burnt out......dealt with a sick kid for 5+ hours, drove the child home, dropped off, and headed to my mechanic......driving up to his driveway, a cop has someone pulled over in front of my mechanic's house, putting my signal light on (that worked) to turn into the driveway, the cop comes walking back to his cruiser putting his arm in the air for me to stop and not turn in......I explained the situation, and told him "this is my mechanics house, I am pulling into"......low and behold....I got a ticket !!!!

While attending the 'cop shop' later that night.....I was upset(to say the least) and explained what happened to the front cop....she asked me to read the name of the cop who did this......I did so....and her response..." that is weird "so-and-so" doesn't usually do that!!! I was like " have ones that do and ones that don't????"
Mr. Poster 2/7/2014 8:49:57 AM Report

I think Rob Ford is behind this. He and Chief Davies had a little secret meeting and decided sooites need a fleecing. We just have it too good up here says Ford. It will provide a nice little bump in the chiefs retirement gift as well.
jinjin 2/7/2014 9:03:31 AM Report

So last year I paid taxes to pay for the cost of being pulled over and advised I have a safety issue with my car that must be corrected, then given a grace period. Now this year I pay slightly higher taxes, I still get the pull over for a safety violation, I still get the 72 hours to fix my issue but now I have to come up with the money to fix my car (which I am okay with), then plus a 20 dollar user fee. My taxes already paid the cops wage and the office staffs wage. I understand user fees at campgrounds that are publicly owned... but this feels like nothing but a cash grab. 2+2= somebody needs a new building and can't just hike up my water bill.
scoobie doo 2/7/2014 9:21:04 AM Report

It's a cash grab, regardless of how they try to spin it. They're taking a decent gesture of a 72 hour grace period for human error/forgetfullness and turning it into a cash cow. Shame on them. If they need the cash for coffee and donut fund, why not increase cost of fines for "real" infractions and leave the average Joe alone for minor, unintentional things.
saultresident 2/7/2014 9:21:39 AM Report

To whom do I send my resume?
1800 Green Tag infractions, divided by 365 days in a year = 4.93 per day x $20.00 each x 365 = $35,999.00 That is one heck of a job if all you have to do is take care of 5 pieces of paper work a day!
jimbobdog1 2/7/2014 9:27:04 AM Report

They say "figures don't lie" but liars sure can figure. The bafflegab that comes out of the Chief could fertilize a decent sized garden. I'm going to contact my council reps to protest this crap. If it ain't broke, don't try to fix it. These fees are like being bitten to death by a duck.
crashed13 2/7/2014 9:27:07 AM Report

How was it before? Its been years but I was pulled over for speeding and did not have my insurance slip on me.
I was charged for the speeding but later that day I brought my insurance slip in and they just tore the "no insurance" ticket up without a fee.
Lone24 2/7/2014 9:35:40 AM Report

I think they should be worrying more about the idiots on cell phones. I have heard more accidents being caused from cell phone users than I have about people with one burnt out headlight. How stupid can they be?
Tag33&1/3rd 2/7/2014 9:46:22 AM Report

I don't think it's a waste of time pulling people over for a headlight out or a minor infraction. A Lot of times that is when the person rolls down their Window that the smell of alcohol hits the officer in the face (or pot) --alot of impaired drivers are caught this way. (that are otherwise not showing evident signs of impairment with their vehicle)
$20 bucks is still cheaper than the real ticket.
Mr. Poster 2/7/2014 9:52:13 AM Report

The local police commission must have approved this. Find a list of commission members and email them your displeasure. The motto portrayed by city council that WE ARE OPEN FOR BUSINESS is now changed to OPEN YOUR WALLETS WIDER.
Tills 2/7/2014 9:59:25 AM Report

Plain and simple .. this is what we pay you to do..your job! Like paying tax on tax. Slimy way to get more out of us , what's next.. Yes mame that double double will 1.75 and .75 to slide open the window. Have a nice day!
BT1979 2/7/2014 10:14:24 AM Report

To my fellow authoritative figures, get off your phones and computers while driving. In the last month I have seen almost 3 accidents because of our role models being distracted by THEIR technology. In respect to this green will be served when they feel like it anyway. In the last 10 people I know who have had minor issues like this...5 got charged because of failure to "blah blah blah" and the other 5 got a warning or a slip....So really which one is it. The right thing to do is warn and give 72 hours 100% of the time not whenever felt.
But at least something may be done!
Maleficent 2/7/2014 10:50:06 AM Report

Perhaps police could focus their highly trained skills on catching the people doing all the b&e's in our community, or those who still cross on Great Northern Road (not at lights), or all those who don't pick up after their dogs.. Or walk with their pets on a leash. Just my 2 cents. Happy Friday.
Sam C 2/7/2014 10:57:46 AM Report

madmay... one cannot know when a headlight (or other lamp) WILL burn out, but one can notice when it has and take action.

We teach our driving students to do a "circle check," and especially in the winter when you are sweeping the snow off your vehicle (you DO sweep your vehicle off, right?) you can fire up the lights and check them at the same time.

Just last week I noticed one of my signal lights had burnt out -- noticed when I hit the "unlock" button on the fob and it did not flash. I went and bought replacements for ALL the signal/marker lights and changed them. Obviously if one has burnt out, the rest will soon do the same. For $20 I avoid a $65 ticket, or even the $20 admin fee for the green tag.

Driving isn't just about getting behind the wheel and going, it's about being responsible for your vehicle.
Mr. Poster 2/7/2014 10:59:01 AM Report

I swear Sam is on the police
GoHoundsGo 2/7/2014 11:02:01 AM Report

When the police are gonna charge a "fee" for something they are already paid to do, by its very definition, ITS A CASH GRAB.....period. The gov't (any level) uses "user fees" just like a tax, but with out all the silly waiting for fiscal business that goes with it. And they dont have to report the earnings from said user fees to us the tax payers like they do in their budjets about how much taxes we paid.
jinjin 2/7/2014 11:04:20 AM Report

9006 headlights at major local national chain store - $60 per pair. 9006 headlights online $4.50 shipping included. If you are buying ahead, consider sources.
scoobie doo 2/7/2014 11:17:14 AM Report

It's more than just about taillights, it's about the insurance slip on the counter and not in your car, you're still insured, but the proof isn't in your vehichle because you forgot it. It's about your plate sticker that you know you need but keep forgetting to get when you're out...or you got when you were out but it's in the pocket of your other coat ... human error stuff. If they can't give a guy a break for crap like that, that's just sad. But I guess it's just another indication of how greedy society has become.
northernmale 2/7/2014 11:21:04 AM Report

Just another law being forced on us to get more money. I swear between our government and our municipal politician's . And now our chief of police they must stay awake at night thinking on how to get more money from us.Want to really save money have an independent study done at our police department and city hall. Lots of money to be gotten. Lot of bad apples at both places.
Tag33&1/3rd 2/7/2014 11:23:24 AM Report

Holy! Big dif. in price $ for headlites!

Just a point to ponder here: the police would have a lot more time and resources to do the things some of you mention if they didn't have to spend most of their shift attending calls because of drunk and disorderly people that can't handle their booze! Or domestic arguments because they can't handle their booze! Or people like the 911 prankster the other day because she can't handle her booze! Grow up or stop drinking!
euroman 2/7/2014 11:38:20 AM Report

It's a money grab, plain and simple. Never mind "serve and protect" the motto now is "fine and collect".

scoobie doo 2/7/2014 11:43:38 AM Report

After reading Tags comment... how about fining the domestic abuser or the drunk for the "time" spent by the officer who has to go and arrest him? now that would make a heck of lot more sense than collecting from the guy who's tail light is out or his insurance slip isn't in his car.
Tag33&1/3rd 2/7/2014 11:49:30 AM Report

Ya! You deserve a scoobie-snack!
yvonny 2/7/2014 12:23:28 PM Report

what happens if you dont haved $20 then what they throw the book at you
yvonny 2/7/2014 12:31:24 PM Report

what about the idiot driving with his small dog between his arm isnt that a distraction
bigG47 2/7/2014 1:14:33 PM Report

Vehicles have been manufactured with day time running lights since the early 90's. A safety feature, which has been proven to save many lives. Why is it, that every third car/truck I see in the Soo, doesn't have them. Why are drivers obviously disconnecting them ? Why are they not being fined ? I believe it is a ticketable offence in other provinces, and I believe it should be here too !
B Boy 2/7/2014 1:24:15 PM Report

@bigG47 - aren't those vehicles you're seeing purchased in the US?
GoHoundsGo 2/7/2014 1:25:51 PM Report

Well the Province of Ontario ..there is no statute or law the say a vehicle MUST have daytime running lights. Operating a vehicle with your lights on only becomes a statute 1 hour before dusk and 1 hour after dawn. Headlights do make ones vehicle much more visible even during the day, and should be always used.
B Boy 2/7/2014 1:53:20 PM Report

I wonder how this new admin fee policy isn't a conflict with the Ontario government? The receiver general likes to see that revenue. Won't the focus shift away from policing & discretion and toward this policy becoming a profit centre?

I could see actual charges drop significantly and 'warnings' increase.
sunnie 2/7/2014 2:09:14 PM Report

And the entertainment continues..
nascarnutt 2/7/2014 2:12:26 PM Report

Next the police services will charge $20 for a tip towards crime stoppers as well, as this is also taking of their time.
Our taxes pay for their time the $20 is just a way of the stealing. (My opinion anyways)
nascarnutt 2/7/2014 2:16:54 PM Report

Next the police services will charge $20 for a tip towards crime stoppers as well, as this is also taking of their time.
Our taxes pay for their time the $20 is just a way of the stealing. (My opinion anyways)
Also when they are found of Wrong Doing they are SUSPENDED WITH PAY???? Oh I see where the $20 is going
pruden 2/7/2014 2:17:20 PM Report

Just sent off an e-mail to Pat Mick and Brian Watkins Ward 3 councilors = I don't drive but this $20 fee stinks - hopefully everyone on this site today will e-mail their feelings about this levy too.
nascarnutt 2/7/2014 2:17:22 PM Report

Next the police services will charge $20 for a tip towards crime stoppers as well, as this is also taking of their time.
Our taxes pay for their time the $20 is just a way of the stealing. (My opinion anyways)
Also when they are found of Wrong Doing they are SUSPENDED WITH PAY???? Oh I see where the $20 is going
R0FL0L 2/7/2014 2:18:53 PM Report

"I went and bought replacements for ALL the signal/marker lights and changed them. Obviously if one has burnt out, the rest will soon do the same. For $20 I avoid a $65 ticket, or even the $20 admin fee for the green tag."
Sam ooppssyyy on your way to the store the police pulls you over....sorry but you DO have to pay up.
So better always have those bulbs in stock at home or in your trunk
Are you still able to change ALL the headlights by yourself? Some you need a mechanic = appointment = pay him for labour. So maybe we have to contact all the car manufactures and complain?
Lone24 2/7/2014 3:28:57 PM Report

@ Yvonny- I think the idiots using a cell phone while driving is more of a distraction than someone with their small dog in their arms.
coachkids4life 2/7/2014 3:39:07 PM Report

when is this city going to stop nickle and diming its population we get screwed on our property taxes we get screwed on our water and half the city services are useless at best this sweet little town is going to shit, how much more can we put up with!!!!!!!!
Beej 2/7/2014 8:16:50 PM Report

When it starts to come out your ears you have a right to speak up!
terbum2 2/7/2014 9:01:14 PM Report

Wonder if I see a cop car with a taillight or headlight out if there going to be charged 20 bucks for the violation, way to go Davies I always knew you were an idiot now you proved it, And what do you do if your driving and your headlight burns out and you immediately get pulled over for a burned out headlight? my thought fight it in court. everyone should e-mail there alderman I am.
S.M.A.R.T. 2/7/2014 9:37:05 PM Report

Just outside the Soo one night in the fall, on HWY 17 heading west toward the city, a car comes zooming up behind me like a bat out of hell with one headlight. It goes flying by me, and lo and behold it's an O.P.P cruiser. I chuckled to myself wondering if he/she would be issuing the force he/she works for, a ticket for having a defective headlight. I also wondered if there might not also be a speeding ticket issued to the driver. And for those of you with an inane comeback such as there being a possible emergency, there wasn't one. He/She routinely pulled off onto the median a short distance further. No siren or flashers were ever activated.
Stugatzu 2/8/2014 5:19:50 PM Report

This is such a joke. Civil servants are paid through our taxes. Now we're expected to swallow this tripe about it not being a cash grab?

As a civil servant -- if you're job is to do clerical work... well.. that's your job then... clerical work.

As a motorist, we shouldn't be penalized with an "administration fee of $20" to pad the pockets of the civil servants who are already paid by our municipal taxes.

You could just as easily have two functioning headlights... have your vehicle fall into one of the enormous meteorite craters.... this one horse town calls a "pothole" have a headlight blow out... and then get stopped by the police, issued this "notice"... and be expected to pay for new headlight/bulb... PLUS the $20 fee to waive the fine? Yeah.. the SSM Police Services can wad those notices up really tight.. and shove them up their ass!
terbum2 2/9/2014 10:29:56 PM Report

This is the response I got from my alderman after sending him an e-mail about this story lets see how much shit I get into and this is the exact e-mail sent.

to l.turco

Lou as you are my Alderman in my ward, I am writing my displeasure over the current proposal by Chief Bob Davies on a 20 dollar administration fee for vehicle's with a burnt out headlight, taillight, or insurance slip in your vehicle without giving the citizen's of sault ste. marie the chance of fixing the issue within the 72 hour notice to prove it has been corrected. This by far is a money grab buy the city on us taxpayers that already pay for our police services. this would not be in control of a person driving there vehicle that has just had a headlight, taillight burn out while driving and get charged this fee not knowing that it has just happened and gets pulled over for the infraction, and must pay the 20 dollar fee. My hope is this is brought before counsel, and counsel rejects this ridiculous fee. As a taxpayer that feels we as citizen's of sault ste. marie pay a high premium of taxes already for services that are of poor service in general.

Yours Truly

Lou Turco

7:52 PM (2 hours ago)

to r.davies, me

Hi Terry,

Thanks for your email. By way of this email, I am forwarding your email onto the Police Chief so that he is aware of your displeasure with the proposal.

Please be advised that if the matter does come before City Council, I will not be able to vote on the matter as I have a pecuniary interest (my wife is employed by the Sault Ste Marie Police Service).
Note: Comments that appear on the site are not the opinion of If you see an abusive post, please click the link beside the post to report it.
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