OPP seeking interest in Island auxiliary unit

MANITOULIN—The Manitoulin-Espanola detachment of the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) is seeking interested adults in helping to form an OPP auxiliary program.

Community Services Officer Constable Marie Ford explained that auxiliary members help OPP officers with numerous duties, including events like Haweater Weekend, parades, the Special Olympics Torch Run and assisting officers in other everyday tasks such as traffic control.

For those thinking of pursuing a career in the police force or armed forces, Constable Ford said this would be an excellent opportunity to gain experience.

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If deemed to have enough interest, this auxiliary unit would be the second time auxiliary police were utilized on Manitoulin by the OPP. The initial time was about 20 years ago and three citizens, all men, qualified, trained and assisted the police for several years.

“The auxiliary program is a highly structured environment and members are expected to maintain the same high standards of the OPP,” Constable Ford said.

Applicants must be able to commit the time and effort required of the program which is a minimum 10 hours per month of patrol with a regular officer and six hours of in-service training per month.

Applicants must: be at least 18 years of age and be a Canadian citizen or permanent resident; hold a valid driver’s licence; have no criminal record; have completed the Ontario secondary school diploma program or equivalent; have completed CPR and first aid certification; and be of good moral character and be mentally and physically able to carry out the duties of the auxiliary position.

“You’re basically a volunteer police officer,” Constable Ford added. “It’s good experience and very useful to the officers.”

Currently, the officer added, auxiliary members come from Sudbury to assist Island police officers.

Interested persons can print out the application from the OPP website at http://www.opp.ca and return them to either the Little Current or Espanola offices marked ‘Auxiliary Application’ and to the attention of Sergeant Parsley.