DATE: 2018-08-30

I recently took on the role as Chief of Police for the West Nipissing Police Service (WNPS), but I have been a police officer in this community for over 29 years and I feel I have a responsibility to address some of the comments that have circulated in the media/social media forums as of late.

Firstly, let me by begin by saying the men and women, sworn and civilian, have and continue to perform their duties admirably to ensure the community’s safety and well-being. Recent posts and rumors have arisen about our officers and our service’s ability to police West Nipissing effectively. Here are some facts for you to consider:

Our officers, like every officer in the province receive training at the Ontario Police College. They attend when hired and again for senior courses when appropriate.

Regulation 926 under the Police Services Act regulates use of force. Our officers have received all mandatory yearly training.

Additional training is provided to officers to enhance their knowledge skills and abilities, most of our officers have received specialized training in a number of areas (drugs, frauds, warrants, leadership, supervision, investigations and more)

We have resources to answer to a variety of incidents but when we do not have a particular resource, we, like every other municipal police service in the province can call upon the Ontario Provincial Police to acquire that resource.

The drug epidemic is real, here and throughout Ontario. Over the last several months our partners and us have executed drug warrants and have seized various illicit drugs (cocaine, heroin, methamphetamine, crack, hydromorphone and fentanyl).

Our officers are committed to this community and over the years have developed local knowledge and contacts that they use in their day-to-day duties.

We work with community partners and policing partners to ensure West Nipissing is a safe place to live, work, play and visit.

Our Police Services Board comprised of Provincial and Municipal appointees, is dedicated to ensuring the adherence of all standards and regulations.

Ray St Pierre