North Huron honours Wingham Police prior to OPP takeover - Feb. 28, 2019
BY DENNY SCOTT
North Huron Township Council honoured the Wingham Police Service last week with a special moment of recognition just ahead of the disbanding of the service.
During Council’s Feb. 19 meeting, days before the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) took over police services in the town of Wingham, council members shared their views on the change and thanked the Wingham Police for their service to the community over the years.
Deputy-Reeve Trevor Seip was first to speak, pointing out the wealth of police experience that was represented by the officers in attendance.
“In this room, we have more than 70 years of policing experience, probably pushing 80 or 90 years,” he said. “This is [an] historical day for North Huron and the Wingham Police Service.”
Individuals being recognized that evening were Chief Tim Poole, Sergeant Murray Foxton, Constable Jamie Leslie, Constable Wade Smith, Constable Bryan Verharghe, Constable Kevin MacAdam, Constable Mark Kirkby and Pat Fraser.
Seip said that, as Police Services Board chair, it had been his honour to represent the township when dealing with the police. He went on to say that, as a municipality, North Huron thanks them for their efforts.
“You, as members of the association, and those no longer with us, have served over the past 140 years,” he said.
Seip wished the officers well in their coming endeavours, as all except the retiring Chief Tim Poole had been signed on with the OPP.
“On behalf of the police services board and the ratepayers of North Huron and Wingham, I especially want to say thank you for your years of service,” he said.
Before passing out plaques honouring the commitment of the officers attending the meeting, Reeve Bernie Bailey said that history was being made with this change and that this marks the disappearance of something that was unique to Wingham.
Seip then spoke again, thanking the families of the police officers,many of whom were in attendance.
“You have lived through the good times of the Wingham Police Service and the hard times of hours away from family,” he said, thanking the families and the officers once more.
For the next three years, a dedicated OPP force will cover the Wingham area out of an office located at 30 Bristol Terrace in Wingham. After those three years, service will be tied into the larger OPP service provided for most of Huron County.
Going forward, Wingham residents can continue to dial 911 in case of emergencies. For non-emergency, 24 hour a day, seven-days-a-week service from the OPP, residents can call 1-888-310-1122 and for administrative services, during business hours, Wingham residents can contact the OPP at 519-524-8314.
The impact of the move on the municipality’s budget will become more apparent once final transition costs are paid and the municipality’s 2019 budget is finalized.