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by Brad Aubin

For the first time ever, the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) held its annual awards ceremony for the North East Region in Sturgeon Falls, in the Marcel Noel hall on Thursday, Sept. 12. There, OPP honoured officers and civilians for acts of life saving, bravery and exemplary service, and some locals were among the honorees. OPP Commissioner Thomas Carrique along with North East Region Acting Chief Superintendent Jon Dumond presented the awards, while dignitaries on hand included West Nipissing Mayor Joanne Savage, MPP John Vanthof, MP Marc Serré and many high ranking OPP officers.

Mayor Savage was asked to say a few words, and she congratulated the recipients on their hard work and thanked them for their many years of service. Carique noted her presence as a highlight. “On behalf of the women and men of the OPP, I would like to thank our elected officials for joining us here this morning. It goes a long way for those of us who put on this uniform each and every day, to serve and protect the citizens of this great province, to have your support. [...] It is especially important for us to be here today, as the OPP and West Nipissing became family in June. So a big thank you, your Worship, for welcoming and joining us.”

​Carique touched on policing as a vocation requiring unique commitment. “It is in fact a calling; it is far more than a job. Each and every one of you, day in and day out, do what others in our community are unwilling or incapable of doing to ensure our province is safe and secure and that the quality of life in our communities is among the best in the entire world and that the Charter of Rights is upheld in our communities. These are not easy undertakings; they’re enormous responsibilities that sworn and civilian members have taken an oath to uphold. It’s something that they’ve dedicated their professional lives to every single day,” he expressed.

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OPP holds regional awards ceremony in Sturgeon Falls