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by Isabel Mosseler
The date has been set for the OPP to take over policing in West Nipissing, and it is coming fast.
The June 6 date was announced by West Nipissing CAO Jay Barbeau during the April 23 council meeting, when he provided an update and assured both OPP and the WN Police Service were working on ensuring a smooth transition.
Barbeau told council that they were in the final stages of the hiring process and the OPP had already selected the civilian personnel. “With respect to uniformed officers, it is going up to the Commissioner at the end of April, beginning of May… The understanding is that in the first week of May, people will receive their confirmation or, heaven forbid, rejection notices.”
When contacted at the end of April, the OPP had not yet completed that process, but assured it would happen soon.
Barbeau added that with respect to the building renovations, the temporary site on John St. (former Zone building) is on schedule. “We’re working with contractors right now. The idea is for us to vacate the site and allow them to take over – looking at May 24 – so they can move their information in.” He added that the “civil work”, the parking lot and landscaping, will take place in the first two weeks of May.
“With respect to the permanent site, it is still in development stage… I’m meeting with OPP and architect consultants, moving forward to getting that plan,” he added.
Barbeau noted that having the OPP submit its operational plan is dependant on the new Detachment Commander, who will also likely be hired in the first week or two of May. The CAO explained that Superintendent Baldasaro Nuccio has requested a participating member of the current Police Services Board as liaison and that the position has been determined as bilingual. Additionally, he indicated that other transition issues are being dealt with, notably records retention.
“By noon on June 6th the transition will take place… on June 6th, the 753-1234 number will not exist,” Barbeau concluded.
The new number to call will be communicated to the public through a communications campaign, and anyone calling the old number will be redirected, he added.