Letter: Retired police officer offers apologies for office closures

“I never thought I would call shame on the OPP administration”

To the Expositor:

It is sad closing two community towers of strength. I worked, no, served, the residents in both. The new Mindemoya detachment was built when the one room office in the basement of the municipal building would not house the three officers at the time: Larry Beach, Keith Size and Murray Haner. The communities of Manitowaning and Mindemoya/people got together and formulated a business case to justify the expense of their new offices. The communities rolled up their sleeves and volunteered for every community building strategy the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) asked them to support. Both communities had Neighborhood Watch and all the programs that needed full community support to survive. Mindemoya was the birth of Victims Services along with Little Current.

A huge plus and bargain point for new improved detachments in those communities was reduced response time (now sadly gone) and officers living in those communities (who through time will live closer to Little Current contributing to community-building). 

My sincere apologies to those two communities who gave so much to, in the end, receive so little. You supported me and my colleagues year in and year out. Remember the old saying ‘A police force is only as good as the community it serves.’ This is a sad day that the OPP has blindsided those two communities and left town. Those community people are entirely responsible for what the OPP is today on Manitoulin. Even sadder was the silence from community leaders in pushback who, to my knowledge, did not put our MPP to work his magic. I never thought I would call “shame” on the OPP administration.

Larry Killens, a retired OPP officer

South Baymouth