Policing on Manitoulin is not what it used to be

To the Expositor:

Policing is not what it used to be. I grew up on Manitoulin Island and enjoyed every minute of it. Everyone knew who the police officers were in town and each officer was granted the respect they deserved for doing a great job ‘serving and protecting’ the citizens, socializing with locals and getting involved in local community activities.

In the past 10 years the deterioration of a once reputable OPP organization has turned into a circus of scandal, negligence, and abuse of power and authority.

Most recently, I love the fact that the OPP wasted tens of thousands of dollars of taxpayer money on a year-long investigation to make 34 arrests and obtain $40,000 in drugs. What a ‘dent in the drug trade’ or in the tax payer’s pocket? I’m not sure which is worse to read in the newspaper, an insignificant drug bust or how the OPP demonstrate their community involvement by showing young children bicycle safety year after year. Only working with the youth, is this the “good work” they speak of?

In my opinion, the “cult” like detachment needs to be addressed and a satisfactory or better reputation restored by holding officers accountable for their actions. The scandals, neglect, conflicts of interests and lack of integrity need to be publicized and residents should not fear their local police service. It would be nice to see a leader who is professional, follows protocol and respects the residents and visitors of Manitoulin Island. Live up to one of your so-called OPP promises, “earn confidence of citizens and visitors of Ontario, strive to build a culture of trust.”

Just because they dress in blue and carry a gun does not give them the right to intimidate and bully the residents and visitors to this beautiful place we call home.

Kara Hawke
North Bay