Town of Espanola transition to OPP policing approved

MINDEMOYA—Any officer with the Espanola municipal police who wants to join the Manitoulin-Espanola Ontario Provincial Police (OPP), with the transition from municipal police to OPP taking place in October, will be able to transfer to the OPP once they go through the necessary process involved.

The transition for Espanola municipal police to provincial policing will be taking place sooner than the new year. The Ontario Civilian Police Commission (OCPC) has now given its approval to the changeover to the OPP, which is expected to take place October 11, rather than in early 2019.

All municipal police and civilian staff positions—including the police chief—will be terminated, and staff looking to continue employment in policing in Espanola with the OPP must follow its application process to be eligible for hiring.

Kevin Webb, Detachment Commander Staff Sergeant with the Manitoulin-Espanola OPP told members of the Manitoulin Community Police Advisory Committee (CPAC) at a meeting last week, “there was a question in the minutes of our last meeting about people being laid off in Espanola with the transition. What happens is that first, OCOPS approves the transition first, which has taken place. So theoretically staff has been terminated form their jobs. But anyone who wants to apply to the OPP then has to go through a hiring process. Everyone that wants to join the OPP and meets the hiring standard, can be hired on. Others may choose go to another service. For instance, a couple of the officers in Espanola live in Sudbury so they might want to transfer to the Chelmsford OPP detachment.” 
  “October 11 is the targeted date for the transition,” said Staff Sergeant Webb. “So it will be like when we (Manitoulin OPP) took over the Espanola (OPP) detachment, everything transitions from the town to the OPP. The officers that want to join the OPP go to police college for a month, he said, noting they will be updated on OPP policies and procedures.

“One of my responsibilities is to figure out how many staff we need to supplement our resources in Espanola,” said Staff Sergeant Webb.

The termination of the Espanola municipal police will affect 20 individuals: the police chief, 11 officers, dispatchers and a full-time court clerk.

Staff Sergeant Webb told the meeting, “there will be no negative impacts on the resources that we presently have. And now that the decision has been made we can move forward and reach out to the  officers who want to join the OPP. We went through the same process a year and a half ago to take in the Espanola OPP and there have been no negative impacts on the services we provide.”

“The main (Espanola OPP) detachment will become part of our Manitoulin-Espanola detachment,” said Staff Sergeant Webb. “There will continue to be two offices: One in town and one on the highway. We are still working on how that will work out. One (office) will be for administration and the other for operations.”
“Basically, what it means for (the Manitoulin-Espanola detachment) is more people, resources and equipment—what is required to police the community,” continued Staff Sergeant Webb. “It won’t affect Manitoulin detachment.”