In 1998, the provincial governments Local Services Realignment downloaded police services to municipalities. Like many small communities in Ontario, Temagami’s population and tax base were not sufficient to support a police force of its own, so entered into a contract with the Ontario Provincial Police. The advantage of being under contract as compared to a non-contract location is that the municipality is better able to project policing costs in its annual budget and it also mandates a Civilian body called the Police Services Board that will work directly with the O.P.P. in identifying community issues and looking for solutions that may include local community groups, to ensure the safety and security of our citizens.
The Province retains areas of jurisdiction within the Temagami area. For example, provincial legislation provides that waterways remain the Province's responsibility. So the Municipality's contract covers police service on islands that are part of the Municipality, but not on the water surrounding them.
The waterways are policed utilizing a combined effort from a regional team called the S.A.V.E. team (Snowmobile, ATV, Vessel Enforcement), which operates out of the North East Regional Headquarters located in North Bay, or a Marine Patrol unit, which operates out of the Temagami Detachment located on the shore of Lake Temagami.
The Municipality's contract covers policing on municipal roads, but not on provincial highways of #11 or #64. The contract does not cover provincial parks as in Finlayson Provincial Park, or any of the waterway parks within the municipal boundaries.
The Temagami Detachment is part of a cluster of Detachments under the control of one Detachment Commander. This arrangement allows for both policing support and special services, such as criminal investigations and specialized investigative support. The Temagami First Nation is not part of the Municipality and has its own police.
The Municipality of Temagami currently contracts out 2.46 uniformed members and 0.24 of Civilian support staff. However the Temagami Detachment has 8 uniformed members deployed and working directly out of this office. The contract signed for Temagami is calculated in equivalency hours, rather than a number of actual assigned officers. The numbers are determined through the historic work load demands that are generated in the community.
The Municipality of Temagami represents an area of 2,400 sq. kilometres and 215 kilometres of roads. Most of the year, there are fewer than 1,000 persons living here and as such the protection of seasonally vacant properties in remote areas presents a problem. If there is an identified problem in a certain area of the Municipality, such as traffic on a municipal road or a rash of break-ins, our Police Services Board provides a valuable link to the O.P.P. in providing information and looking for solutions to address the problem. The Board, working with the Detachment Commander, area cottage associations and other Boards will work together to seek out alternative measures to address local issues.
Overall, the level of crime in Temagami is very low and the clearance rate (rate at which crimes are solved and cleared from the Detachment's books) are very high.
Temagami has just entered into a new contract with the O.P.P. in 2009 for a five year period. The municipality also receives revenues from collected fines issued in the District for offences committed under the Provincial
Offences Act such as speeding fines etc.
By having a contract the local Police Services Board also has the ability to apply for government grants. One of these that the Board has been able to obtain each year is extra funds to augment R.I.D.E. (Reduce Impaired Driving Everywhere) patrols on our area roads to better ensure the safety of those who travel in our community. Given the huge influence of highways on the safety of our populated areas, these extra patrols are very important to us.
In keeping with the Police Services Act, the Police Services Board is composed of three people: one appointed by the Province, one appointed by the Municipality to represent the citizenry at large, and one appointed by the Municipality to represent Municipal Council. These people are, respectively, Garry Reynolds, Don Johnson, and Dan O'Mara. Each is paid an honorarium of $100 per year. Don Johnson is the Chair. Meetings between the Board and the O.P.P. take place bi-monthly. It should be said that the working relationship with the Temiskaming Detachment is excellent.
Members of the public are welcome to attend the meetings as observers. Notices of meetings are posted locally and on the Municipalities web site. The agenda is generally posted on the web site a week ahead of the meeting. Members of the public who wish to address the Board in writing or in person should send letters in care of the Municipal Office, or email to Police Services Board Email.
The Temiskaming Detachment of the Ontario Provincial Police is now accepting applications for Auxiliary Officers. If you are interested in volunteering your time to assist your community, contact the Temagami Police Services Board or the Temiskaming office of the Ontario Provincial Police for an application form. You can make a difference for as little as ten hours of your time a month.
The Ontario Police Auxiliary Program was first established in 1960; over the years the organization has seen several changes. One thing that has not changed is the standard for both the men and women of the Auxiliary Program. A candidate for Auxiliary Constable must meet the same requirements as a regular Police Constable. These are: 1) Canadian citizenship or permanent residency in Canada; 2) at least 18 years of age; 3) physically and mentally able to perform the duties of the position; 4) successful completion of at least four years of Secondary School education or its equivalent; 5) good moral character and habits; 6) possession of a valid class G driver’s licence; 7) current certification for both CPR and First Aid; 8) able to pass a security clearance and background investigation, credit and reference checks.
The process of becoming an Auxiliary Officer starts by submitting an application. An interview may be granted depending on the applicant’s suitability. The interview is a general interview with some knowledge of the OPP organization and the Auxiliary program being an asset. Applicants who are successful in the interview will be sent for testing, usually by Uniform Recruitment in North Bay.
The testing consists of the General Aptitude Test, Written Communications Test and Psychological Test. No physical testing is conducted but the applicant must be in good physical condition, which would be assessed by the interview panel. Upon successful completion of the testing, the applicant is then sent for one week of basic training, conducted in Orillia. This one week consists of both lectures and hands-on training, which includes use of force/defensive tactics, report writing, cross-cultural training, police procedures, note taking, firearms, drill and radio communications.
The successful applicants then would be required to report to their assigned detachment where they are required to perform a minimum 10 hours per month of patrol under the direct supervision of a regular OPP member. The Auxiliary member is provided full uniform and equipment at no expense. Auxiliary monthly meetings are held and further mandatory training is conducted during these meetings. Auxiliaries are also expected to attend and assist the detachment in Community Policing and Fund Raising events. You may have had the pleasure of meeting these members at one of the many special events within the Temiskaming District.
The Temiskaming Detachment has been fortunate to have men and women involved with the Auxiliary Program working with our uniformed officers. The Ontario Provincial Police are proud of the men and women who volunteer their time for the Auxiliary Program. There are over 800 auxiliary members in the OPP and they worked in excess of 199,249 hours during the year 2002.
A minimum commitment of two years is expected of Auxiliary members. Being a member of the Ontario Provincial Police Auxiliary Program can be both exciting and rewarding and the program is commonly used as a stepping stone towards a career as Police Constable. Temagami could use at least one Auxiliary Officer. If you’re interested, contact us today! firstname.lastname@example.org .