Essex County OPP kicks off Police Week in Leamington

Filed under: Headline,In Our Community |

OPP-Forensicsby Adam Gault

Representatives of the OPP kicked off the annual Police Week with an interactive and informational display at Canadian Tire in Leamington on Friday, May 12.

The yearly event is dedicated to promoting crime prevention, fostering relationships between the police and the community, as well as offering recruitment information for members of the public interested in a career with the OPP.

Although normally held at the Devonshire Mall in Windsor, this year’s event was about bringing it back to local communities. This was in line with the provincial them of “Working Together for Safer Communities,” with events being held in Leamington and Lakeshore, respectively.

This provided a more open opportunity for local citizens to understand the role of police in their respective communities and a platform to ask questions about their role in day-to-day policing duties.

OPP Constable Jim Root explained the importance of Police Week as a way to change public perceptions regarding the police.

“A lot of times people think we’re not approachable. Reaching out and being open with the public is important in changing that perception. Building a good relationship with young people is an important part of that goal,” Root said.

The event featured several interactive displays pertaining to various areas of police work, as well there were several officers at each station who were available to answer any questions members of the public might have.

One such display featured an elevated SUV mounted on a horizontal axle to simulate a rollover condition. The vehicle featured several unsecured dummies, and at the push of a button demonstrated the dire consequences of not wearing one’s seatbelt during a vehicular rollover.

Constable Root explained that simulations like this are an important reminder to the public about the importance of seatbelt use, of which he said there are still issues regarding compliance.

Constable Darren Soucie, with the forensics unit, answered questions about the responsibilities of a forensics team, explaining that not everything they do is shown accurately on television.

“The basics haven’t changed,” he explained referring to how many contemporary programs show computers doing most of the work. “We still manually look at fingerprints, and rely on human verification.”

Constable Root continued that now is an excellent time for individuals looking to get involved in policing.

“A lot of officers are reaching their 30-year mark, we’re pushing for new recruitment,” Root explained. “We’re looking for a variety of backgrounds.”

The best way to prepare for an OPP Constable career is to attend a local information session hosted by uniformed recruiters. For more information on upcoming sessions, visit opp.ca/careers.