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Shelburne Police Department will be replaced by OPP Feb 2021


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SHELBURNE, ONT. -- After 141 years, the Shelburne Police Department is on its way out, to be replaced by the Ontario Provincial Police, a decision that has been weighing over the town for some time.

On Wednesday evening, town council decided to make the change to the OPP after two separate cost estimates.

The mayor says the decision was inevitable, and cheaper, with a projected savings of $6 million over the next 10 years.

Several other smaller communities in the province have made a similar move, switching to the OPP, including Midland and Orangeville.

The shift to the OPP would take place in February 2021 with officers based out of the Primrose Detachment.

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source: http://shelburnefreepress.ca/?p=27315

Shelburne Police Service will transition to OPP on February 18, 2021



Written By Brian Lockhart 

It will be an historic day in the Town of Shelburne when the members of the Shelburne Police Service answer the roll call for the last time after 142 years of serving the community as a police unit. The original Shelburne Police Department was formed in 1879.

Shelburne Town Council voted unanimously on July 15, 2020  in favour of disbanding the service and bringing in the Ontario Provincial Police to take over policing duties in the community. The move to disband the Service is coming strictly from a financial standpoint and has nothing to do with a lack of confidence in the police by either the Town Council or Town residents.

“Our ability to continue with a municipal police force is just no longer financially sustainable,” said Shelburne Mayor, Wade Mills, back in July. “If we lack the courage to make the difficult and responsible decision that is required now, then what we are doing is effectively delaying the inevitable and we are allowing the Shelburne Police Service, an institution with over 100 years of proud service, to suffer a slow and painful demise. I’m not prepared to allow that to happen. The institution itself deserves better than this and more importantly our officers deserve better than this.”

Councillor, Kyle Fegan, agreed saying the financial aspect of keeping the force just isn’t in the cards.

“It’s been mentioned before and is worth noting again, we don’t have a policing issue,” Fegan said after the vote. “I just don’t see a financially responsible way where the police force will be sustainable going forward, even in the near future.”

Town of Shelburne CAO, Denyse Morrissey, said “The confirmed date for the O.P.P. transition is February 18 [2021], at noon.”

As for officers currently with the Shelburne Service and seeking employment with the OPP, Ms. Morrissey said “The hiring process of the OPP [to] determine which officers with Shelburne Police Services (who applied to the OPP) will be hired by the OPP is still in process.”

While the members of the Shelburne Service were initially understandably dismayed that their long standing force would be disbanded, most seem to have a positive attitude about moving forward.

“This is a bittersweet time for everyone here,” said Cst. Jennifer Roach, president of the Shelburne Police Association. “We have all loved our time with the Shelburne Police Service and we are sad to see 142 years of tradition and history come to an end. The process has been stressful on everyone involved. It has been two years of the unknown, followed by a rigorous application process with the OPP. At this time no one is aware of whether they have been successful or not, so there is an air of nervous anticipation and excitement.”

“We all hope that we will be able to continue to serve this community that we love, post disbandment. Every day we are blown away by the love and support that this community has shown us. I have said it previously, but it needs to be said again. In a time where it is especially easy to show negativity toward the police, Shelburne has done the exact opposite,” she added.

“The supportive comments on social media, the waves and smiles, kids asking to have their pictures taken with us and so many more acts of kindness mean more to us than we can ever express.” 

When considering the move to OPP for some officers, Constable Roach said, “Opportunity is never a bad thing. However, when we chose to serve the Town of Shelburne as police officers we did so knowing that there was not the broad range of opportunity that is available in a larger service. This was something that we were all willing to sacrifice as there are benefits to policing in a small community that aren’t as tangible as the opportunities in a large service.” Constable Jeff McLean expressed optimism for Shelburne officers who have the opportunity to join the OPP.

“The general consensus for the officers within the Shelburne Police Service, now that the changeover to OPP is imminent, is that we’re excited for the opportunities on the horizon, which are present within the organization,” Constable McLean said. 

“Within the OPP, there is room for further career growth, due mainly to the size of the organization. For me, personally, I’m sad to see this chapter close as both an officer and a resident of the Town but I’m looking forward to continuing to serve our community with OPP.” 

With many years of being a police officer still ahead of him, Officer McLean said the move to a larger Police Service would likely present new possibilities and challenges in his career. 

“I, personally, see the vast opportunities as a positive for my career development,” he explained. “That said, the Shelburne Police Service has been a large part of my life, both before becoming an officer, and after. I am extremely thankful to Chief Moore, Sgt. Bennett, retired Sgt. Kerr and the Town of Shelburne for providing me with the opportunity to Police this great community.”

“I see this transition as closing a major chapter on my life, and now [I] am focused on having the next chapter be full of personal growth and opportunities. Those who have served the Shelburne Police Service should be proud of everything that we have accomplished in our long history,” McLean added.

Originally the plan was to keep the Shelburne Police Service intact and operating. However a decision by Orangeville Town Council to disband the Orangeville Police Service and replace it with OPP had a ripple effect on Shelburne that would have meant higher costs for operating the service as well as a change in the dynamics of cooperation between the two towns and policing in the region. 

It has not yet been announced how many of the current Shelburne Police officers have been hired by the OPP to continue duties in the region. Current Shelburne Police Chief, Kent Moore, has confirmed he will be retiring once the OPP take over policing duties in the town.


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Today at 12:00pm policing within the Town of Shelburne will officially and formally transition from the Shelburne Police Service to the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP). As Mayor, I am filled with mixed emotions as this transition marks both an historic end as well as an exciting future.
Our community has been policed by the Shelburne Police Service since 1879. Since that time, our community and our police service have grown and evolved together. Through successive generations, two world wars, a great depression, two global pandemics, and a more recent explosion of population growth, our local officers have remained at the ready to serve and protect our community with dignity, bravery, and compassion. This tradition of service stands as unimpeachable today as it ever has and for that our community will be sad to close this chapter.
With an eye to the future, we as a community also have much to look forward to. For many of us, we have come to know our local officers as friends and neighbours and we value the local connections that have been forged. Fortunately, these relationships will not be lost as each and every member of the Shelburne Police Service who applied to the OPP has been successfully hired. After a short transition and training period, we will welcome our officers back home to Shelburne in their new uniforms. When they return, our officers will be a part of one of North America’s largest deployed police services with more than 5,800 uniformed officers, 2,400 civilian employees and 830 auxiliary officers. They will also be supported by the tremendous network of resources that the OPP has at its disposal. I am confident – and you should be too – that our officers will be well equipped to continue to provide the level of policing service that our community expects and deserves.
To Chief Moore, Sgt. Bennett, SpC Kerr, PC Morash, and Karen McLean who are not transitioning to the OPP, I want to offer a personal note of gratitude for your years of dedicated and professional service and I wish you all the very best as you move into this next exciting phase of life. To our officers and civilian staff who will be continuing with the OPP, I wish you luck as you embark upon this next lag of your career journey and I cannot wait to see you all back here in early March when we will hold a proper ceremony to mark the occasion. In the words of Charles Dickens, “The pain of parting is nothing compared to the joy of meeting again.”
On behalf of Council, Town of Shelburne staff, the Shelburne Police Services Board, and our entire community, I wish to thank all members of the Shelburne Police Service, both past and present, for everything that you have done to serve this community that we all love.
2021 Shelburne Police Service Members:
Chief Kent Moore
Sgt. Mark Bennett
Sgt. Paul Neumann
PC Carey Widbur
PC Cory Courtney
PC Andrew Fines
PC Catlin Conner
PC Robert Button
PC Jennifer Roach
PC Jeff McLean
PC Bob Fudge
PC Ryan Hubbert
PC Dennis Jeronimo
PC Cody Lamacchia
SpC Dave Kerr
Karen McLean
Renee Pike


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