2022 (01) January/February Newsletter

Newsletter – January/February 2022

Dear Friend,

As we look forward to the future of the Friends and of The OPP Museum, we are hopeful that you will all be able to join us in person at one of our upcoming events. After spending so much time apart, it will be a welcome change to talk, laugh and catch up together.

Friends has seen many changes in 2021 including the acquisition of the OPP Shop, holding our successful inaugural Run with Friends virtual event, and continuing to support the ever popular Canine calendars.

2022 will be an even bigger year as we host the grand opening of the Museum exhibit entitled Behind the Badge, celebrate the Legacy Wall dedication ceremony, launch our new website and virtually host the 2nd Annual 2022 Run with Friends event.

With so much happening, we invite you to renew your support of Friends of The OPP Museum as a member and/or supporter for 2022. Membership dollars and supporter donations continue to help us share the work of our amazing Museum and OPP history in communities throughout Ontario.

Renewing and donating is easy: just complete and return the enclosed form with your payment, or visit us online to complete your form and make a payment. Every membership renewal and/or donation will be answered with a membership card or tax receipt, with our appreciation.

We thank you in advance for your renewal and commitment to helping support OPP heritage throughout the province!

Yours truly,
Friends of The OPP Museum

Friends are happy to launch the 2nd Annual Run with Friends fundraiser. This is a great way to support our programming and enjoy some healthy exercise.

Coming in May!
Run with Friends will take place between May 11 to 31, 2022. And we have made 2022 an even bigger year! Announcing the addition of our new ½ Marathon, joining our successful virtual 5k and 10k races!

Get Moving for a Cause!
Since our incorporation in 2008, Friends has supported outreach and research initiatives across Ontario. With your race registration, Friends of The OPP Museum will be able to provide:
• Outreach programs at events like the Mariposa Music Festival and fall fairs
• Heritage Award celebrating research and publications about OPP history
• Upcoming specialized tours for seniors, youth and community groups
• Advocacy and fundraising initiatives that support The OPP Museum (such as the restoration of the 1931 Henderson motorcycle, the purchase of the Temagami patrol boat, the purchase of Samuel Charles McElwain’s diaries from the Bala OPP detachment dating from 1910-1921 and support for Museum exhibits)

Registration is $35 per entry for the 5k, 10k or ½ Marathon. You will receive a fantastic finisher’s medal and a $25 tax receipt.

Support a charity and challenge your family and friends to join you virtually!
To learn more about Run with Friends and Friends of The OPP Museum head to: www.oppmuseumfriends.ca or contact us at support@oppmuseumfriends.ca

We would like to share a grateful thanks to our generous sponsors:

Origins of the OPP Academy and the Ontario Police College
By Chris Johnstone

From 1909 through 1919, the basic requirements for an OPP recruit were to be able to read and write, to be of good moral character and to be possessed of a respectable suit of clothing. During these years, while officers were provided uniforms, they were not consistent across the province, and training took place on-the-job.

In the autumn of 1920, a School of Instruction was established in the Parliament Buildings (where the OPP’s General Headquarters offices were also located). Arthur T. Paxton, a newly appointed provincial constable and former sergeant of the Royal North West Mounted Police (and one-time member of the Royal Flying Corps), was named instructor. At this time, he was promoted to divisional inspector.

The School of Instruction was a single classroom in the Parliament Buildings, offering a five-week introductory training course to all new OPP recruits. The first class at the School of Instruction was made up of eight students, hopeful to begin their careers as police officers.

Throughout 1921, Provincial Inspector Paxton continued to be in charge of the School of Instruction in Toronto. We know that in November of 1921, candidates for the provincial police were being interviewed personally by the commissioner and given a medical examination before commencing recruit training. Several candidates who passed their interviews were turned down for medical reasons. The successful completion of the one-month recruit course was a prerequisite for appointment.

In keeping with the introduction of military traditions and operational norms, Commissioner Victor Williams introduced foot drill into the syllabus of the School of Instruction, initiated regular inspections of the men and their uniforms, and demanded military courtesies such as saluting in 1922.

By 1925, it was procedure to be called to Toronto for an interview with the Commissioner, followed by training at the School of Instruction before actually being appointed. However, since Arthur Paxton resigned from the OPP in February of 1924, the services of an instructor were not always available. The usual procedure was therefore occasionally waived.

At headquarters in Toronto, a training school was re-established in January 1929 for members of the provincial police. Since the departure of Paxton in 1924, the School of Instruction had become an occasional function, and a few constables had received instruction from Inspector Moss. The newly opened Ontario Provincial Police Training School was founded along the lines of the training establishments seen by Commissioner Williams on his trip to England and was to be under the direct supervision of the commissioner himself. Sergeant Edward T. Doyle of London was temporarily assigned as instructor, and the first class was convened on February 18th, 1929. Six probationary constables were to attend, as well as a further seven provincial constables summoned to Toronto from their detachments, and the course was to run for one month.

Commissioner Williams ordered that all members of the force were to be issued with new warrant cards, signed by the commissioner, which would identify them as members of the Ontario Provincial Police having the authority of provincial constables (prompted by concern over the increasing number of cases of impersonation of police officers).

The Provincial and Municipal Police Training School closed down in 1944. The Ontario Provincial Police had established a force training school at general headquarters in the Parliament Buildings, where new recruits underwent a course of training before being posted to their detachments. Under the direction of Staff Inspector Moss, the school was relocated to a room at 13 Queen’s Park Crescent when headquarters was moved in 1946. Endeavouring to provide some form of training to smaller and, in some cases, newly formed municipal police forces, Moss also set up a special school at the Royal Canadian Navy barracks in Port Arthur and in Kitchener in 1948. A further refinement in police training was offered in 1947 when the School of Legal Medicine at Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts invited the provincial police to send a representative. Inspector W.H. Clark of the CIB was the first member of that branch to attend the seminar in homicide investigation. Over the ensuing years, almost every inspector of the force’s criminal investigation unit would attend this training and thus become a member of the prestigious Harvard Associates in Police Science.

The Ontario Provincial Police Training School continued to function at General Headquarters at 13 Queen’s Park Crescent in Toronto under the direction of Moss until late July, 1949, providing recruit training for applicants to the force prior to appointment as provincial constables. The Police Act (1949) had provided for the creation “by the Commissioner of Police for Ontario” of an “Ontario Police College” to offer training for all policemen of the province, municipal as well as provincial. Premises were found in the summer of 1949 at Ajax, and a building formerly occupied by the University of Toronto was rented. The lease on the Ajax premises expired after one year, and the college was moved to Toronto to two large houses at 291 and 295 Sherbourne Street which had previously been used as a provincial immigration centre operated by the Salvation Army. The larger residence (291), known as ”Culloden,” and a famous Toronto landmark, had once been the home of John Ross Robertson, the founder of the Toronto Telegram newspaper.

The Northwestern University report of 1961 recommended that a new Ontario Police College replace the facility on Sherbourne Street, to provide programs of in-service and supervisory training as well as outside courses at selected universities.

The Attorney General announced the formal establishment of the police college on July 12, 1962. On January 7th, 1963, the first class in the new Ontario Police College was convened. Established in a former air force station near Aylmer, the new facility would no longer operate under the administration and direction of the provincial police, but rather the Ontario Police Commission, and the staff members were appointed from outside the Ontario Provincial Police.

The training establishment on Sherbourne Street in Toronto became the Ontario Provincial Police College and was to continue to serve the special requirements of the provincial force; training was adapted to the specific needs more suited to deployed-force policing. A ten-day orientation course was set up for recruits as basic training and indoctrination before assigning them to the care of senior constables in detachments; later, they would attend the Ontario Police College in Aylmer.

In the 1960s, and in keeping with the objective of raising the professional standards of the provincial police, training became a high priority program. An increasing number of specialized courses were devised and presented at the OPP College and in the field through in-service training programs. Supervisory, investigative, instructional, and development courses were offered as well as training in traffic supervision, firearms usage, and motorcycle riding. Members of the force attended sessions at Canadian and American universities and at the Canadian Army School at Camp Borden.

In 1973 the OPP College on Sherbourne Street became the OPP Training and Development Centre. The search for new accommodation for the training facility was begun in the fall of 1974 at the instigation of the management board of Cabinet.

On May 6, 1977 Premier William Davis officially opened new buildings of the Ontario Police College near Aylmer, replacing the old wooden huts and hangers erected for the RCAF during the Second World War and taken over for police training in 1963.

The OPP Training and Development Centre on Sherbourne Street in Toronto continued to operate with many courses specially tailored to suit provincial police needs. Northern survival and search and rescue training continued each year at a Ministry of Natural Resources camp located in the bush fifty miles north of North Bay.

In August 1981, the Training Branch moved to Brampton to a new campus. Called the OPP Training and Development Centre, these facilities were much less cramped. This 97-acre campus sported 15 buildings which housed a modern cafeteria, ball diamond, athletic track, soccer field, gymnasium and classrooms.

On September 8, 1981 the first students began training there under the direction of Training Branch Staff Superintendent Fred Blucher.

October 16, 1981 was the official opening date of the new Ontario Provincial Police Training and Development Centre. It was renamed the Provincial Police Academy in 1983.

The Brampton site closed in May 1997 and the Academy moved to OPP General Headquarters in Orillia. The student residence is located directly across the street on provincial property formerly operated as the Huronia Regional Centre. Four classrooms and seven seminar rooms are housed in the GHQ building.

OPP training continues to be delivered to the highest standards across the province, including virtually through online platforms like OPP Learn. In addition to recruit instruction, there are numerous in-service trainers across the province – highly-qualified professionals to who deliver timely training and conduct annual re-qualification in use-of-force, firearms, first aid and CPR for experienced members.

Dahn D Higley, O.P.P. The History of the Ontario Provincial Police Force, The Queen’s Printer, 1984.
Jeanie Tummon, “Schooling” the OPP in The OPP Review, March 1998, page 32.
Provincial Police Academy profits from new location in The OPP Review, March 1998, pages 3-4.
Specialized Field Training location in The OPP Review, March 1998, pages 5-6.

Bringing 911 to the North
By Stephanie Gelineault, Greenstone OPP Detachment

Until the early 2000’s, Greenstone did not have access to 911. As children you were trained to remember the 3 different phone numbers for our local police, local EMS and local fire department. Being a very small town, the area code was the same for all 3 numbers therefore you only needed to remember the last 4 digits and they all came with a fun saying. I can only remember the one for EMS which was: 1555 stay alive!

The local police phone number became our detachment’s administrative phone number which has come with some challenges. Our community, specifically those who have been here for many years, who often called this number to request police, still believed they could do so. Some also prefer talking to one of the “local gals” at the office over those who answer the phone at the toll free non-emergency number since they are all the way in Thunder Bay (3hrs away).

We didn’t have anyone call us in an emergency, but we would often have people call the office wanting to report something that did not require 911. When the Detachment clerks are gone for the day (we work Monday-Friday 8am-4:30pm and closed for holidays) we activate the voicemail.

For some time we would arrive every single morning to at least 1 voicemail of someone wanting to report something. They thought that by leaving the voicemail they had in fact reported the incident. Sometimes the voicemail could be unattended for 3 to 4 days (if there was a long weekend). We would call them back, let them know they would need to call the non-emergency number. This would often leave the person feeling frustrated because they would have to repeat their entire story again AND in their mind, they reported it 2, 3 or maybe 4 days ago but do not see an officer for another day or 2 (depending on the amount of high priority calls our officers get that day).

This year we came up with the idea to update the voicemail greeting as follows:

You have reached the Greenstone OPP Detachment.
If this is an emergency, hang up & call 911
Messages are only monitored during regular business hours
To speak to an officer or report an incident, please hang up and call 1-888-310-1122

Since doing so, we very rarely have people reporting an incident on our voicemail!

We are very excited to announce that progress on our
Legacy Wall is well underway!

Metal elements ready for placement

The Friends of The OPP Museum Legacy Wall is a section of wall space that has been set aside at OPP General Headquarters in Orillia where Friends is able to recognize the many donors who have made a financial contribution to the work and legacy of Friends of The OPP Museum.

More information will be coming soon on our newly redesigned website at www.oppmuseumfriends.ca

Dan Kitchen, designer and fabricator of the wall

Coming Soon- A brand new Museum exhibit Museum Staff have been working diligently on interesting displays, engaging new educational activities and fascinating stories that we cannot wait to share with our supporters in late Spring 2022.

Please continue to watch for updates on our website. www.opp.ca/museum

Chris moving a display case
We love the 1970s!
A souvenir from Expo ‘70

The Canine Calendars are still available

Pick up yours today online from the OPP Off Duty Shopp!

2022 Friends’ Memberships are available
For $25 you can continue to support the Friends’ important initiatives of increasing public awareness of The OPP Museum and helping preserve a special part of Ontario’s heritage.

Member benefits include informative newsletters, regular information updates by email, voting rights at the Annual General Meeting, invitations to exhibit openings and special events and more!

Please visit our website to renew or join today!

Covid-19 Update
Though we remain closed presently, we are excited to share that we are busy with preparations for reopening in later Spring 2022.
Please visit www.opp.ca/museum for updates!

All the best and Stay Safe,
The Friends of the OPP Museum Newsletter Committee

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