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Essex County OPP launched Police Week in Essex



by Adam Gault

Local OPP officers and representatives of affiliated groups hosted the annual Police Week on Saturday and Sunday, offering an interactive display at the Essex Canadian Tire.

The annual event is dedicated to the promotion of community crime prevention and to increase recognition and awareness of police services throughout the community. As well, the event provides information for prospective candidates who seek a career with the Ontario Provincial Police.

In past years, the OPP partnered with the Windsor Police Service to host the event in the city. Since last year, however, the OPP has brought Police Week to locations throughout Essex County to make the event more accessible to rural communities.

Visitors to the event had the opportunity to see various police vehicles and equipment. They were also able to learn the duties and various roles within the OPP, from interacting with members of the Marine Unit and Tactics and Rescue Unit, respectively. For the young ones, there was the opportunity to take part in a bicycle rodeo, as well as enter a raffle for a new bike and helmet, which site host, Canadian Tire, provided.

The official theme of this year’s police week was “Celebrating Policing and Community Partnerships,” which the OPP said allows them to focus on initiatives which promotes police personnel and community partnerships.

OPP Constable Stephanie Moniz explained the event is an important community outreach tool and goes a long way in changing misconceptions some may have about the role of police in their community.

“Police are in all of our communities and we rely heavily on the people in the community. We can’t do our job unless they help us,” Moniz said. “It’s just to celebrate that partnership and get people to come out and meet us. It’s a way to reach out to the public and interact with them a little bit.”

The importance of vehicular safety was demonstrated with the use of a rollover simulator machine that provided very real results of not wearing a seatbelt in a rollover collision. The rollover simulator featured an SUV mounted on a horizontal axle, which when activated, spun the vehicle to simulate a rollover. The several unsecured dummies sitting inside the vehicle offered a stark reminder of the importance of always remembering to wear a seatbelt while in a moving vehicle.

“This is especially important to young drivers, to show what happens when you don’t have your seatbelt on,” Moniz explained. “We flip a switch at the end and it simulates a rollover accident. [The dummies] normally come flying out the window. This shows people what happens [in an accident], and why it’s so important to wear a seatbelt.”

With many officers now reaching the end of their 30-year careers, the OPP is actively seeking individuals interested in a career in policing.

Additional recruitment information can be found at opp.ca/careers

© 2020 The Essex Free Press ltd.

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