First OPP Auxiliary Recruit Graduation of the Decade Helps Mark Special

ORILLIA, ON, March 4 /CNW/ - The Ontario Provincial Police is hosting a graduation ceremony tomorrow (Friday, March 5, 2010) to welcome 14 new members to their Auxiliary Program.

There is an important aspect to tomorrow's ceremony that makes this event particularly unique for the 4 women and 10 men graduating from Class No. 2010-001. This latest group is the first to graduate the same year the OPP Auxiliary Program is celebrating its 50th Anniversary.

The Auxiliary Program began 50 years ago on April 1, 1960 and has since grown to become an increasingly integral part of the OPP's command structure. Last year alone, OPP Auxiliary members contributed 321,000 volunteer hours.

The training OPP volunteer officers undergo has become more diversified and specialized over the decades. The current 850 member, 52 unit volunteer body now assists regular officers with a much wider range of community policing duties in contrast to its early years when they were used primarily for crowd control and first aid.

The year 2010 also marks the fourth year of the OPP's successful partnership with Georgian College's Police Studies Degree Program. The partnership allows students of this four-year program to apply for the University Auxiliary Direct Entry program (UADE), the only one of its kind in Canada. After undergoing police-related testing, selected students go through basic auxiliary police training and serve as OPP Auxiliary members in the community. Thirteen members of this latest class came from UADE.

The program is offered at the Orillia Campus adjacent to OPP General Headquarters (GHQ). As such, selected students contribute hundreds of UADE volunteer hours helping out next door at the Police Academy, assisting with the Media Relations Course and many other important functions that provide excellent hands-on experience for the students and a valuable resource pool for GHQ staff.

Deputy Commissioner Larry Beechey will be attending tomorrow's event as the reviewing officer and to carry out the class inspection.

Media members are invited to take part in tomorrow's ceremony, where they will have the opportunity to interview graduates about what inspires these exemplary citizens to volunteer their time to helping keep Ontario's communities safe.

    Date:        Friday, March 5, 2010

    Time:        10:00 a.m.

    Location:    Auditorium (1st Floor)
                 OPP General Headquarters
                 777 Memorial Avenue, Orillia


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SOURCE Ontario Provincial Police

For further information: For further information: Sgt. Laura Ambrose, Provincial Auxiliary Program, Phone: (705) 328-5687

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