UPDATE: For a photo of the vessel and Backgrounders, click on the following link: https://www.opp.ca/index.php?id=115&entryid=576943a78f94ac2c2d6b6ee8
ORILLIA, ON, June 23, 2016 /CNW/ - The Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) hosted a special ceremony today to introduce the OPP's newest marine vessel and dedicate it to retired OPP Commissioner Chris Lewis.
Chris Lewis served as Commissioner from 2010 to 2014, assuming leadership of one of North America's largest deployed police services. A native of Sault Ste. Marie, Lewis was the first Commissioner to be born and raised in Northern Ontario. After joining the OPP in 1978, Lewis amassed a wealth of policing experience which contributed to the many successes and milestones he brought to the organization as the OPP's 13th Commissioner.
At 38 feet (11.58 m) in length, the "Chris D. Lewis" is the largest vessel in the OPP marine fleet and forms part of the Essex County OPP Marine Program. The custom-made purpose-built vessel was constructed by Kanter Marine in St.Thomas, Ontario. The boat is currently in service, patrolling more than 1,600 square kilometres of waterways that include western Lake Erie, the Detroit River, Lake St. Clair, Pelee Island and several smaller rivers.
The vessel and its OPP crew serve alongside a number of Canadian and American law enforcement and border security partners. The boat is one of 130 OPP marine vessels that patrol more than 94,000 square kilometres of navigable waterways in Ontario.
OPP Commissioner Vince Hawkes was joined by Chris Lewis as they formally dedicated the vessel into service.
"This impressive craft has characteristics that allow her to exceed our requirements for all of her duties. The same can be said for Chris Lewis and his contributions to the OPP during his 35-year career," said Commissioner Hawkes.
"This is a fitting tribute to former Commissioner Lewis, who dedicated his career to safeguarding our communities. From roadways to waterways, the Ontario Provincial Police are a vital part of keeping Ontario safe. Chris Lewis embodies the spirit of the OPP and this vessel will serve as a reminder to us of his service and ongoing support of the OPP and all our policing partners," said David Orazietti, Minister of Community Safety and Correctional Services.
The ceremony was being live-streamed via Periscope TV on the OPP's West Region Twitter page @OPP_WR.
SOURCE Ontario Provincial Police
For further information: Sgt. Dave Rektor, Community Services Coordinator, Phone: (519) 652-4156