The West Nipissing Police Service Board (PSB) welcomed two new provincial appointees on April 7, bringing the board to its full complement of 5 members. Community members Daniel Gagné and Rachelle Laflèche were recently appointed following an appeal by the board to the province, as the lack of members diminished its capacity to function fully. PSB Chair Chris Fisher and Vice-Chair Denis Sénécal were re-elected for a further one-year term, and Roch St-Louis remains as the other member appointed by the municipality.
Because of COVID-19 the board has been meeting virtually. During their most recent session, members discussed the need to develop a set of bylaws governing the board and the matter of maintaining the WNPSB as an autonomous board within the OPP Nipissing West Detachment area, which covers a much larger area than West Nipissing. Detachment Commander Insp. Michael Maville said there had been discussion on the composition of OPP detachment boards in the north. “It seems they are stuck on maintaining one board [per detachment],” he said, “although we already explained why we think two [boards] is very reasonable for the entire detachment area… I think it’s going to fly in our area… Warren, Markstay, St. Charles, Killarney are a little concerned because they don’t have the set-up that you already have with a secretary… I do think West Nipissing and Sudbury East… have very, very different interests, and I think you did a good job of explaining that.” Maville said he was optimistic that two separate boards within the region would be approved.
As the new OPP Nipissing West detachment building gets closer to completion, the board is putting together a ‘housewarming’ gift, to include plaques using historical policing photos from the former Sturgeon Falls and WNPS police, dating back to 1890, and old photos of the former OPP detachment that served the rest of West Nipissing prior to municipal amalgamation.