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Fort Frances police services board meeting, July 2023.

New police services board taking shape

By Randy Thoms Feb 22, 2024 | 4:36 PM

Another step toward the creation of a new police services board for the western portion of the Rainy River District.

Selection of council members is taking place in advance of the new board coming in place on April 1st.

The board will oversee how policing by the OPP is provided from Fort Frances to Rainy River.

It also replaces the Fort Frances Police Services Board.

Atikokan will retain its police services board.

The Rainy River District Police Services Board will include four municipal representatives, two from Fort Frances, one to represent Emo, LaVallee and Alberton, and the other serving communities west of Emo.

There will also be two community appointees, one from Fort Frances and one representing the rest of the area.

The province will also appoint a member.

An ad-hoc committee is being formed to assist with the community appointments.

Following the appointments of members, the board will hold its first meeting, likely in April, to elect a chair and vice-chair and adopt a new procedures by-law and operational procedures.

An implementation team, including the Fort Frances clerk’s office and other area municipal administration staff, will assist the board in the early going.

The creation of a new board stems from changes to the Police Services Act in 2019 that resulted in the Comprehensive Ontario Police Services Act and the Community Safety and Policing Act.

Area communities in the Rainy River District felt the need for two boards to reflect the differences in policing between Atikokan and the rest of the district.

The Ministry of the Solicitor General approved the creation of the new Rainy River District Police Services Detachment Board last July.