West Nipissing Policing Change Delayed
Posted December 14, 2018
The decision to change from West Nipissing Police to OPP is being delayed until June, 2019. See North Bay Nugget December 14, 2018 - Policing Transition Delayed


Policing Change Slated For February

Posted November 15, 2018

A court challenge by the West Nipissing Police Board was rejected, and the switchover to policing by OPP is slated for February, 2019. The impact on the Upper French region will be significant and will simplify things greatly. There will be one police force that will serve both north and south sides of the river - regardless of whether you are in West Nipissing Municipality (Nipissing District) or in the unorganized townships of Patterson and Hardy in East Parry Sound District. One police service will deal with both water and land issues – and they will have a boat.

See North Bay Nugget Court Dismisses Challenge Nov. 15, 2018


Update on OPP in West Nipissing
Posted September 11, 2018


The provision of contract policing in West Nipissing by the OPP moved another step closer recently.  The Ontario Civilian Police Commission (OCPC – the provincial body that reviews and approves these types of decisions) has approved the town’s application to disband the West Nipissing Police Service and enter into a contact for service with the OPP. 


The WN Police Services Board is continuing to fight against this move.  Earlier this year, the Board applied to Ontario Superior Court for a judicial review of the decision and in the meantime had actively lobbied the OCPC to delay its decision until the Court had ruled. 


In issuing its own decision, the OCPC categorically rejected the Police Service Board’s actions and noted a Court decision from a few years ago in Kenora where similar issues were in play, and which included the statement: “it is legally inconsistent for a police services board to have jurisdiction to decide to disband when it plays no role in selecting the manner of service delivery.”    That statement is consistent with the Municipality’s own position, which is that it has sole decision-making power (subject to review and approval by the OCPC) on what form policing services should take.


Superior Court is scheduled to hear the application from the Police Board on October 10 and the UFRCA will keep you posted on the Court’s decision.


West Nipissing Switching to OPP
Posted May 4, 2018
Updated June 12, 2018
Updated July 13, 2018
WN Police Chief Chuck Seguin announced his resignation effective July 3. See Police chief resigning - June 12, 2018 Nugget
Municipality of West Nipissing’s change to OPP policing is continuing despite a court challenge from the police services board. The changeover is expected to be completed by October, 2018.
Decisision to be delayed - July 13, 2018 Nugget
West Nipissing proceeding – May 4, 2018 Nugget
Police Board takes council to court – May 2, 2018 Nugget
West Nipissing going with OPP – December 6, 2018 Nugget
Chief Seguin will stay for now - October 6, 2017 Nugget 

Crime Stoppers Doubles Rewards
Posted June 15, 2016

There have been numerous break-ins on the Upper French over the past winter and spring. As a result, Near North Crime Stoppers have doubled their rewards for information. For the press release issued June 15, click double reward june 2016.pdf

Closing the cottage routines - keep potential thieves in mind
Posted September 24, 2015
West Nipissing Police have sent this communication as a reminder to keep would-be thieves in mind when closing for the winter. And reduce off-season environmental damage by following many common sense suggestions. To view, click here.  


Outdoor Marijuana Grow Information

Posted June 25, 2012
The following was received from Const. Marvin Miller following our meeting several weeks ago.

The OPP Drug Enforcement Unit (DEU) is alerting the public to the dangers associated with outdoor marijuana grow operations.
During the late spring and summer months each year, people involved with growing illegal marijuana head into rural areas to start and care for, in some cases, very large plots of marihuana plants. Typically, these illicit crops are located in swamps, corn fields, and wooded areas, along rivers and on rural, rental properties with large acreage.
Marijuana plants are bright green in colour and grow to between three and five feet in height. Marijuana leaves have seven jagged fingers and the plants give off a strong pungent musty odour.
Common indicators of outdoor marihuana grows include:
Ø      Abandoned vehicles parked on side roads or trails.
Ø      People observed walking in remote areas for no apparent reason.
Ø      Bags of fertilizer, planting trays or chemicals located in remote areas.
Ø      Well-trampled trails in wooded or swamp areas.
Ø      Cleared out areas in swamps, wooded areas or corn fields.
Ø      Numerous “No Trespassing” signs appear out of nowhere.
Typically, marijuana crops will be harvested starting as early as late August up until the beginning of October.
There are numerous safety risks of which the public should be wary. These risks include the potential presence of criminals, weapons and ammunition found on grow-op sites, and the potential for booby traps, rigged by the criminals growing these plants in an attempt to defend their illegal crops from other criminals known as ‘pot pirates’. All of these factors could lead to dangerous confrontations for unsuspecting, innocent people – including children – who just happen to be in the area of these illegal crops.
Another risk that the OPP wants to highlight is environmental. These criminal operations usually involve the unregulated use of many chemicals and other environmentally-damaging products.
If you discover or suspect an outdoor marihuana grow operation:
Ø      As soon as possible, call your local police or Crime Stoppers.
Ø      Do not touch the marijuana plants due to potential chemical residue on the plants.
Ø      If confronted by a marijuana grower, leave the area immediately and contact police.
Ø      If possible and safe to do so, record any license plate or GPS information and notify police.
In some cases, outdoor marijuana grows are guarded or protected by booby- traps. If you discovered a crop of marijuana plants, do not enter the area! For your personal safety, turn around and immediately leave the area the same way you came in.
If you have any information regarding illegal marihuana grow ops, contact your local police or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 (TIPS).


OPP advice: check your gear!

Posted June 20,2012
OPP marine patrols again this year have zero tolerance for boaters caught without proper safety equipment on board, so know the requirements for the size and type of boat you are using and make sure you have everything. And that of course includes one PFD for each person on board; PFDs have to be within easy reach, if not being worn, and can’t be hidden away below deck or in a storage compartment. And – no surprise - any open alcohol on board is also forbidden, even if it’s being consumed by a passenger and not the driver. The rules of the road for driving apply to boats on the water.

These were a few of the topics discussed when the UFRCA met with OPP (Marine Unit) Const. Marvin Miller and Staff Sgt. Tim Sheppard in North Bay recently. Fortunately, in the eyes of the police, the message is getting out and there seem to be fewer infractions over the last several years. UFRCA cottagers will be pleased to learn that Lake Nipissing and the French River get “double coverage” as it is patrolled by both the OPP Marine Unit and the SAVE unit. But keep in mind that they patrol hundreds of lakes in NE Ontario.

Following the break-ins discovered on the river this spring, cottagers expressed concern that winter patrols and tagging of cottages during the winter had ceased several years ago. Const. Miller hopes to revive the practice next winter, and cited safety concerns on the river where ice conditions can quickly change from ‘good’ to ‘dangerous’ within several hours. He will be able to use the services of a local guide who knows the area very well.

Policing of noisy cigarette boats will continue in the effort to weed out those still not in compliance with the regulations that were stiffened over the last few years. It is illegal to have a device on board that switches from “muffler on” to “muffler off”, and the fine is now a pricey $650. The North Bay cigarette boat poker run is slated for July 21, but they are restricted to Lake Nipissing and do not have permission to enter French River Provincial Park. If you observe a boat making excessive noise at any time, take a few seconds to report it to the OPP.

To report incidents such as break-ins or other land issues to the police, know which township your cottage is in. If your cottage is in Bertram Township, make reports to the West Nipissing Police in Sturgeon Falls. If your cottage is on the south side (Hardy or Patterson Townships), contact the OPP in Powassan, for it is that detachment that covers that area. For on-water complaints or issues, contact the OPP Regional Office in North Bay.

West Nipissing Police reported on June 15 that a major drug ring had been shut down and many arrests made. Perhaps one or some of those arrested were involved in the winter break-ins on the French River – we’ll probably never know. The OPP also report there was an arrest in the area last year and the person was charged with over 100 incidents over a wide area. This resulted from extra police vigilance in patrolling rural areas.

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The OPP solicit our assistance in notifying them of anything suspicious such as illegal grow-ops or any unusual activity when out in the bush or on back roads. Crime Stopper signs are being readied for posting in a variety of areas that access Lake Nipissing and the French River and this may yield some tips on the spring French River break-ins.

Watch for Marv Miller in one of the OPP vessels patrolling the waterways this summer.



Police Jurisdictions

On-Land Policing
West Nipissing Police deal with on-land policing issues (such as break-ins) on the north side of the river in Bertram Township. Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) deal with on-land issues on the south side of the river in Hardy and Patterson Townships - Parry Sound District. Note: contact the OPP detachment in Powassan if your cottage is in Hardy or Patterson Township.

On-Water Policing
OPP deal with on-water issues in all locations on Lake Nipissing and the French River, not to mention all other lakes in the province. West Nipissing Police and the Anishnabeck Police Force also have marine units, as do Conservation Officers from the Ministry of Natural Resources and French River Provincial Park. All can and do monitor and enforce boating regulations.  

Police debate re-ignites

Story by Wayne LeBelle        
North Bay Nipissing News www.northbaynipissing.com 
Monday, February, 20, 2012 - 7:07:15 AM

Posted February 22, 2012 
STURGEON FALLS – There was a tense moment last week when West Nipissing council was looking over its first draft of the 2012 budget. Police chief Chuck Seguin presented the West Nipissing Police budget and was ready for questions, but no one asked any.
But later in the meeting, there was talk of cutting $100,000 from the West Nipissing Police Services Board budget to bring the 2012 taxes down. Mayor Joanne Savage, chair of the West Nipissing Police Services Board, asked council if they wanted to send the police budget back to the board.
Coun. Denise Brisson was the only member who supported the mayor’s suggestion. “I would like to be on council’s agenda of our next meeting to discuss whether or not council is ready to ask the Ontario Provincial Police for a costing to see if we can save some money for our taxpayers,” she said. The other councillors were silent.
“I am not against the present police department,” Coun. Brisson said in an interview with the News. “I think it would be financially responsible for us to get a costing from the Ontario Provincial Police after 12 years of service of this present police department.”
“I want the best bang for our money and if West Nipissing can do that, I will gladly endorse them – but we need to know. I would never buy a car or house without getting an estimate; we owe this to our taxpayers, which is why they voted for us. We can’t let them down. There is nothing personal in my request.”
At Brisson’s request, the topic will be on council’s March agenda.
There is a history of competition between the former Sturgeon Falls Police and the Ontario Provincial Police, with both policing organizations trying to land the contract for the new community of West Nipissing Ouest following amalgamation in 1999.
In a 2011 interview, former Mayor Gary O’Connor admitted “It was painful, especially when it was about the Police [and fire]. The delivery of police services was the toughest place I have ever been in. There were a lot of one-on-one lobbying campaigns and public meetings by both forces. The Ontario Provincial Police and the Sturgeon Falls Police Department were vying for the same turf – for all of West Nipissing’s policing.
“Who would get the policing contract came to a vote in Sturgeon Falls, however our council was already split on the issue; it was a tie vote. Back then, I felt it wise to be with the devil I knew rather than the unknown and I broke that tie by voting for the town police. To this day, I have no problems with my decision and I slept well the night I cast that ballot.”
West Nipissing Police Services Association president Trystan Gagne told the News some weeks ago that they have made “major concessions in negotiations” regarding severance package pay-outs in the event that the West Nipissing Police Service is taken over by the Ontario Provincial Police. This could essentially mean a savings of more than $1.5 million dollars to West Nipissing taxpayers, he said.
The Police Services Board presented a $3.2 million budget for the coming year.
Story by Wayne LeBelle        wayne_lebelle@xplornet.ca.

Seguin West Nipissing's New Top Cop

POLICING: Municipality conducted national search
A shadow of uncertainly cast over this community's police service faded Tuesday as a permanent police chief was named to lead its officers into a new era.
Mayor Joanne Savage, chairwoman of the West Nipissing Police Services Board, introduced Chuck Seguin as the community's new top cop during a news conference in Sturgeon Falls.
"The board is confident that he will provide the leadership to guide the West Nipissing Police Service and West Nipissing Police Services Board in moving forward," said Savage, noting an extensive search for a new chief began last October. She said the board hired a recruiting firm and posted ads on policing websites and in magazines, including Blue Line, which has a national readership of 40,000.
Although five candidates were considered, the cross-country search ultimately ended in the community's own back yard with Seguin, a sergeant with the North Bay Police Service. "It wasn't an easy task for the board," said Savage, noting members wanted to select the strongest possible candidate for the job.
With 28 years of experience, seven spent with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and 21 with the North Bay service, Seguin takes over April 20 (2009) in West Nipissing from Greater Sudbury Insp. Allan Lekun, who has been acting chief since September.

Lekun replaced former North Bay police chief George Berrigan who stepped down due to personal reasons. Berrigan was brought on to lead the force in July following the retirement of former West Nipissing police chief Richard Lahaie, who is the subject of a complaint under investigation by Sudbury police.
The ongoing investigation, which is expected to wrap up over the next few months, was initiated by the board nearly a year ago. No other information has been released about the nature of the complaint involving Lahaie. "They've had challenges in the past," said Seguin, acknowledging the obstacles the service will need to overcome.
But Seguin said he's anxious to move forward and pointed to the more positive aspects of the department, specifically an appetite for change – something that helped convince him to take on the position. "I'm really looking forward to working with the men and women of West Nipissing," he said, reluctant to discuss his vision for the police service without first sharing it with officers and board members.
Police association president Al Renaud said the service's 21 officers are pleased with the appointment of Seguin. He said the new chief will help boost morale and mean stability for the service and the community.
Posted: 4/8/2009