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OPP recruits graduate in style at the Nottawasaga Inn

The OPP welcomed some of its newest members at the first recruit graduating class of 2014 ceremony at the Nottawasaga Inn last week.

OPP officers and recruits came from all over Ontario to celebrate the hard work and success of the 12 women and 14 men who have made up the 2014 recruitment class #444.

Most will be joining the OPP as provincial constables, but there are a couple that will be joining the First Nation police services in the province.

Carissa Chapman from Windsor will be joining the Chatham-Kent OPP detachment and was all smiles once the formal event concluded.

“It feels great. There's a lot of pride, I feel very proud,” she said. “It takes years to get the point where you can be hired and once you're hired there's a long process you have to go through – the schooling, the training – it's pretty intense, so this is kind of surreal and this is definitely a dream come true.”

For Chapman in particular, the process has been seven years total, which was spread out with two pregnancies in between.

“It's definitely commitment,” she said. “You just have to be very dedicated and know what you want and if you want it, it will happen you've just got to push to get there. Here I am and it's amazing.”

With family in the service and her athletic background, it seemed like a great fit for her considering she wanted a career that would get her out and involved in her community.

OPP Commissioner Chris Lewis was also on hand to welcome in the new class, but it was a tad bittersweet considering it will be the last class he speaks to as Commissioner before his upcoming retirement.

“A little nostalgic for sure, but a good feeling at the same time because I know I'm leaving with the organization in good shape with strong leaders to take over for me and to continue moving things forward,” he said.

“At the same time I'm walking out the door I'm seeing a group of bright eyed, smart new recruits that will just keep the organization going. It's like a bittersweet moment for me, but without a doubt I left there sad that it's my last one, but at the same time very proud in the direction.”

Commissioner Lewis said it's a smaller class than normal, but one that he sees as very strong and very diverse.

“There are seven different languages spoken by that class, there was at least two former military officers that have served in Afghanistan, there are married people with kids and mortgages with life experience and education far different than what we would have hired when I came through 35 years ago,” he said.

“They have such pride to be in policing and proud to be part of a world-class organization (the second biggest in all of Canada)…They want to serve, they want to make a difference. They really do.”

By Jeff Doner

Post date: 2014-01-29 18:17:58
Post date GMT: 2014-01-29 23:17:58
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