New bigger police board starts April 1

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Blake Ellis/Local Journalism Initiative

There will be a new bigger board for the Lambton Group Police Services Board come April.
The move comes after the passage as the new Community Safety and Policing Act.

The last meeting of the Lambton Group Police Services Board was held at the Lambton OPP Detachment office in Petrolia on Feb. 21. The board, which meets once every two months, will expand from five to 11 members, with a greater emphasis on municipally elected representatives.

“The plan is to do exactly the same thing, but with more members, said Lambton OPP Inspector Chris Avery. Even though there is a new board structure, this is still a governance board and operation of the Lambton OPP will not change, he added.

It is regular practise during the first meeting of the year for the board to appoint a chair and vice chair.

There was discussion whether this should be delayed until the new board members arrive in April. In the end, the board decided to go make the appointments as all of the new members will be new.
Chair Greg Nemcek, community member at large, will continue on as chair, while provincial appointee John McCharles stepped into the vice chair role. Shirley Durance will also remain on the board as a provincial appointee.

Another community appointee will be join the board in April with the municipal appointees representing the nine municipalities covered by the Lambton OPP.

All the new members will have to take online training before April 1.

The Lambton Group Police Services Board is one of the first boards to make changes to its structure, under the new Community Safety and Policing Act.

The new board will meet for the first time on April 24.

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