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OPP station may see renovations

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With an increase in personnel and some changes in procedure over the past several years, the OPP office here needs renovations, S/Sgt. Hugh Dennis said.

The request for such renovations will be officially received by council at tonight’s regular meeting at 7:15 p.m. at the Civic Centre.

“Over the past several years, the number of people working out of the Fort Frances police office has increased with the addition of personnel such as cadets, co-op students, and Emo officers working out of this office,” S/Sgt. Dennis said in a letter last week.

“There have also been many changes with respect to the taking of statements and to the general investigation of offences, which include videotaping victim’s statements and also statement of accused persons,” he added.

He also noted the implementation of the OPP Adequacy Standards has resulted in three detective constables working here under a detective sergeant to service the district.

S/Sgt. Dennis said he would like to see an office and an interview room built in the basement of the detachment. At present, the crime office is being used by three detective constables while the detachment’s boardroom is being used for videotaping statements.

The new office would be used by detective constables, while the previous office would be reserved for an administrative sergeant.

Early estimates for renovations, not including electrical work or flooring, have been around $7,000.

The request was first approved March 21 by the local police services board, which, in turn, referred it to council.

In other news, as councillors await public input next Tuesday (April 2) on a possible bylaw banning smoking in all enclosed public places here, the town’s Joint Health and Safety committee is urging council to pass such a bylaw.

The letter to council, which will be officially received tonight, reads as follows: “At the March 14 meeting of the Town of Fort Frances Joint Health and Safety Committee, discussions were had regarding the recent highly-publicized issue of smoking in the workplace.

“This committee supports the position of the Northwestern Health Unit and urges you to pass a bylaw to prohibit smoking in all workplaces.”

Also at tonight’s meeting, council will:

•discuss Human Resources Canada summer career placements;

•vote to renew its agreement with Lakeland Personnel to provide a scale operator at the municipal landfill;

•hear an update regarding a tender for grinding recycled asphalt;

•receive an update regarding the “Re-Inventing Fort Frances” committee’s funding application to FedNor;

•get a schedule of dates for public meetings regarding the smoking bylaw;

•receive a report on the centennial committee budget;

•discuss planting donated trees in town cemeteries; and

•hear requests for donations to the District 1-A Senior Games and Fort Frances High School chem-free grad committee, and in-kind services related to the Canadian Cancer Society’s “Relay for Life.”

The committee of the whole will meet first downstairs at 5 p.m.

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