Coincidentally, it was time for Constable Anthony Mann to take over as the Prince Edward County OPP’s new community services officer from Constable Kim Guthrie.
“I took over from Greg Richardson in my 15th year with the force,” said Guthrie. “Greg was in his 15th year when he started as CSO and now Anthony is in his 15th year. It’s certainly a coincidence.”
Mann is the sixth officer in the role over the past four decades or so, following Don Watt, Mick Chalmers, Richardson, Nicole Lott and Guthrie.
Guthrie, who will return to regular patrol and front-line duties, says change is good for the position and for the officers.
“Anthony will bring new energy to the community services role and I’ll go back to my role with renewed energy as well.”
The community services officer position is a two year commitment, but Mann hopes he will be serving a longer term, working on crime prevention programs with the community in a “proactive and preventive way”.
“For the majority of people within our community, the only time they meet a police officer it’s a brief interaction at a RIDE spot check, or a highway traffic stop,” said Mann adding that with the community policing position, “they have an opportunity to speak with an officer, engage them, ask questions or voice their concerns.”
“He brings his patrol experiences, his general policing and work in the drug unit to his new position,” says Guthrie, adding “he has compassion with kids and has some great ties to community, great characteristics and experiences.”
Flexibility is key to the position, notes Guthrie along with “having fun with the kids and the community and enjoying a different side of policing.”
Mann has spent most of his 15-year policing career in the County. He has a young family and is looking forward to working with children in the County.
The Community Services Officer position is best known for conducting the Drug Abuse Resistance Education (DARE) program for Grade 6 students. Mann will return to the Ontario Police College in Aylmer for DARE training before starting the program in County schools in March.
This coming year he will also promote use of helmets at the skate park, life jackets on the water ways and the Adopt A Child snowsuit campaign.
Initially, he notes “I will have my hands full learning the role and maintaining the level of commitment that Kim has provided Prince Edward County. Hopefully I can build on that.”
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