Phased hiring of new Sarnia police officers underway
The Sarnia Police Service is sending a pair of recruits to the Ontario Police College for 13 weeks of training beginning Wednesday.
It’s part of the service’s commitment to increase the uniform complement from 111 to 115 this year, the first increase in over a decade.
The first two of the four new officers being added to the force, Constables Philip Veal and Pat Smith were sworn-in back in April.
At the beginning of the year, Sarnia council approved a 2020 police services budget that raised spending 5.5 per cent, in part for the phased hiring of four new officers.
Once the new officers are trained on the road, they will go to platoons to help on the front lines.
Two officers were also sworn-in on Tuesday to fill vacancies left by retirements.
In 1991, when the amalgamation of the Sarnia and Clearwater police services occurred, the uniformed complement of the new organization was 119.
During the next seven years, the complement was reduced to 106, before five constables were hired through the Ontario Government’s Community Policing Partnerships Program in 1998 and 1999, which brought the total number of officers to 111.
In 2009, one officer was hired through the Government of Canada’s Funding Recruitment Program, bringing the service’s complement to 112 officers — it was then reduced to 111 officers in 2012, where it remained for eight years.