The OPP Mounted Unit has become a popular tourist attraction along with providing a meaningful police service to the Town of Collingwood. Council has voted in favour of providing funding to the keep the unit in operation.
Collingwood OPP Mounted Unit Gets Funding From Council
Collingwood Council has voted in favour of contributing $15,000 dollars to keep the OPP Mounted Unit in operation. Collingwood OPP Staff Sgt. John Trude said while the mounted unit is not what you’re looking for to fight hard crime, it is effective in establishing a strong police presence in areas of town including the downtown business district. Councilor Norm Sandberg feels the mounted unit has played a major role in controlling loitering in the downtown. He feels the unit is actually something young people are interested in supporting. Councilor Ian Chadwick says the mounted unit contributes a great deal to the downtown heritage district.
The Collingwood Downtown BIA has taken the stance that the unit is important for policing the downtown on a regular basis and during special events such as the Ride For Sight and Elvis Festival.
Councilor Rick Lloyd said this type of proactive policing is important in preventing crime before it happens. Lloyd said the number of charges laid by the Mounted Unit last year were far greater than what he would have expected. He pointed out other nearby communities continue to have policing problems in their downtown areas while Collingwood does not, thanks to a great extent to the presence of the OPP Mounted Unit. Lloyd said the Mounted Unit also participated in discovering a drug growing operation, pointing out the horses can go where officers in cars and on bicycles can’t.
Two Collingwood OPP officers are assigned to the mounted unit. Staff Sgt. Trude says the Collingwood unit is one of only a dozen such units operating in the province. Only Councilor Chris Carrier voted against providing funding.
The OPP Mounted Unit plays an important role in establishing a police presence at downtown events such as Canada Day, the Collingwood Elvis Festival and Ride For Sight.