Muskoka To-DAILY

Deathly start for new OPP commander Therrien as he takes over from retiring Medved

Mark Clairmont | MuskokaTODAILY.com

BRACEBRIDGE — Brian Therrien’s first days on the job have been a painful.

Insp. Brian Therren, left, new Bracebridge detachment commander, thanks Insp. Ed Medved for his 32 years of OPP service as he retires after a decade in his last command.

Insp. Brian Therren, left, new Bracebridge detachment commander, thanks Insp. Ed Medved for his 32 years of OPP service as he retires after a decade in his last command.

Four dead in one week in a plane crash, car accident and domestic dispute.

His return to the front lines as new OPP detachment commander here showed the changing face of policing in the province.

Small towns have big city problems and big city crimes.

A veteran cop (29 years), the newest crime fighter in town knows what he’s getting into in Canada 150.

He’s been at corporate in Orillia recently (nine years), in charge of Ontario’s First Nations relations.

But this is his first post as detachment commander.

And while his baptism was unusually traumatic, he expects it to business as usual moving ahead.

Drugs, alcohol, accidents, sex assaults and cyber crime remain the raison d’être of the force of more than 70 he will command (72 uniform, 10 civilian). And his half the $15 million budget the Distinct of Muskoka will pay this year for policing around the Muskoka Lakes and areas in Bracebridge, Gravenhurst, Bala and Port Carling.

In Bracebridge, June 12, OPP brass and rank and file lined up uniformly in a silent ceremony for a change of command at the detachment that covers south Muskoka.

Insp. Ed Medved received the Canadian flag that flew over the Cedar Lane detachment during his decade as commander, and Insp. Brian Therrien presented his own flag to be flown as he begins his command.

Insp. Ed Medved accepts the Canadian flag from Bob Potts, father of Andy Potts, who died a dozen years ago while in the line of duty.

Insp. Ed Medved accepts the Canadian flag from Bob Potts, father of Andy Potts, who died a dozen years ago while in the line of duty.

The flags transfer from the OPP colour guard was assisted by Bob Potts, father of officer Andy Potts who died a dozen years ago when his cruiser hit a moose at Torrance on the way to a domestic call.

Therrien says he’s “glad to be back on the front lines.”

And he’s looking forward to getting to know the community, especially the Moose Deer Point and Wahta First Nations residents better.

Meanwhile, Medved is retiring at 53 after 32 years policing, a decade here and nine years in corporate.

He says the “timing was right.”

Insp. Brian Therrien presents his Canadian flag to be flown at the Bracebridge OPP Cedar Lane detachment.

Insp. Brian Therrien presents his Canadian flag to be flown at the Bracebridge OPP Cedar Lane detachment.

The OPP has a good “post-career” (pension) plan they fought for.

He’s already begun part-time work at Northland Recreation as a part-time salesperson of Seadoos and Ski-doos.

He says that while policing principles haven’t changed, but “how we do the job has.”

The effects of drugs and alcohol remain “without question” are what drives most policing in Muskoka, given resident low incomes and a huge summer influx.

But the real and present challenge of the Internet and its influence on criminals and their victims is increasing.

“It can come from anywhere now,” he says. “It knows no bounds.”

He said seniors are particularly vulnerable to it.

Medved declined to comment on the Globe and Mail story reporting Muskoka as having among the most “unfounded” sexual assault reporting numbers in the province.

“The commissioner will have more to say about that,” he said.

And both he and Therrien said marijuana law enforcement will remain in effect until it becomes legal in July 2018, as Prime Minister Trudeau said this week he remains committed to.

The end of the Ed Medved policing era in south Muskoka was marked with a silent change of command ceremony involving the lowering and raising of Canadian flags.

The end of the Ed Medved policing era in south Muskoka was marked with a silent change of command ceremony involving the lowering and raising of Canadian flags.

Medved, whose sense of humour on the job and with the public will be missed.

His regular visits to the Gravenhurst Rotary Club, where he would present Officer of the Month awards, were often priceless as he would veer slightly off script digressing good-humouredly about an imaginary trait of the officer or offer a piece of inside baseball on an incident.

But behind that mustachioed grin was remained a firm hand on a gun and his command.

Therrien, amicable in his first public appearance, seems to be cut from a similar OPP cloth.

Both are public servants who did and will do the bidding of the law and the OPP commissioner.

They are not sheriffs in their own towns who can police at will and generally as long as they keep a lid on their territory do as they wish.

Local policing initiative continue to be a provincial jurisdiction no matter who foots the bills

Therrien will present his credentials at a district meeting later this month.

See video of the ceremony and remarks by Therrien and Medved by clicking on links below.

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Part of thehe long blue line in south Muskoka took part in the ceremony June 12. Some of the 70 civilian and uniformed officers were joined by a handful of members of the public and civic offices.

Part of thehe long blue line in south Muskoka took part in the ceremony June 12. Some of the 70 civilian and uniformed officers were joined by a handful of members of the public and civic offices.

Short URL: http://www.muskokatodaily.com/?p=27896

Posted by on Jun 21 2017. Filed under Headlines, OPP. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

1 Comment for “Deathly start for new OPP commander Therrien as he takes over from retiring Medved”

  1. decee

    We will have to wait and see if there is any change to their official status as “Revenue Tools”

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