Board signs police protocol

Fort Frances High School and the Fort Frances OPP outlined their relationship by signing a police protocol at the Rainy River District School Board’s special meeting here last Wednesday night.
Board chair Gord McBride and Fort Frances OPP Sgt. Steve Loshaw, on behalf of detachment commander Sgt. Hugh Dennis, signed the board-wide policy.
The protocol, which also is to be signed by Atikokan police and First Nations police detachments, outlines the responsibilities of both schools and police officers when law enforcement enters school property.
“It came out of the safe schools policy,” FFHS vice-principal Gord McCabe told the board.
McCabe worked with Fort Frances OPP Cst. Cameron Howard to develop the protocol, which includes from guidelines on how students will be questioned, searches of school property, and how staff report incidents to police.
“It’s a model for local police and school procedures, and how police respond to calls from the school,” McCabe noted.
While the document offers guidelines for schools working with police, McCabe said he didn’t think it would change much at Fort High.
“It’s like a couple who have been married for 25 years or 50 years and have chosen to renew their wedding vows,” he explained. “We have an excellent relationship with the OPP and that’s not going to change.”
McCabe said the document would be useful to new administration or new police officers who are not used to the working relationship between the two bodies.