First OPP constable here honoured

The North West Region of the Ontario Provincial Police remembered its roots here last week as it honoured Cst. Kenneth Campbell, the first OPP officer in Fort Frances.
Maj. Gen. Lloyd Campbell of the Canadian Air Force, Cst. Campbell’s grandson, was on hand for the ceremony at La Place Rendez-Vous along with his wife, Sharon, and mother, Stella Campbell (Cst. Campbell’s daughter-in-law).
OPP Comm. Gwen Boniface also was here for the event, which was held in conjunction with the OPP’s 90th anniversary celebrations.
Supt. Dave Wall, of the North West Region, presented the Campbells with a plaque that contained two letters written by Cst. Campbell–one in October, 1914 and the other in May, 1918–to the OPP command.
Det. Sgt. Brian Adkin, president of the OPP Association, also presented Maj. Gen. Campbell with a framed print of a OPP black and white cruiser circa the 1950s.
“The Ontario Provincial Police have held a long and proud history of service to the province,” Supt. Wall said. “As part of our region’s [celebrations], we have chosen to honour our forefathers.”
“I’m a great believer in history and traditions,” Maj. Gen. Campbell said prior to the ceremony. “I was absolutely delighted that, first of all, the OPP were celebrating their 90th anniversary. And second that by doing that, they were looking at the origin of their forefathers.
“We do that in the air force,” he noted.
Cst. Campbell served two years as a Fort Frances police constable before joining the OPP in 1909, and stayed on until 1926.
He was commended for his efforts on a wolf bounty fraud case, something which Supt. Wall noted was “big for back then,” especially considering his most available mode of transportation back then was by foot or horseback.
Maj. Gen. Campbell noted he found it fitting the OPP chose to honour a “slogger in the trenches” during its anniversary, noting the sloggers are “truly heroes.”
Meanwhile, several other dignitaries were on hand to give kudos to the OPP on its 90th anniversary, including Atikokan Police Chief John McInnis, who signed on as an OPP officer himself back in 1964.
Chief McInnis, who presented Comm. Boniface with a plaque congratulating the OPP on its 90th anniversary, recalled how the Atikokan Police Service was formed when the OPP pulled out of the community in 1957.
“Let’s hope they don’t do something [like that] again,” he noted.
“I was certainly proud to be an OPP officer,” he added. “And certainly, the Atikokan police enjoy a good relationship with the OPP.”
Cst. Steve Latimer, the local OPPA rep, also presented Comm. Boniface with a small token to remember her visit here–a small, hand-carved loon that he and his wife, Donna, crafted.
“One of our strengths is the relationship between us rank-and-filers and the commissioned officers, particularly the commissioner,” Cst. Latimer said.
“She puts herself in a position to take questions from all members,” he noted.