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Local Police and School Board Protocol Signed by Renfrew County Partners

May 7, 2024

7 MAY 2024

Renfrew County, Ontario – Today, after a year of teamwork and partnership by Renfrew County’s four police detachments and the four school boards operating in the County, a renewed Local Police and School Board Protocol has been officially endorsed and signed. 

A committee was struck in March 2023 and began renewing the Ministry of Education-mandated document. The Local Police & School Board working group has committed to an evergreen process that facilitates ongoing dialogue that proactively addresses shared responsibilities.  As personnel shifts over time, the working group will be a conduit to maintaining connections. 

The committee met frequently over the past year and commits to meeting biannually, at a minimum, going forward.

The four police detachments include Killaloe OPP, represented by Interim Detachment Commander, Staff Sergeant MaryAnn MacNeil, Renfrew OPP, represented by Detachment Commander, Inspector Dawn Ferguson, Upper Ottawa Valley OPP represented by Detachment Commander, Inspector Steph Neufeld, and Deep River Police Service represented by Chief Dean Duchrow. Police representatives worked collaboratively with Safe Schools partners and Communications professionals from the four area school boards. 

The protocol was signed by the Directors of Education for the four school boards in Renfrew County: Renfrew County District School Board (RCDSB), Renfrew County Catholic District School Board (RCCDSB), Conseil des écoles catholiques du Centre-Est (CECCE), and Conseil des écoles publiques de l’Est de l’Ontario (CEPEO). The representatives on the joint committee representing each board included the Superintendents for Safe Schools and the staff communications lead.

“Building on the original protocol, the revised and updated agreement continues to prioritize police and school officials working together to support students and staff by ensuring a safe learning environment for all.” 

  •  Inspector Steph Neufeld, Upper Ottawa Valley OPP

“On behalf of the Renfrew County District School Board, I am very pleased to see the dedication and cooperation that went into renewing this foundational document. It demonstrates the commitment to building on the positive relationships between the school boards and police partners in Renfrew County. That this newly established group is committed to meeting biannually, further indicates our shared commitment to maintaining these important relationships.”  

  • Kristen Niemi, Director of Education, Renfrew County District School Board

“The Conseil des écoles publiques de l’Est de l’Ontario (CEPEO) is delighted with the joint signing of this Memorandum of Cooperation between the Renfrew County School Boards and the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP). This partnership will enable us to continue to ensure that our students benefit from a safe living environment, which is essential to maintaining a learning environment in which they can develop to their full potential. We thank the OPP and the three other Renfrew school boards, and look forward to continued collaboration.” 

  • Christian-Charle Bouchard, Director of Education, Conseil des écoles publiques de l’Est de l’Ontario

“Today we made a significant step forward in maintaining our open lines of communication through local School Board and Police community partners. One of our many important tasks as a school board is ensuring students and staff are safe in our buildings. The protocol updates act as an important safety enhancement throughout all schools in the Renfrew County area. We are grateful to the working committee’s collaboration to ensure the updated protocol reflects current realities in our school communities.” 

  • Mark Searson, Director of Education, Renfrew County Catholic District School Board

“At the Conseil des écoles catholiques du Centre-Est the safety and well-being of our students and staff are a top priority. As such, updating and renewing this protocol solidifies the foundation of trust and mutual understanding that has been built with our local police services. We value this partnership, as it enhances the protective measures in our schools and ensures that our educational environments are safe. We are thankful for the strength of this collaboration, which enables us to nurture thriving, safe communities for every student and staff member.”

  • Marc Bertrand, Director of Education, Conseil des écoles catholiques du Center-Est (CECCE)

Deep River Police Chief Dean Duchrow states: “The significance of having a single protocol that gives clear guidelines to all four School Boards as well as both Police Services is monumental.  Input from all engaged partners proves that, by working together, students and staff in our County are provided a safe place to learn and work.”

  • Police Chief Dean Duchrow, Deep River Police Services

The County of Renfrew is the largest geographic County in Ontario, stretching from Arnprior in the south to Algonquin Park and bordering the Ottawa River to the East. Four boards of education operate public schools in English and French, both secular and Catholic. The area is under four police detachment jurisdictions. The Ontario Provincial Police oversee Renfrew & Arnprior, Pembroke & area, Upper Ottawa Valley, and Deep River Police Services oversee Deep River. The police, school boards, and community partners are dedicated to working effectively and cooperatively to serve the community’s needs. 

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