New Wellington OPP Community Response Unit readying to hit the road

WELLINGTON COUNTY – Four officers staffing Wellington OPP’s Community Response Unit (CRU) are readying to hit the road.

The unit was created to replace the former School Resource Officer (SRO) program after the Upper Grand District School Board put a stop to cops in schools following a lengthy and intensive review of the program.

“This was our opportunity to redeploy those resources in an effective efficient way,” county OPP inspector Paul Richardson told the county’s Police Services Board members on Sept. 8.

Richardson said the unit is “just getting up and running” and will be picking up where the SRO program left off engaging with schools.

CRU officers joined county traffic officers in school zones for the return to classrooms on Sept. 7.

“We were very diligent to make sure that we had resources out for the kids going back to school, [making] sure our communities are safe,” Richardson said in his update.

“That’s just an example of what these officers are going to do and will continue to do.”

Community safety and services sergeant Corrie Trewartha said in an email the unit will be ready in the “next few weeks” and a youth resource officer has been engaged with schools since the start of the year.

Clarification: This story was updated from an earlier version on Sept. 16, 2021 to provide clarification on the current status of the Wellington OPP’s Community Response Unit.  An earlier version suggested the unit was already active.