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Barrie, Orillia OPP to merge

Barrie OPP detachment to close; will move into new Orillia detachment in 2020

When Orillia OPP moves into its new building in a couple of years, it will have company.

The OPP has confirmed its Barrie detachment will close and merge with Orillia’s.

“The OPP is continuing to evaluate its options to seek efficiencies,” said Sgt. Peter Leon. “A lot of our older buildings have outlived their life expectancy.”

That includes the Barrie detachment, which was built in 1956.

Orillia is in the same boat with its current building on Peter Street. However, it will be moving to a new facility at the corner of Old Barrie Road and University Avenue, which is expected to open in late 2020. When that plan was announced in October 2017, “it provided us an opportunity to have a solid footprint that encompasses both detachment areas,” Leon said.

Barrie OPP does not police the City of Barrie. It covers Oro-Medonte Township.

The merger is not expected to result in any job losses.

Barrie OPP officers, once they make the move to Orillia, will continue to police Oro-Medonte, including Highway 11 and Highway 400.

“They know the area. They know the issues,” Leon said.

Barrie OPP will soon operate as a satellite detachment of Orillia OPP, and it will remain that way until the two detachments become one.

It is not expected to have a negative effect on response times, Leon said, noting officers will continue to work in their respective zones.

“It will probably enhance the ability to police this area significantly,” he said.

The Barrie OPP detachment commander will become operations manager when the merger happens. Orillia OPP Insp. Veronica Eaton will remain in the role of detachment commander.