Northumberland County OPP Media Relations Officer Retiring

In Community, Editor Choice, Local

Northumberland OPP Constable Steve Bates is bidding adieu to policing after a career spanning three decades.
Many may not recognize Bates, but people in the area know the name as they have been reading his press releases.
Bates has been the Communications Officer for Northumberland County for the last four years.
During that time, he issues daily press releases of major events, road closures and safety concerns.
Along the way, Bates has developed a weekly and weekend press release that is issued that may not deal with major calls for OPP officers across the county, but gives people a glimpse of what people contend with throughout the day and night.
From the minor calls to the almost humourous calls, and everything in between.
On June 29, Bates will be retiring from policing after a 29-year career that started with Durham Region in 1989 working in Ajax, Pickering and Bowmanville.
Transferring to Quinte West when the new municipality was formed in 2004, Bates worked there until coming to Northumberland OPP in 2009.
Bates can sum up in one word the change in the policing since he started his career.
“The types of crime that we’re seeing especially in relation to frauds, online frauds are huge.”
“And of course the resources to police that to investigate and convict someone is astronomical.”
“Criminals don’t recognize any borders whether it be with a municipal or an OPP area so we need that connectivity through our systems.”
But with the bad, comes the good when dealing with new technology.
“It’s now easier because of the changes we’ve seen in technology to do things instantly like being able to inform detachments that are in northern Ontario or on the other side of Ontario of suspects that may be travelling through their corridor like Highway 401. It’s a real help for policing.”
Admitting it’s cliche, Bates said what he’ll miss the most are the people.
“The relationships in our organization and relations outside the organization.”
Replacing Bates will be Northumberland OPP Constable Kim Johnston who started her career eight years ago with Northumberland County OPP and has been here her entire career.
Typically Johnston has been a road officer, but since the OPP has created the Community Mobilization Unit, “it’s inspired me tremendously.”
Part of the Community Mobilization Unit is dealing with the media, “and I really want to play a part of it.”
“The Community Mobilization Unit has been totally inspiring to me because you work on different communities which make a difference.”
For Bates who is retiring at 60-years-old he says as the days wind down he has, “mixed emotions” but freely admits, “as I get closer to the day the excitement is building.”

Pete Fisher
Author: Pete Fisher

Has been a photojournalist for over 30-years and have been honoured to win numerous awards for photography and writing over the years. Best selling author for the book Highway of Heroes - True Patriot Love

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