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New commander for Prince Edward OPP

John Hatch, new commander for the Prince Edward County OPP Detachment

Staff Sergeant John Hatch has been appointed Detachment Commander for the Prince Edward County OPP following the retirement of Barry Freeburn.

Chief Superintendent Chris Harkins, Regional Commander for the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) East Region, made the announcement Tuesday afternoon.

Hatch was promoted to the rank of Staff Sergeant effective May 8, replacing Freeburn, who retired after dedicating 33 years to policing.

“I consider it an honour and a privilege to have been chosen as the next detachment commander of Prince Edward County. I look forward to working with such a great group of people to make Prince Edward County one of the safest areas in all of Ontario.”

He said he proud to be following in the footsteps of his father, and grandfather, and now looks forward to the challenge and opportunity of being the next Detachment Commander of the Prince Edward County OPP Detachment.

Hatch has been a member of the Ontario Provincial Police for more than 22 years. He is a fourth generation police officer and the third generation to work with OPP.

His grandfather, Jack Hatch, joined the OPP in 1936, was posted to Marmora and then Trenton, where he conducted motorcycle patrol on Highway 2 from Trenton to Gananoque. In the 1940s, he was the Detachment Commander in Madoc and then Essex in the 1950s, retiring in 1972 as the Chief Inspector in charge of the Anti-Gambling Branch of the OPP.

Staff Sergeant Hatch’s father, also named Jack Hatch, joined the OPP in 1956, served in Mount Forest, Kincardine, Owen Sound, Chapleau and retired in 1992 as the Detachment Commander in Gananoque.

Staff Sergeant Hatch spent his childhood years in Chapleau, his teen years in Gananoque and in 1988 he was accepted to attend the Royal Military College, graduating in 1992 with a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics and Physics. After graduation, he commenced a Masters degree in War Studies, but left two years later, in 1995, to pursue a career with the OPP.

His first posting was to Morrisburg in the Stormont, Dundas and Glengarry detachment. During this time, he was a coach officer, breathalyzer technician, a 10-year member of the East Region Emergency Response Team and in 2007 was promoted to the rank of Sergeant.

In 2010, looking ahead to retirement, he was hoping to settle in Prince Edward County and volunteered to complete a three-year northern duration posting in North West Region where he was the supervisor in charge of the Manitouwadge OPP Detachment.

Upon completing his posting, in December 2013, he was able to transfer to the Prince Edward County OPP Detachment and now resides in the Mountain View. For the past three years, John he has worked as a front line supervisor in Prince Edward and has grown to love the culture, history and recreation of the County.

Having grown up in northern Ontario, Hatch is fluently bilingual and enjoys activities in the outdoors such as hunting and fishing, and playing hockey and golf.

“Staff Sergeant John Hatch brings an enthusiasm and keen knowledge of community based policing experience into his role as detachment commander,” said Harkins, Regional Commander of the OPP East. “His leadership, professionalism and personal investment with the community are qualities which will serve the communities of Prince Edward County well. I am confident that the residents and business owners of Prince Edward County will appreciate the opportunity to work with Staff Sergeant Hatch.”

Filed Under: Local News

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  1. Jim Agombar says:

    Congratulations John. We met a couple of years ago, at the roadside in West Lake. As a new resident of Wellington on the Lake, you kindly pointed out a mistake I was making. I have never forgotten your kind professionalism and courtesy that you offered to me at that time while taking the “Oath” of driving. So much so that I committed your name to my memory, and so it is here that I get an opportunity to commend you on your friendly demeanor that the “County” folk are famous for. Good luck in your new position. I know in my heart that they made the right choice with your fair and caring attitude. Cheers and all the best! (P.S. I hope this finds its way to you. God Bless)

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