Bible Hill man settling into new community policing position

Raissa Tetanish
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AMHERST - It's been almost two months since Bible Hill native Const. Dal Hutchinson stepped into the community policing position with the Cumberland District RCMP.
But since then, no day has been the same as the day before.
"It's been all over the pond," said Hutchinson, while sitting with Paul Calder who used to hold the title. "You're involved with media relations and trying to promote the RCMP in a positive nature, and you're involved with different inter-agencies throughout the county."
Since stepping into the position at the first of December, Hutchinson, 42, said he's been enjoying the work, which also includes
conducting presentations in schools and the community.
He's also the school liaison co-ordinator for Cumberland County schools.
"It's been quite interesting. Every day is different, but I'm enjoying it and finding it fun."
Because it's a nation-wide organization, smaller detachments pick up the fall-out of mistakes made elsewhere or by those higher up on the ladder, said Calder.
"One of my big goals," said Hutchinson, 'is to continue presenting the RCMP in a positive light. The RCMP's image has been hit hard over the years, but we need to continue to put those positive stories out there to the public."
One of the initiatives Hutchinson had in mind to implement when he stepped into the role of community policing officer is to help the officers when they're called to a domestic matter.
"I've been working with Lydia Quinn, the domestic violence co-ordinator in the county, on a package that our officers will have in the field with them when they respond to those matters," said Hutchinson, a former Bible Hill village commissioner.
Included in that package will be reference to a procedure developed several years ago by a domestic response team and the Ministry of Health in Ontario.
Ontario Provincial Police developed the Ontario Domestic Assault Risk Assessment (ODARA), which is a single assessment available to police agencies, victim services, health care and correctional agencies.
"It's a guide to follow that will stand on its own in court to hold someone in custody," said Calder.
Along with his daily duties, Calder says Hutchinson needs to be resourceful.
"If your people aren't sure what to do or have a question, they'll come to you for it," Calder told Hutchinson. "It's ongoing
education."
Hutchinson has the prime example of needing to be up on his research.
He'll be talking to two law classes of Grade 9 students next month, and he's already received a list of questions the students have for him.
"There's a question on the age of consent, and if they can get in trouble for 'sexting,'" he said, adding he was impressed with the 40 or so questions he has. "I have my work cut out for me on some of them, but I'm looking forward to getting back into the classroom."

Organizations: RCMP, Ministry of Health, Ontario Provincial Police

Geographic location: AMHERST, Cumberland County, Ontario

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