The Oxford County OPP is adding a new kind of police vehicle to its fleet.
Two all terrain vehicles (ATVs) are available for OPP officers to conduct patrols along local trails, railway lines, and other areas.
“The addition of these vehicles to our fleet here in Oxford will allow us to be more proactive in our enforcement,” said staff sergeant John Murray in the release. “It will also allow us to provide more effective services and ultimately assist us with our ultimate goal, which is public safety.”
Already, officers have been patrolling on the ATVs and charged people under the Off Road Vehicles Act and Trespass to Property Act.
The new vehicles will “(enable) the OPP to cover more areas within the county and engage in more enforcement,” according to an Oxford OPP media release.
Const. Stacey Culbert said the new vehicles are a welcome addition.
“I know other OPP detachments, Simcoe for example, has had them for quite some time,” she said. “It just depends on geographical area.”
In the past Oxford officers have had to ask neighbouring detachments to borrow their ATVs for a particular patrol or investigation.
Sixteen officers in Oxford are trained to conduct ATV patrols.
“It’s a full course they have to take, and it’s pretty in depth. That also involves the capability to have the tow operators course as well,” Culbert said.
She said many new officers are already joining the force with the ATV training.
“Any kind of training that’s different – certainly all of the officers that are up and coming, as well as many seasoned officers – are interested in it. Any training is good training,” Culbert said.
The new ATVs will also be in use during the long weekend safety campaign – with a particular emphasis on off road vehicles and motorcycles – between May 20 and 23.
“Any extra tools we can add to the tool belt (are beneficial),” Culbert said. “I know the officers trained currently are excited and anxious to get going.”