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Yves Dupuis reflects
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level, boring into the rock faces after veins of nickel and copper and other metals. But working a rock drill was never his ultimate career goal.. “I came out of school, came to Ottawa looking for a position. I just happened to walk into the INCO office. But my mind was always set. I was going to be a police officer. I was 16 and knew I was going to be a police officer.” After he turned 24, Dupuis put his ap- plication in and was accepted into the OPP. Nine months later to finish all the paperwork and other requirements and he began his training period with three weeks first at theOPPCollege in Brampton followed by 15 weeks at the provincial police college in Aylmer where the OPP and all the metro forces sent their recruits. After that he was assigned a coaching officer to mentor him during his first 10 months as a rookie. “It’s learn as you go,” he said, recalling those first months as a newly-fledge OPP officer. “Extremely stressful. You know you’re being watched by everybody, po- lice included.” His first actual posting after finishing training was in Sturgeon Falls, located along Highway 17 outside of Sudbury. “It was scary at first,” he said, smiling. “I had a lot of relatives in that area. You could expect that you might have to stop one of them for something. But you had a job to do.” After 10 years in the Falls, he was promoted to sergeant and posted to Co- chrane as one of the two duty supervisor sergeants for the detachment there. More postings followed, including four months of undercover work on a gaming case, and time spent in detective work. There are more promotions, including staff-sergeant/commanding officer for the Casselman detachment in 1994, his first arrival in the Prescott-Russell region. From then on he was assigned to Hawkesbury and at last, promoted to inspector and given command of Russell County’s OPP operations. As his official retirement approaches at the end of May, Dupuis looks back over a wealth of memories. Some are good, like receiving the French knighthood honour as a Chevalier de la Pléiade in 2005 for his work on behalf of francophone interests. And the day he was named a Volunteer of Canada and received his certificate from the hands of then-Prime Minister Jean Chrétien. Somememories are bad but remind him of challenges. Like the ice storm that battered Ontario and Québec in the 1990s. “That was a tremendous use of resources. My first day then was 28 hours long.” A typical work day now involves wading through the emails that come in through either his office computer or his Blackberry. Most are requests for informa- tion, some require his consulting with officers and staff. He chuckles as he describes being a long-time police officer in the Digital Age. “Hard to adapt,” he said, adding that most of the problems stemfromnot always compatible computer informationsystems. “But you can google anything now and find out how something works and where it is. It is awesome.” The down side of the cyberverse, he thinks, is not just the obvious opportunities offered to criminals. It’s also the distancing of human relations. “I hate Facebook and all those social media. I feel it really breaks down commu- nication. I also find it really invasive.” He has one main piece of advice to anyone based on his years in the OPP. “Life is short, so live everymoment to its fullest.”
Yves Dupuis always knew that his career destiny was in police work. Even during the years he spent underground at one of his first real jobs after graduating high school. “I was a miner for nearly eight years in Sudbury,” Dupuis said, recalling the time before he joined the OPP. “I worked underground. I was a hard- rock miner, and I operated a drill.” At the INCO pit mines in the Sudbury area, Dupuis and other hard-rock miners would ride into the adits and drop down the elevator transport shafts deep down as far as 6000 feet below the surface of the earth, though most of the time he worked the mining vaults around the 2800-foot
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