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A good cop story When Jacques Lafla mm e said he was calling it quits, a lot of people had the sa m e reaction: “He is al m ost the sa m e age as m e! He is too young to retire.”

Increased accountability is always a good thing, however, the dark side of the hu m an condition tends to get m ore play than the positive side. “Police presence”need not have a nega- tive connotation. That has been the at- titude the Hawkesbury detach m ent has adopted since Inspector Bryan Mackillop took over as co mm ander about two years ago. “We want to go fro m being reactive to being proactive,”Mackillop often says. While like everything else, policing has changed dra m atically in the last 35 years, a throwback to the proverbial “cop on the beat” still has its place in our hopped-up, wired world. “Everyone is always busy,”Lafla mm e ob- serves. “But officers should take the ti m e once in a while to get out of their cruiser and just talk to people.” One of the other things they do not teach in police college is the i m portance of knowing where m otorboats are stored. Years ago, Lafla mm e was dispatched to the Ottawa River in Hawkesbury. So m e duck hunters were in trouble. Their boat was taking on water. There was no police m arina unit around. Ti m e was running out. Lafla mm e contacted Yvon Lacelle, the m innow m an. “We got his boat and went out and rescued those guys. Yvon Lacelle saved people on the river at least twice. He deserves a m edal.” During his last week on the job, one of the ite m s Lafla mm e had on his “Things to do” list was to drop by and see for m er Hawkesbury Police Depart m ent chief Maurice Durocher. “I wanted to thank hi m for hiring m e.” A pretty classy gesture by a classy guy. At 55, Lafla mm e is obviously far too young to put up his feet and do nothing. He is considering starting a second career as a teacher. He would indeed m ake an excellent instructor, sharing his experi- ence and providing those valuable les- sons you will never learn in a classroo m .

Yes, it is hard to believe, but the veter- an Hawkesbury Ontario Provincial Police detach m ent officer hung up the badge October 11, capping a 35-year career. Ti m e sure does fly by when you are doing so m ething you love. And Lafla mm e was one of those fortu- nates who really loved his job. As he said during an interview pub- lished in a recent edition of the Tribune- Express, the law can be enforced with a co m passionate hand. He beca m e a police officer because he wanted to help people and m ake a difference. Granted, those goals m ay see m to be a tad precious, cliché or totally unattain- able. But m ost people who encountered Lafla mm e will re m e m ber hi m as being a good cop, an approachable guy who didn’t allow the unifor m beco m e a barrier between hi m and the people he was to serve and protect. It helped that he was a local. The L’Orignal native knew al m ost everyone, including victi m s of cri m es and accidents, the usual suspects and the assort m ent of individuals who just needed a little guid- ance or a sy m pathetic ear. A m azingly, Lafla mm e does not appear to be cynical or jaded. Civilians have no clue about the situa- tions police officers, and others who work on the “front lines,” m ust deal with on a daily basis. When authorities get widespread at- tention, it is usually the result of a contro- versial, and often tragic, action taken by a police officer. You can spend a lifeti m e watching the m ultitude of videos show- ing cops behaving badly. Everyone is un- der unprecedented scrutiny these days since everyone is equipped with portable recording devices.

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Frank and Donald Webber, of Hawkesbury, have good reasons to smile after win- ning $100,000 while playing Encore in the September 27 LOTTO MAX draw. The winning ticket was purchased at Your Independent Grocer on Cameron Street in Hawkesbury. Un champignon géant

Laurier Pharand a eu une agré- able surprise alors qu’il se promenait dans une forêt sur la montée Lemieux à Sainte- Anne-de-Prescott d e r n i è r e m e n t -- un gros cham- pignon mesurant environ un pied de diamètre. Bien qu’il prétend être prêt à le mager, il lui faudra d’abord faire cuire la spore avant qu’il puisse la savourer.

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Bertrand Castonguay , President, Roger Duplantie , D.G. / G.M., François Bélair , Sales & Development, François Legault , Directeur de l’information/News Editor, Yvan Joly , Sales director (Hawkesbury), François Leblanc , Directeur (Lachute), Gilles Normand , Production & Distribution Mgr., Julien Boisvenue , Layout & Prepress Mgr.,

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Former Champlain Township District 1 Fire Chief Bruce Barton (left) was officially recognized by the province of Ontario during the last regular township coun- cil meeting. Scott Hayes, regional Fire Protection Advisor at the Office of the Fire Marshal and Emergency Management, presented him with a plaque for 45 years of firefighting duty. The OFM also recognized his wife, Bobbie, presenting her with a Trillium-shaped pin. At right is Mayor Gary Barton.

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