The Dryden Police Association and the Dryden Senior Police Officers Association hosted a special celebration asking MacKinnon to do a final inspection of the ranks, April 29.
With the support of the OPP, Treaty 3 Police and former Chief John Reilly, over 50 additional guests joined the retiring chief on King St. in front of the Police Service building.
With the city currently searching for a new Chief, Inspector Kevin Glenister will act as interim Chief until a permanent replacement is found.
Glenister comments that he has not expressed interest in a permanent position as Chief, with his own retirement from the force looming in the not-so-distant future, but will be happy to work with a new chief to make the transition a little easier.
When asked about plans for retirement and community speculation of a possible application for the available city manager position, MacKinnon replied, “This is my community and to continue to be involved in its administration may be something to consider. I understand that the golf courses are ready to open and for a while, I’d like to be there.”
Joining the force in 1981 as a constable, MacKinnon says policing in his hometown had its challenges but he believes that those folks who respected the law also respected his position, and rarely did he lose someone that he called a friend.
Having seen so many changes in his 30-year span of policing, MacKinnon says some of the biggest changes were the domestic violence laws, and the community’s reaction to domestic violence, deeming it more and more unacceptable.
Other changes include the impaired driving laws, with the inclusion of MADD and their assistance in reducing fatal accidents, and the relationship the force has gained with the media. He comments that for many years, police were suspicious of the media and their intentions, and now work very closely together and is considered an ally.
MacKinnon also notes the changes in prevention, with school programs, seniors and the police service’s involvement in youth programs such as the Dryden Youth Centre and the skatepark.
Things that have stayed the same in MacKinnon’s view include the reliance on other emergency services such as the OPP, the Treaty Three Police, fire and ambulance. He also notes that the desire of the community to be safe and secure has not changed, and the intolerance of public drunkenness and disturbing neighbourhoods through illegal activities.
By Ally Dunham
Photos by Chris Marchand and Ally Dunham