Pickle Lake OPP welcomes new permanent
Position had remained unfilled since 2019
PICKLE LAKE – For Sergeant Mike Martin, Pickle Lake is south.
Sgt. Martin joined the cadre of the Pickle Lake OPP in December of 2020 and the area quickly became his home. Sgt. Martin was born and raised in St. Jacobs, Ontario, an area he described as being comprised of “rich farmland with an interesting and strong Mennonite history and home of the best maple syrup in the world.”
Sgt. Martin policed the busiest highway in Ontario, Highway 401, as well as several southern Ontario communities prior to making the big move north. After nearly half a year of working and living in Pickle Lake, there are numerous things that he has come to love about the area.
“Having policed both on Highway 401 and southern Ontario towns, I can say that the problem solving, independence and sense of community is incredibly refreshing,” said Sgt. Martin.
However, unlike many officers who come to Pickle Lake, this was not the farthest north he had ever been. Twice, Sgt. Martin has travelled to the Yukon Territory, where he has paddled the Yukon River, along with battling white water on the Teslin River.
Prior to policing, Sgt. Martin had a successful career as an addictions councillor.
“I loved helping people but knew that I could make a larger impact as a member of the OPP,” said Sgt. Martin. “I loved the idea of working with a team, having a variety of responsibilities and never sitting behind a desk again. I have a great team I am incredibly proud to be a part of, I enjoy the huge variety my career has offered me and do my best to accept the necessity of my desk.”
In his free time, Sgt. Martin enjoys weight lifting, reading and canoeing when the weather permits.
“I’ve recently bought a small boat and have bent many local ears to get some tips on fishing,” said Sgt. Martin. “Anyone looking for me this summer can find me struggling to teach myself the art of angling out on Pickle Lake.”
Pickle Lake OPP welcomes second permanent Sergeant
PICKLE LAKE – It’s been eight years since Sgt. Juliane Porritt fell in love with Ontario’s north and there’s been no looking back.
Sgt. Porritt was born in Swindon, England and in just 17 years moved a total of 11 times due to her father’s job with the Canadian Forces. During those years Sgt. Porritt had the opportunity to live in England twice and Germany for three years. For the past 20 years, Kingston, Ontario has been her home.
“I have purchased a piece of heaven in the woods on a lake north of Kingston,” said Sgt. Porritt. “In 10 years when I can retire I will live there as long as I’m able to.”
Sgt. Porritt always dreamt of being a police officer and at the age of 19 applied as soon as she could. However, with little to no life experience, she was turned away.
Sgt. Porritt then turned her attention to social work and found employment with the Children’s Aid Society, Kingston-area school boards in developing programming for youth who struggled to behave in a regular classroom setting and for the last 11 years has worked with individuals newly released from incarceration in helping them to reintegrate back into the community.
Sgt. Porritt is also trained in emergency mental health and assisted with the development of the outreach program, Mental Health Crisis Response, in Napanee. Further, she has raised service animals and volunteered with K4Paws, an organization which trains dogs to work with First Responders with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.
Sgt. Porritt’s dream of being a police officer never wandered far from her mind and so, after a successful career in social work for 19 years, she applied to the OPP and was hired at the age of 39.
“I want my children to live their dreams so decided it was time to pursue mine and set the example for them,” said Sgt. Porritt.
Sgt. Porritt was rewarded in this endeavour by being pepper sprayed at the Ontario Police College on her 40th birthday.
Sgt. Porritt is no stranger to the north having completed a total of 13 northern deployments with her first back in 2013 in North Caribou Lake First Nation with now-Acting Staff Sgt. Mike Kreisz. Sgt. Porritt has also worked an entire summer in Pikangikum First Nation.
“I love that the communities are small, remote and people need to rely on one another,” said Sgt. Porritt. “I also love wide open spaces.”
During her down time, you can find Sgt. Porritt out walking her two dogs, London; an 18-month-old Standard Poodle, and Thunder; a 10-year-old white German Sheppard rescue.
“I will at some point adopt a puppy from Mishkeegogamang,” said Sgt. Porritt.
Sgt. Porritt also enjoys hiking, snowshoeing and kayaking.
Most importantly, she is the proud mom of two children. Her son, Cody, is a police officer with Belleville City Police and her daughter-in-law, Kelsey, is an OPP officer in Prince Edward County. Sgt. Porritt’s daughter, Katrina, is a familiar face in Pickle Lake as she is currently working as the parks supervisor with the Township.
“She is going into her fourth year of university in health sciences at the University of Ottawa,” said Sgt. Porritt.
Like her mother and brother, Katrina also hopes to pursue a career in policing.