OPP head hits ground running
|By Mark Arike - Staff Writer | March 1, 2018
After only six weeks on the job, Haliburton Highlands OPP detachment commander Liane Spong-Hooyenga isn’t quite ready to announce her long-term goals.
“When starting in a new role, I think it’s too early for a big proclamation,” said Spong-Hooyenga in a recent interview at her office. “I want to be able to hit the ground learning and collect critical information regarding local needs and challenges, and work with my team here to create a roadmap to follow.”
The 23-year policing veteran, who hails from Walkerton, first worked in film and television production. In her early 20s, she decided to pursue a policing career and started as a frontline constable with the Huron OPP detachment in 1995. She moved to the Haliburton Highlands detachment in 2003, where she worked as a sergeant and platoon leader for several years.
She then joined the municipal policing bureau in order to gain exposure to the corporate side of the OPP. That’s where she became a case manager, overseeing costing requests for OPP services. When Spong-Hooyenga learned Richard Riopelle, the commander at the time, would be leaving the post after a year, she decided it was time to apply.
“It’s something I identified, much earlier in my career here as a sergeant, that I hoped someday the stars would align and I’d have an opportunity to fulfill this role,” she said.
“I’m very excited about it; it’s a fabulous opportunity.” Spong-Hooyenga said she is committed to increasing community safety with the OPP’s partners and ensuring her team succeeds. When she’s not working, Spong-Hooyenga enjoys the outdoors. She especially likes cross-country and downhill skiing. She is a single mom to three boys, ages 11, 14 and 16.
MARK ARIKE is a reporter for The Highlander.