Leader of the band
Veteran police officer Steve McDougald will soon stop tracking down contraband in favour of pursuing his lifelong passion.
The South Glengarry resident, who is a detective constable with the RCMP anti-smuggling Cornwall Regional Task Force, has been named Pipe Major of the Ontario Provincial Police Pipe Band.
The 31-year veteran, a member of the Stormont-Dundas-Glengarry OPP detachment, is due to retire, enabling him to devote more time to his new “beat.”
Constable McDougald was named head of the group at an important time -- the band is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year.
He becomes the sixth Pipe Major to hold the position since the Ontario Provincial Police Pipes and Drums band was formed in 1968.
The 55-year-old, who has served in Glengarry since transferring to Lancaster in 1992, is also Pipe Major of the South Glengarry Pipes and Drums and just retired as Pipe Major of the SD&G Highlanders.
He is looking forward to leading the OPP band for many years to come, or, as he puts it, “For as long as the fingers keep working.”
The band was started as a small unit playing at community events and police functions. The award-winning band performed before thousands of spectators in Canada and the United States during the 1970s and 1980s before being disbanded in 1991 due to financial constraints.
After a three-year hiatus, the band was reformed as the “Commissioner’s Own OPP Pipes and Drums” and composed of volunteer officers, auxiliary officers and civilians.
NEW BEAT: Detective Constable Steve McDougald (right) with Ontario Provincial Police Commissioner Vince Hawkes after the veteran South Glengarry officer was named Pipe Major of the OPP Pipe Band.