In the winter of 1991-92 a dramatic increase in snowmobile fatalities and serious trauma accidents in the District of Sudbury prompted the formation of a committee, the Mayors and Citizens Task Force on Snowmobiling. From this committee came a proposal. Norm Hein, a member of the task force researched, documented and produced the definitive paper conceptualizing the S.T.O.P. Program to empower citizens, volunteers, with special constable powers to assist the local police to enforce the Motorized Snow Vehicle Act. The program was called the Snowmobile Trail Officer (S.T.O.). These volunteers would use their own snowmobiles and receive no remuneration for their time. They would be trained by Sudbury Regional Police Service and Ontario Provincial Police Service. During the 91/92 snowmobile season during a brain storming session involving, Don Lumily, James Robinson and Norm Hein, the "P" for patrol was added to the program, changing it from the Snowmobile Trail Officer (S.T.O.) to the Snowmobile Trail Officer Patrol (S.T.O.P.), to the dismay of some of the younger participants, who did not want to be known as stop signs. In that same season, Norm Hein and David H. Taylor, designed the STOP  Logo and current shoulder flash used to this day, by S.T.O.P.. This proposal was submitted to the Ministry of Solicitor General and Correctional Services and approval was received to test this pilot program in the 1992-93 snowmobile season in Sudbury.

  A capital expenditures grant from the Ministry of Northern Development and Mines helped to offset initial start up costs for the pilot project. Total costs were $20,000 with $15,000 coming from the Ministry and $5,000 from the Ontario Federation of Snowmobile Clubs (O.F.S.C).

During the early stages of the S.T.O.P. pilot program here in Sudbury, we had 14 volunteers from the Sudbury Trail Plan pass the very stringent exams of the Sudbury Regional Police Service and the Ontario Provincial Police Service, the partners at that time. During the 92/93 snowmobile season, the volunteers were sworn in as special constables, with the same authority as a police officer regarding the Motorized Snow Vehicle Act of Ontario. The Volunteers were also sworn in as Municipal enforcement officers, to enforce the snowmobile bylaws in the region of Sudbury.

The first  group of Volunteer S.T.O.P. Officers, in Ontario were sworn in: Ray Albert, Robert Chartrand, Vance Hamilton, Doug Harris, Norm Hein, Marc Lacroix, Allian Joly, Carl Nadeau, James Robinson, Richard Glendenning, Paul Marcon, James Reid, Tim Ferris & Steven Russell.

Ray Albert had the distinction being the first Volunteer S.T.O.P. Officer to be sworn in. Marc Lacroix and Allian Joly were the youngest S.T.O.P. Officers just turning 18 years of age.  Norm Hein became S.T.O.P.'s first Area Coordinator (a position he holds to this day), he recruited the first officers and made the pilot project in Sudbury succeed. There are four volunteer Officers remaining from the original group.  

In 1994, the Sudbury Trail Plan Purchased a Starker Radar gun for the STOP volunteers to use, in the Sudbury Area.                                       

A total of 1692 volunteer hours were amassed during the 1993-94 season and over 5000 snowmobiles checked. 

The Sudbury District had 9 snowmobile fatalities in the pre STOP year of 1991/92 season and during the pilot project years dropped to 6 for 1992/93 season and 0 for the 1993/94 season.

STOP a province wide volunteer-based community enforcement program has the potential to increase the quality of life for all citizens in the Province of Ontario.

The two year Sudbury pilot project was extremely successful and without any serious concern and no complaints. It was widely accepted by snowmobilers, local residents, municipalities and police services.

There was a 480% cost recovery realized as a result of the pilot project in Sudbury, from insurance and health care savings.

The ten stolen snowmobiles recovered in the second year resulted in insurance savings of $50,000.

The Northeastern Ontario Trauma Centre located at the Sudbury General Hospital calculated a reduction of $70,000 for year two of the pilot program from health care savings.

Reported snowmobile accidents to the Sudbury Regional Police Service and Ontario Provincial Police in Sudbury dropped by 30% in year two of the pilot program.

The number of snowmobile accident victims requiring Trauma Centre care dropped by 45% at the Sudbury General Hospital, in year two of the pilot program.

The number of overnight hospital stays as a result of snowmobile accidents dropped by 29% at the Sudbury General Hospital in year two of the pilot program.

The primary goals of S.T.O.P. are to enforce the Motorized Snow Vehicle Act, enforce snowmobile bylaws, assist Police with sobriety spot checks and to increase public education regarding snowmobile safety.

In the autumn of 1994, the Solicitor General of the Province of Ontario announced in Sudbury that S.T.O.P. graduated from a pilot program in Sudbury and will be introduced as a program across the province. O.P.P. Traffic Sgt. Ron Roy was appointed the O.P.P. Provincial Coordinator and James Robinson was appointed the O.F.S.C. Provincial Coordinator. It was recognized early on in the pilot program that the Sudbury Area should have 25 volunteer S.T.O.P. Officers, to service the area. When the pilot program became a provincial program, permitting the O.F.S.C and O.P.P to become provincial partners in the program. The local protocol agreement in Sudbury was changed to indicate the partnership, between the O.F.S.C, S.R.P.S, and O.P.P. The Sudbury Trail Plan was dropped from the agreement and replaced by the O.F.S.C.

During the 95/96 season Volunteers in Sudbury Area Spent 1,657 on patrol. The volunteers checked 2,461 snowmobiles during the 95/96 season.

During the 95/96 season, James Robinson, O.F.S.C. Provincial Coordinator decided to resign as Provincial Coordinator, Norm Hein convinced Jim to stay on.

During the 95/96 season, S/Cst Shawn Rae (O.P.P.) and Spl/Cst Norm Hein (S.T.O.P.) were instrumental in developing the S.T.O.P. Course Training Standards now used with all new officer candidates. Shawn and Norm worked with the O.P.P. Training Academy and spent many nights at the Academy working on the C.T.S. Manual and standards, plus many nights in Sudbury working together on the C.T.S. Manual. Norm and Shawn also developed the Written Warnings and Report in Notices used by S.T.O.P.

During the 95/96 season the volunteers attended 14 special events, recovered one stolen snowmobile, participated in 4 search & rescues. Issued 16 MSVA charges, gave 41 warnings and helped police issue 12 -12hour suspensions.

When the O.F.S.C. became a partner in the S.T.O.P. program and funding came from the O.F.S.C and not as previously from the Sudbury Trail Plan. We swore in a second group of seven volunteer S.T.O.P. Officers in the Sudbury Area, during the 96/97 snowmobile season under the new protocol agreement.  The second group of Volunteer S.T.O.P. Officers in Ontario were sworn in: Diane Marier, Gary Lamarche, Real Demore, Kelly Beaudion, Robert Hulme, Trevor Shamas and Kevin Campbell. That group marked another milestone in S.T.O.P. history. Spl/Cst Kelly Beaudion and Spl/Cst Diane Marier were the first female Volunteer S.T.O.P. Officers in the Province of Ontario. Five members of that group are still active.

During the 96/97 season Volunteers in the Sudbury Area spent 911 hours on patrol. Volunteers checked 1537 snowmobiles.

During the 97/98 season the volunteers attended 8 special events, recovered one stolen snowmobile, participated in 2 search & rescues. Issued 58 MSVA charges, gave 131 warnings.

During the 98/99 season Volunteers in the Sudbury Area spent 447 hours on patrol. Volunteers checked 970 snowmobiles.

During the 98/99 season the volunteers attended 6 special events, recovered two stolen snowmobiles, participated in 2 search & rescues. Issued 7 MSVA charges, gave 138 warnings.

Volunteers from Sudbury Area went on a rescue on Jan 16th./99 to Lovering Lake south east of highway 637. Where it was reported that four over do skiers maybe stuck in slush on the lake. There was an elderly skier in the group, who maybe having difficulty in the slush. The lake was check and the skiers were safe in there camp.

Volunteers were also put on standby for a search in the Lang Lake area. Two snowmobilers had left a lodge in that area during the night and had not arrived at their destination by the next day. S.T.O.P. Volunteers and the O.P.P. helicopter were put on standby to go and search for the over due snowmobilers. While S.T.O.P. Volunteers where preparing to go on the search, the two responding O.P.P. officers located the over due snowmobilers in a cabin, There snowmobile went trough the ice and there were able to get out of the water and break into a cabin.

On January 13th, 2000, we sworn in seven more volunteer S.T.O.P. Officers:  Gregg Giroux, Ivan Barrette, Carolyn Bishop, Diane Laurin, Walter Ziniuk, Mark Zinger and Robert Bishop. At the swearing in ceremony S.T.O.P. Sudbury Area displayed their new black uniform sweaters. Upon completion of the swearing in ceremony of the seven Volunteer S.T.O.P. Officers, which brought up the S.T.O.P. contingent up to 16 sworn officers in the Sudbury Area.

S.T.O.P. Sudbury Area averages two searches per season.

During 2000/2001 season, Sudbury Area, S.T.O.P. Officers worked 189 shifts equaling 1313.5 hours on patrol. Traveled 18,026 kilometers of trails and checked 3488 snowmobiles. 

Locally the S.T.O.P. officers patrol over 2,200 kilometers of Ontario Federation of Snowmobile Club Trails in the Sudbury Area. The volunteers also patrol off the organized trail system and on the streets used by snowmobiles. Locally the S.T.O.P. Program consists of a partnership between: City of Greater Sudbury Police Service, Ontario Provincial Police Service and the Ontario Federation of Snowmobile Clubs. Provincially the program is a partnership between the Ontario Federation of Snowmobile Clubs and Ontario Provincial Police.

Since 1992 the S.T.O.P. Volunteers in the Sudbury Area have spent more then 8,940 hours on patrol, to make your sport safe in the Sudbury Area! However, the above ledger does not include the hours of training and court time put in by the volunteers. It also does not include the numerous hours but in for administrative duties.

The Following submitted by: Jim Robinson, S.T.O.P. Provincial Coordinator (O.F.S.C.)
We were very pleased to read the positive editorial about the S.T.O.P. Program in the Winter 1998 issue of Supertrax Magazine. It caught the flavour of what we are trying to do, and was extremely supportive of our aims. I am uncomfortable, however when any publicity about S.T.O.P. refers to Lynn Beach and I as if we were the only driving force behind the program. As the provincial coordinators for the O.P.P. and O.F.S.C., respectively, it is natural that we are mentioned, quoted, and referred to on a regular basis.

But the origin of S.T.O.P. resulted from the efforts and commitment of many people. The higher profile players have been given credit, but the lesser known individuals have faded from the limelight, remembered only by those of us who were there at inception.

However, if S.T.O.P. continues to provide the results preliminary studies indicate, each of these key participants can look themselves in the mirror knowing that theirs was a meaningful contribution-Angie Zubac, Glenda Hicks, Craig Moxam, Lynn Kett as well as many others.

But today, I would like to recognize two Individuals without whom S.T.O.P. would not exist. Norm Hein is an employee of Sudbury Trail Plan. He earned the position after years of volunteer work at the club and association level. Original thinking has always been Norm's strong suit. Anyone who uses an O.F.S.C. Trespass Notice can thank Norm, who created the idea for S.T.P. Trail Wardens, and supported its province-wide distribution by the O.F.S.C.

After S.T.P. Trail Wardens assisted Police with sobriety spot checks, it was Norm who researched, documented and produced the definitive paper conceptualizing the S.T.O.P. Program - an idea foreign to government thinking at the time. Thus, for political reasons and the good of the program, Norm allowed Mayor Terry Kett's name be affixed to the document.

During the early negotiations for S.T.O.P. Norm and I were an effective one-two punch for the needs of snowmobilers. Subsequently, Norm became S.T.O.P.'s first area coordinator (a position he holds to this day), recruiting the first officers and making the pilot project in Sudbury succeed. He continues to serve as the conscience of the Provincial Coordinator (O.F.S.C.).

To succeed, S.T.O.P. also required a Police champion in the field. Senior Constable Shawn Rae, then assigned to the Underwater Search and Rescue Unit in Sudbury, was assigned to work with the volunteers. He helped demonstrate how snowmobilers and Police could work together to achieve common goals.

It was Shawn's expertise that assisted Staff Sergeant Ron Roy (Lynn Beach's predecessor as Provincial Coordinator (O.P.P.) to explain the Police role and sell various Police agencies on the validity of the O.F.S.C. agenda.

Shawn also worked on the Ontario Snowmobile Safety Committee Legislative Review Committee.

He and Norm were instrumental in developing the S.T.O.P. Course Training Standards now used with all new officer candidates.

Although Shawn's current O.P.P responsibilities do not include S.T.O.P., he remains, in my opinion, the best snowmobile enforcement officer in the province. We hope he returns to us someday soon.

My last unsung heroes are the most important. All the vision and planning would be meaningless without the dedicated volunteers who join the program. They work long, hard, thankless hours with no thought of personal gain so that all snowmobilers can have a safer place to enjoy their favorite pastime. To each and every one of you, my fellow S.T.O.P. Officers, I say: "You are making a difference." People are alive today and others will not be injured or die tomorrow because of your selfless contribution to our sport. To my fellow club snowmobilers, I say: "Please take the time to thank your local S.T.O.P. volunteers for a job well done." The S.T.O.P. vision was developed by good, strong people. It will continue unabated as long as volunteers believe they can make a difference.