OPP's newest marine vessel is being named after retired OPP Commissioner Chris Lewis.

Lewis served as Commissioner from 2010 to 2014, assuming leadership of one of North America's largest deployed police services.

"This is a fitting tribute to former Commissioner Lewis, who dedicated his career to safeguarding our communities," said David Orazietti, Minister of Community Safety and Correctional Services, in a news release.

A native of Sault Ste. Marie, Lewis was the first commissioner to be born and raised in Northern Ontario.

He joined the OPP in 1978 and amassed a wealth of policing experience before becoming the OPP's thirteenth Commissioner.

At 38 feet in length, the "Chris D. Lewis" is the largest vessel in the OPP marine fleet and forms part of the Essex County OPP Marine Program.

"This impressive craft has characteristics that allow her to exceed our requirements for all of her duties. The same can be said for Chris Lewis and his contributions to the OPP during his 35-year career," said Commissioner Hawkes.

The custom-made purpose-built vessel was constructed by Kanter Marine in St.Thomas. The boat is currently in service, patrolling more than 1,600 square kilometres of waterways that include western Lake Erie, the Detroit River, Lake St. Clair and several smaller rivers.

The vessel and its OPP crew serve alongside a number of Canadian and American law enforcement and border security partners. The boat is one of 130 OPP marine vessels that patrol more than 94,000 square kilometres of navigable waterways in Ontario.

Hawkes and Lewis formally dedicated the vessel into service in Leamington on Thursday.