Status quo gets council’s nod 0
cyndi mills firstname.lastname@example.org Sergeant Paul Legault, left and Staff Sergeant Colin Slight, right, attended Whitewater Region township’s growth and development committee meeting recently. Sgt. Legault presented two policing options to council.
The Township of Whitewater Region council will stick with its current Ontario Provincial Police service option.
At the township’s recent growth and development committee meeting, Sergeant Paul Legault presented council with two options regarding policing service for the township.
Having spent $574,571 on policing costs last year and budgeting $623,000 this year, the township was looking for other options but by the end of the presentation “they didn’t see a need at this point to change,” explained Dean Sauriol, the township’s chief administrative officer.
Over the hour-long presentation, Sgt. Legault explained to council the difference between what the municipality currently has, a non-contract policing relationship (Section 5.1), and the option their neighbours Renfrew and Admaston/Bromley chose, a contract policing relationship (Section 10).
The Section 5.1 is between the OPP and the municipality while the Section 10 is between the province and the municipality.
“In a 5.1 we identify the amount of work in your area,” explained Sgt. Legault. “It is pay as you go.”
According to Sgt. Legault there are three distinct differences between a contract (Section 10) and non-contract agreement (Section 5.1). In regards to a non-contract agreement the officers do not enforce bylaws, the municipality is not eligible for grants for programs like R.I.D.E. and when it comes to cost, the municipality’s costs are adjusted at the end of the year to actual staffing costs.
Plus the non-contract option is reviewed annually whereas the contract option is a five-year agreement.
Both contract and non-contract agreements have negotiated changes to salaries applied, overtime reconciled to actual and if there is any formula changes they are applied to the next estimate after Ministry approval.
Councillor Joseph Trimm, noted, “I was part of the decision five years ago. What concerned me at that time was any provincial matters for which we would have to pay.”
However, Sgt. Legault explained along with the two types, Section 10 and 5.1, there is also Provincial Policing, Section 19. The latter outlines the OPP responsibilities in the province with the costs covered by the province. Under Section 19 the OPP are responsible for monitoring provincial highways, waterways, investigative support, policing of unincorporated areas of the province and investigative support to the municipal police services.
Using the tragedy of a drowning as an example, Sgt. Legault explained, “even if it was in your municipality you don’t pay for it.”
Having also voted on the municipality’s current policing service five years ago, Reeve Donald Rathwell said, “when we calculated it out at that time we couldn’t see a reason to change and I don’t see it today.”
Currently, the municipality’s policing costs are based on the workload within the municipality and that is the option council stuck with.
Coun. Trimm said the presentation “has been very good. It is good for us to be in the know on how it is being spent.”
According to the Police Services Act (PSA) municipalities in the province are mandated to include the minimum level of service or what Sgt. Legault described as ‘core police services’ which include crime prevention, law enforcement, assistance to victims of crime, public order maintenance and emergency response.
In regards to Section 5 of the PSA, municipalities have the option to establish a municipal police service, enter into an agreement with one or more councils and establish a municpal police service, amalgamate existing municipal service with another to create a joint service, contract policing from an existing municipal service, contract with the OPP or another Ontario Civilian Commission on Police Services approved method.
Cyndi Mills is a Daily Observer multimedia journalist