General News

OPP present costing proposal to Shelburne Council, Town has six months to decide

January 17, 2019   ·   0 Comments


Monday night the much anticipated OPP costing for police services was received by Council, in a sparsely attended meeting in Grace Tupling Hall.

The OPP delegation, led by Sergeant Kenneth Kees and Staff Sergeant Nicol Randall, Dufferin Detachment Commander, was informative and well presented, with the numbers coming down primarily “as expected”  , says Mayor Wade Mills. As had been stated earlier, by the provincial force, all policing would be provided from the Primrose located Detachment, with no requirement for new accommodations in Shelburne. 

Currently, the OPP maintains three policing zones in Dufferin. Mono, is the first zone, Mulmur and Melancthon, comprise Zone 2 and Amaranth, East Garafraxa, East Luther and Grand Valley, represent Zone 3. Shelburne will be designated as Zone 4, separate from the others.

This will give Shelburne it’s own platoon of officers and a supervising sergeant, making it autonomous from the other three zones, though still part of the Dufferin organizational structure. The detachment commander, will work with the Shelburne Police Services Board to provide the policing services that the Town deems necessary for the residents.

Before discussing the monetary issues,  the OPP presentation outlined some of the many services that the force provides, including marine and canine units, search and rescue, aerial support and the various special operations such as drug enforcement, child sexual exploitation, ceremonial unit, emergency response team and the tactics and rescue team.

Staff Sergeant Randall outlined in detail how the force operates and their integrated policing services model, which allows for greater efficiency at less cost. It separates provincial policing responsibilities from Municipal one via the daily activity reporting feature, which reports an officers daily activities, Sgt. Randall noted. 

She also explained how the IPSM allows the detachment to police multiple jurisdictions more efficiently than a stand alone detachment serving a single municipality and provides more officers to call upon in an emergency situation without resorting to overtime. As wages are the single biggest expense of any business, this make a lot of financial sense. 

She also emphasized that by working with the Shelburne Police Service Board, she and her detachment will be able to tailor the policing responsibilities to what the Municipality desires and needs.

Sergeant Kees presented the actual costing figures to Council and explained how they were arrived at, before outlining the process of contracting the OPP should Council decide to accept the costing. OPP services are based on a Full Time Equivalent model, or FTE, with a single FTE representing 1,417 hours. For Shelburne, the total FTE allotment was 15.34 FTE’s or roughly 21,737 hours. This boils down to 59.6 policing hours per day. In the first year of the three-year initial transitioning contract, this translates to $2.68 million dollars for OPP services plus a one-time, start up charge of $414,000 dollars for things such as vehicles, uniforms and equipment. 

This brings the first year total to approximately $3.1million dollars, however years two and three would revert to the actual $2.68 million dollar cost.

After the three-year transition period, the OPP would roll the Shelburne contract into it’s established billing model based upon the data collected showing the actual needs of the municipality. Barring the influences of inflation and cost of living increases, this could result in costs going up, or down, depending upon the actual policing required in Shelburne. The natural assumption, would be that since Shelburne will continue to grow and expand, a modest increase could be expected, though less than a stand alone force would generate.

From this point, the Town has a six-month window in which to make its decision on the costing. Should they accept the OPP, they would still be responsible for the costs of maintaining the Police Services Board, the storage of electronic and physical records, the disposal of assets, severance of municipal employees and pension divestments. The OPP has confirmed that all eligible Shelburne Police Service uniformed officers would be offered employment at the Dufferin Detachment provided they are qualified. Administrative officers, above the rank of sergeant, including the Chief, would be offered positions and their rank determined by the OPP criteria, but might not be kept in Dufferin.

Following the presentation, the Town will study the costing and public meetings will be scheduled to answer any questions. Should the costing be accepted, the Town must present a bylaw accepting the proposal. Following this, would be an information session for amalgamating members and an OCPC brief and hearing concerning the disbandment of the local police service. All officers would then be given training and the transition period would begin.

Council brought forward a motion to receive the OPP Costing as presented and to instruct Staff to solicit an independent company to thoroughly review it and report back to Council. Staff was to have this completed by the Jan. 28 council meeting, so as to give the consultant company ample opportunity to review both the OPP costing and the current SPS Budget and report back as soon as logistically feasible, with their recommendations. 

In this way, Council expects to have an “ at arms length” appraisal to guide their decision and to avoid the possible messy results, as seen in Orangeville, two years ago, at their costing review. The motion was carried unanimously.

Mayor Wade Mills opined that there was a lot to absorb, in the costing and a lot of study would go into the next two weeks, before instructing a consultant as to what the Town needed to see in a review. He stated that the operating budget was slightly more than he had expected, but was still very close to the current force. 

The elephant in the room, of course, was the complete lack of requiring a new facility in which to house  the SPS, as well as the veracity of their budget, since it does not include several line items that are, currently, included in the Town Hall figures, as opposed to the SPS ones.



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