It seems it is worth repeating, when OPP took over policing in Parry Sound, Collingwood and Orillia, each municipality ended up paying for new detachment offices with all their bells and whistles.
Going OPP would require Midland replacing all vehicles to meet OPP standards, same with weapons, uniforms, radios, et al. All uniformed police would have to be retrained, after a year on duty here, police could expect to be moved anywhere in the province one at a time. However friends, the biggest costs is usually buried in a contract: cost recoverable.
If the Marine unit is called in, K-9, Tactical, Ident, etc……HQ won’t cover the costs, the Town of Midland will be invoiced for those extra duties and officers. One murder or another natural disaster in town could set the town back hundreds of thousands or even millions in investigation costs, prisoner transfers, court and trial times. Those OPP services are NOT billed to the municipality now as they are obliged to provide them upon request – already paid in advance from our Provincial tax levy.
So are communities in contracts with the OPP actually being double billed – paying for services that communities without OPP police contracts don’t get invoiced for?
Decades ago when Chief Larry Hembruff and Police Services Board suggested Midland and Penetanguishene forces twin, so as to save both town tax dollars, the idea was rejected since it was thought Midland police wanted to empire build. That was sheer nonsense. By the way should Midland eventually go OPP and years later want to opt out, OPP will require a one year notice. By then there likely will be a newly used police station. But more than that the town will have to buy replacement cruisers, weapons, uniforms, radios…..you know the drill. Council is kidding itself if it thinks going OPP will be a money saver, same with thinking an all volunteer fire department will solve Midland’s money problems when it comes to public safety.
Once again, this is not about the fine men and women working tirelessly for the OPP, it is about the “business side” of policing and a contract for policing with the Province of Ontario and we have all seen just how well the Province is doing at controlling costs and remaining accountable.