RE: Move to OPP could save $7.8 million over 10 years: report, The Mirror, July 27, 2017
The report just released by the consultant is based on 3 years of known costs guaranteed by a contract while the next 7 years are forecasts. While OPP officials reportedly called the forecasts “reasonable” they would not validate them or commit to them which means the costs may end up much higher. I believe that an informed decision at this time can only be based on costing facts, and the level of service to be delivered by the OPP.
I recognize that the OPP is an exceptional police force serving the province of Ontario very well for a long time. The OPP is operating on an “integrated model” of policing which may work for many municipalities, however may not be the best option for a small urban municipality such as Midland.
Over the last 20+ years the Midland Police Service has developed a community policing plan customized to meet the needs of the Midland population; it has been working very well. Midland has the police station staffed 24/7 and their response time is 3.5 minutes.
Under the OPP model, there is no guarantee that there will be any [OPP] officers in Midland, and we have no information on response times. In other words, when a call is received it will very likely take longer for assistance to arrive on scene than it does now.
Current Midland police budgets include community work with all schools and community groups promoting drug free and pro-social lifestyles and they do foot patrols in the downtown to the tune of almost 1500 hours per year. In the OPP model these, and many others, would be enhancements and billed over and above basic policing costs.
As a resident of Midland I am not in favour of switching to the OPP for two reasons: it would deliver a lower level of service, and based on the information available to date may not deliver any cost savings, after all.
Zena Pendlebury, Midland