A move to the OPP may cost us $5 million extra over 10 years – not save us $8 million. We took the town’s provided numbers, moved the costs to disband the Midland Police to the OPP side of the equation – for reasons so simple we won’t even try to explain why (no idea what the town was thinking when they tried to slip that one by on everyone). We took what the Chief said about the town arbitrarily adding two officers to his budget without his consent or even discussing their rationale and erred on the side of caution and gave the police one more officer instead of two.
We added one Full Time Equivalent (FTE) – OPP speak for one officer, for foot patrols downtown that the CAO and consultant didn’t bother to cost out. We also added one more FTE (at the same low rate of pay although we believe that an officer is more like $130k / year once you factor in wages, benefits, equipment etc) for schools and community service. The two basic “extras” are included with Midland Police but would come at an extra cost under the OPP and if we heard the presentation right, at the discretion of the OPP detachment commander. That is another way to say, that even if we contract for these two extra services, that we may not get them when they don’t have the bodies to spare.
We cannot account for response times. The consultant naively misspoke (in our opinion) when he reassured us all that the services will be unaffected by an OPP take over and that we are assured to have 3-5 officers – in Midland – at all times. When and if the OPP provides response times, as the Chief pointed out, then we can see how they compare to the dedicated standalone policing model we enjoy now. The OPP was clear in their quote presentation that the integrated model means that Midland becomes a zone (5) that shares resources and that there will be times when Midland has no police officers in the community.
We also noticed that there is some kind of assumption by the town that both the Chief and the Inspector will not take jobs with the OPP. We know that the OPP offer a superior pension and benefits that will be afforded to all staff that make the move. Midland must pay to top up those pensions and pay the difference. Those senior officers will likely make more than they make now which will be an incentive to take positions to achieve their “best three” years to make their pensions more lucrative than taking early retirement. In short, in our opinion, they would be crazy to simply retire with their payouts and not take a position with the OPP. Instead, they should take new jobs and all the OPP benefits AND enjoy their cash parting gifts from the disbanding of MPS.
We added the Chief and Inspector to the costs (since the OPP did this on their quote). For reasons only known to the consultant and the CAO, the town left them off the OPP costs – they seem to add things to the MPS side and omit them from the OPP side at will.
The next oversight by the town was not to factor in standard cost increases to the OPP’s year 4+ costs. The town picked numbers based on a formula they have chosen not to share, filled it with numbers that they have chosen not to share and that the OPP will not commit to and failed to account for the standard 2% increase in costs year over year. We did that on the last table and it will blow your socks off.
Even with the most conservative math, not only will Midland not save a penny, a move to the OPP will cost Midland $4,978,701.30 (5 MILLION DOLLARS) MORE THAN KEEPING THE MPS. And yet the town says we will SAVE $8 million?
It is time for the mayor to drop the charades and acknowledge the grave mistakes in the town’s numbers. To stand by their numbers to drive this process forward (as he is quoted as saying in the Simcoe.com) is not only a mistake but is almost fraudulent misrepresentation of the truths that anyone with a critical mind and a calculator can see for themselves.
Mayor McKay… your CAO and consultant have either failed at their mandates, or are misleading you. If you remain committed to their findings, do so at your own peril. Just like your backing of the disgraced developer you picked for Midland Bay Landing, the community can see what you either cannot or will not see. To blindly stick to these fantastic and unfounded projections makes you look incompetent and we need your leadership until 2018.
Feel free to review the data below and be prepared to respond to these and many other poignant questions at the upcoming meetings on August 23rd at 2pm and 7pm.