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by Isabel Mosseler
WN Council received a service proposal and costing from the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) this Tuesday, Nov. 14, as part of its comparison of municipal policing versus contracting to the OPP. Council had resolved to undergo the costing exercise in October 2016 when they learned that the OPP may represent a cost savings of up to $200 per household. The figure was disputed at the time, but because of increasing costs of policing in West Nipissing, and budget spikes due to overtime, council opted to move ahead with a cost comparison.
The presentation included an overview of services offered by OPP throughout the province, including contracts with 324 municipalities in Ontario. This was followed by a breakdown of the financial costs, including the cost of transition over three years.
The OPP presentation was followed by a cost analysis and comparison prepared by municipal treasurer Alisa Craddock, which included additional costs of pension buyouts, start-up costs such as vehicles and equipment, and the amortized cost of new infrastructure for the OPP, which would require a new detachment building. Craddock gave year-over-year projections over 10 years, incorporating all additional expenses not included in the OPP costing. She showed higher start-up costs for the OPP initially, with the break-even point reached after 8 years and the OPP costing increasingly less than the current local service after year 4.
Following her presentation, council deliberated primarily on how to make sure they got adequate feedback from their constituents, decision timelines, and concerns around understanding both the financials and the services provided. The entire meeting ran for almost 4 hours.
Four representatives of the Ontario Provincial Police presented a costing proposal to West Nipissing Council on Tuesday evening, outlining how the OPP could serve the community and at what cost. Council will soon be deciding whether to maintain the WN Police Service or opt for a service contract with the OPP.