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Township to end policing pilot project

Posted March 17, 2014

Adjala-Tosorontio, citing the uncertainty surrounding the financial impacts of the pending changes to the OPP billing model, has notified New Tecumseth it "wishes to end the dedicated officer pilot project" initiated in 2013 focused on traffic enforcement, effective April 1.

The Township agreed to the program last year intending to use savings acheived when its share of the renewed five year, tri-party contract dropped from 16 per cent to 13 per cent, on traffic safety initatives. Adjala-Tosorontio's share of the pilot project was 70 per cent or about $99,590 out of the $142,000 annual cost of an OPP constable.

Adjala-Tosorontio councillors made the decision to terminate the deal on Feb. 10, and explained in a Feb. 12 letter to New Tecumseth that it blames the Province's plan to terminate all OPP contracts, replacing them with a new service model in 2015, whose details are still not determined.

In addition to that, the Township has written the Minister of Community Safety and Correctional Services, requesting that the changes allow the tri-party agreement to continue. The provincial notification also brings that arrangement to an end, with no details as to whether it can continue under the new changes.

"Our municipality, along with the Town of New Tecumseth and the Township of Essa, has partnered closely with the Province since 1999 to execute and promote one of the first multi-municipal policing contracts in the Province. We faithfully renewed the contract and continued to support the Province in support of municipal policing services since the agreement's inception," according to the Feb. 6th letter signed by mayor Tom Walsh. "Since then, we dutifully and continually provided full support of our Police Services Board and the O.P.P. The Mayors of our three municipalities voluntarily attended meetings with other neighbouring municipalities to promote the concept of municipal police services through the O.P.P. We voiced objection to calls of O.P.P. policing reform by other municipalities within the County of Simcoe. We initiated civilian data entry services to keep more officers on the streets. We supported the use of new technology in police cruisers to further increase efficiency. We worked closely with our local detachment to ensure that our policing contract was a true success."

For its part, New Tecumseth has not yet staked any official position on the pending changes to the OPP contract, choosing instead to wait until further details are released expected later this summer.

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