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Province releases OPP billing model that kicks in January 1

Posted August 14, 2014

The new billing model that municipalities across the province who contract services with the OPP have been waiting to receive for months was unveiled today by the Minister of Community Safety and Correctional Services.

It will take effect on Jan. 1, 2015, and be phased in over a period of up to five years to allow municipalities time to adjust their budgets.

New Tecumseth mayor Mike MacEachern told Free Press Online this afternoon that "I have a meeting Sunday with reps and Ministry so will be better able to respond after that."

Under the new model, the average per property cost for OPP services in 2015 is estimated to be an average savings of $355.

In 2014, (the second of a five year renewal signed in 2012) New Tecumseth's share of the approximate $10 million contract was 57 per cent about $5.65 million, or 23 per cent of the total tax levy of just under $25 million. That represents a per capita cost of about $520, which means New Tecumseth's policing costs will decrease. Essa's share is 30 per cent and Adjala-Tosorontio, 13 per cent. At this post the per capita costs in each of those communities was not confirmed, but it's expected the new model will be an increase for both.

Last January, the Ministry served notice that all contract policing would end Dec. 31, 2014 and be replaced by a "new model recognizes that all municipalities require a base level of police service and sufficient front-line policing to ensure the safety and security of their communities."
It also ends the tri-party agreement, and at this post, the fate of the Police Services Board under the new model is unclear.

Following are the provisions that were included in the background material released as part of the announcement:
  • Under the new model, the bills will be split between base costs and calls for service.
  • Base costs, which include services such as routine patrols, crime prevention, RIDE programs and proactive policing, will now make up approximately 60 per cent of the bill. Billing for base costs ensures that municipalities contribute equally towards the cost of having well-equipped, professional, highly trained front-line members ready to answer calls for service.
  • A call for service will make up the remaining 40 per cent of the bill. Calls for service usually involve the attendance of an officer or officers at the scene of an occurrence such as a motor vehicle collision. The charge for reactive calls for service will vary among municipalities because such charges will be calculated annually, based on the municipality's individual usage levels.
  • The former billing model relied heavily on calls for service to calculate costs that resulted in a wide variation between similar communities. The new billing model will be fair and transparent, and will reduce the wide range in costs for OPP-policed municipalities. The new model will be revenue neutral with no additional money coming to the province because of this change.
  • The purpose of the new model is to work toward the recovery of policing costs in a way that is equitable for all municipalities.
"Updating the OPP billing model is about making it fairer, more transparent, and easier to understand," according to Yasir Naqvi, Minister of Community Safety and Correctional Services. "This new model helps ensure that costs to municipalities served by the OPP are shared fairly while enabling communities to direct their crime-prevention efforts towards saving money and keeping their communities safe."

At this post, Nottawasaga OPP detachment commander Dirk Cockburn was not available for comment.

This is a developing story, and more information will be provided as it becomes available and confirmed.

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