98 The Beach

98 The Beach

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

OPP presents cost/service plan for Owen Sound

Owen Sound | by Vanessa Culbert  

Plan will cost more and require more officers

Provincial Police want more money, and more officers in Owen Sound if an amalgamation takes place.

A working group received a presentation from OPP officials on Tuesday that showed it would cost the city $9.8 million in the first year ( $8,577,210 in policing costs plus $1.3 million dollars in one-time start-up and capital costs).

The City of Owen Sound's police services budget in 2016 was just over $7-million.

The presentation also showed the OPP would require 35 full time constables.

Right now, the city has 30.

OPP Contract Analyst Linda Davis says they believe Owen Sound officers are run off their feet right now.

OPP would also require the Owen Sound Police Station to undergo renovations at the city's expense.

Davis says renovations would meet requirements for officers' safety, and safety of those persons in the cell areas.

Owen Sound Police Association Vice President Brent Down says the numbers speak for themselves.

Down says "there are no plus sides to amalgamating, and status quo is the way to go ".

He also disagrees with OPP about needing more officers.

City Officials hope to have a report back from their consultant in late November, have public consultation in December and make a decision by year end.

Owen Sound already has access to special equipment, such as helicopters or boats, from the OPP without additional charges whenneeded.

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