LETTERS

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 OPP layered 560Dear Editor,

I would like to provide some clarifications on your recent article “The pursuit of an OPP costing dismissed by council”.

The OPP understands and respects that every municipality has what amounts to three choices in relation to their legal responsibility to provide policing services to its citizens; one – form its own police service; two – partner with a neighbouring municipality’s police agency; three – policing from the OPP.

This choice is entirely up to municipal governments and its citizens. The OPP does not wish to be - real or perceived - an influencer in any decision that a municipality makes in this regard.

The OPP enjoys a strong working relationship with our excellent policing partner – the Saugeen Shores Police Service. Although the OPP’s position is impartial throughout this process, I need to provide some clarification and additional information as your article could lead your readers to inaccurate conclusions that are unfair to the OPP, our policing partners and the taxpayers of Ontario.

Prior to the new OPP billing model, some municipalities were paying vastly different amounts for OPP policing services. Some municipalities were paying less than $10 per year per household while others were paying more than $800.‎ The current billing model eliminates those vast differences. Simply put, the existing costs are being more fairly distributed and no new or extra costs are being recovered.

While some communities have publicly indicated that they are paying more for policing now, many others are paying less. In fact, since the implementation of the new billing model, the cost per property has remained stable at $357 in 2015, $352 in 2016 and $355 in 2017. In 2017, 75% of the 323 OPP-policed municipalities are paying under the average cost of $355 per property.

Three OPP-policed municipalities with a similar number of properties to Saugeen Shores (approximately 8,000 properties: households, commercial and industrial) are also paying under the average actual cost per property of $355 in 2017.

I would like to thank our policing partners - the Saugeen Shores Police Service, its members, and the community at large for their work and support throughout the years. It is important that we engage in accurate and informed discussions on all policing matters so that we can continue to work together in promoting and improving community safety and well-being.

Sincerely,

M.M. (Marc) Bedard
Superintendent
Commander,
Municipal Policing Bureau

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