Policing costs a concern in Orillia

Obscenely high and unsustainable policing costs. OPP bills are destroying communities its officers are supposed to protect. Apparent self-interest is cloaked in the guise of public safety needs. Where is the political outrage while OPP costs continue to climb? Who is going to bring policing costs in this province under control?

Policing costs a concern in Orillia

Postby Thomas » Wed Nov 23, 2016 3:21 pm

Policing costs are raising eyebrows around the council table as the city contends with salary hikes for OPP officers and civilians.

“Police costs, as well as some fire costs, are getting so out of hand that … it is starting to bankrupt some municipalities,” Coun. Ralph Cipolla said.

An arbitrator has awarded uniform and civilian members of the Ontario Provincial Police Association incremental salary increases totalling more than eight per cent between Jan. 1, 2015 and Jan. 1, 2018.

The arbitrator’s decision is binding.

“Some of these increases are crippling municipalities and we do not see any decrease in the cost of policing throughout the province,” added Coun. Rob Kloostra. “We do see that a lot of our front-line nurses, their resources are being cut. We don’t see these type of increases for nurses in the province of Ontario.”

Cipolla is recommending Mayor Steve Clarke write to the province, and that arbitrators “be given a lesson in economics, because the population in the communities really can’t afford this kind of stuff, these kinds of increases.”

Orillia CFO Bob Ripley reminded council that rising policing costs are a continuing source of concern.

“The arbitration system just is not working,” Ripley said. “Everybody understands that it is bankrupting municipalities. I think the province understands that, but there is no solution in sight yet.”

The Association of Municipalities of Ontario is spearheading an effort to address those concerns, he added.

“Certainly, this is not a new issue,” Ripley said. “It is an issue that has been around for a number of years."

Clarke didn’t discount the possibility of penning a letter to the province, “if I think there is any chance it could be effective.”

In a letter to OPP-patrolled communities, Supt. Marc Bedard, commander of the municipal policing bureau, said OPP costs compared “very favourably” to those of municipal police services.

http://www.simcoe.com/news-story/697769 ... n-orillia/
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