Brockville O.P.P. decision in April

In this May 2016, file photo, Brockville Mayor David Henderson chats with a member of the public during a chamber of commerce breakfast. Henderson has outlined the plan for the O.P.P. costing model decision with a public review period over the next three months. (Newswatch Group/Bill Kingston, File)

BROCKVILLE – The City of Brockville will make a final decision in April on whether it will be going with a provincial police force or staying with the existing city police service.

Mayor David Henderson outlined the timeline over the next three months for the final chapter of the O.P.P. costing process in a news release late this afternoon. The proposal has been in the works, in some form or another, since March 2013.

It will start with the completed O.P.P. costing proposal being presented to city council and the community on Wednesday, Jan. 25, 2017 at 7 p.m. The city will be holding the council meeting at the Memorial Center in order to accommodate the anticipated big crowd.

The report will then be reviewed by staff and a third party accountant (MNP Accounting) for a financial analysis and that report will come to a special council meeting on March 1.

Mayor Henderson said resident feedback will be collected online and through the mail throughout the process. The public will also be able to comment at a special meeting on Monday, March 6 at the Memorial Center with the O.P.P. asked to respond at another meeting on Tuesday, March 28.

If the city were to go with the O.P.P., Brockville would be in a three year transitional contract with the province before moving to a provincial billing model (which is calculated on properties in the community and the three year average for calls for service).

Front line officers in good standing with the Brockville Police Service would be offered jobs with the Brockville O.P.P., the city said.

While the O.P.P. would be housed in the Brockville Police Service building, it would eventually have to move due to provincial rules of now having Ontario government buildings located too close to railway tracks.

While BPS takes a leadership role in some community projects, the O.P.P. doesn’t work the same way. The O.P.P. could not administer taxi licensing and other groups would have to take the lead on services led by the city police right now, such as Bartholomew HUB.

The final decision will be made on April 12, 2017 at a special council meeting at the Memorial Center.

Timeline Snapshot

January 25 – O.P.P. costing model is presented to the public
March 1 – city and accountant reviewed analysis of costing models is presented to public
March 2 – online and written submissions begin (until April 6)
March 6 – special council meeting with verbal feedback and questions from the public
March 28 – O.P.P. responds to feedback and questions from March 6 meeting
April 6 – final online and written submissions forwarded to council
April 12 – special council meeting with final decision