- by Hub staff

After a thorough report from their consultants on the subject, Owen Sound City Council has asked Owen Sound Police Services (OSPS)  to review their own budget to see if they can find savings.

Consultants Joe Levack and Roger Hollingworth presented what they referred to as an "apples to apples" comparison of both the services and costs of the OPP and OSPS providing policing services to the city, based on information provided by each organization, and data from other Ontario municipalities. While both services were determined to provide a full range of necessary services, eachservice was determined to have some advantages to city residents. Including the expenses of the transition period, the consultants estimate that the OPP would cost the city less by an estimated $1 million a year by 2021.

There would be a transition period of three years over which calls would be tracked, and in the fourth year the city would be paying the OPP base rate plus charges based on use.  Using a 2.5% annual factor for both servicces, the projection is that the cost of Owen Sound Police Services  in 2021 to 2027 would be $8.1 to 9.45 million, while OPP over the same period would be $7.1 to $8.2 million per year.

The OPP would provide five more constables than Owen Sound Police currently employ, but far fewer civilian staff, mostly in the dispatch centre which now serves a number of municipalities. The revenue from that centre was factored in to the calculations.

While councillors agreed that Owen Sound was being well served by the local police, their decision to send the issue to the Police Services Board was based on fiscal responsibility to the taxpayers of the city.

The request for an OPP costing arose from the full review of city services in 2016. The original presentation was made by the OPP to a working group in October, and the information was provided to Levack Management Consulting for analysis.









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