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HomeNewsPolice Chief says $8.5 million upfront to switch police forces

Police Chief says $8.5 million upfront to switch police forces

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North Bay Police Chief Shawn Devine presents his breakdown of what financial implications the OPP taking over policing in North Bay might have.

Devine says that there would be an upfront cost of $8.5 million if a bid was approved to make the change, much of that amount due to collectively bargained and legislated payouts. In addition, the cost of a new police headquarters, ranging from $9 million to $17.7 million would be required, regardless of the policing service.

In a letter to Mayor Al McDonald, Devine offers his findings on what a transition to the OPP would cost and suggests that “owning” is better than “renting” when it comes to policing.

Councillor Mark King will bring forward a motion at Tuesday’s regular meeting of Council, seconded by Councillor Chris Mayne, that the CAO be authorized to send a request to the Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services to obtain the cost of policing from the Ontario Provincial Police for the City of North Bay.

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McDonald and Devine have maintained that a switch to the OPP would be a mistake and are firmly against even costing the proposition.

King and North Bay Taxpayers’ Association president Miles Peters have countered with the approach that now is the time to find out the associated costs of continuing with the local police force or moving to the provincial police force.

According to Devine, the costing would be a 15-month process, encompassing the initial request, Council consideration, public consultation, and a final decision. Between three and six OPP officers would be

In his letter to the mayor, Devine makes several points about costs of the OPP option, but not necessarily the costing of it.

Devine writes that the loss of 45-60 civilian employees will cost North Bay taxpayers $6.5 million in severance pay, plus $2 million more in sick bank payouts.

The Chief says that 911 call answering could become the responsibility of the City or “taxpayer money could end up going outside the community for the service.”

Another result of a switch to the OPP would be that bylaw enforcement currently shared between the City and local police would no longer occur. Also, the taxi bylaws would fall under the purview of the City instead of police.

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