South Simcoe Police is being backed into a corner. The OPP is promising savings of $1.8 million if the change is made. A local article states that the chief was questioned on the possible savings efficiencies that could be had instead of the OPP option. I think Rick Beazley had a hard time coming up with recommendations because the OPP simply can perform these services from a technical perspective much cheaper.
Think of it this way. The OPP is practically has presence in all of Ontario. They have the tools essentially to run a police service with little upfront costs. The infrastructure is all there. They may even take all or most of the police officers on staff right now. But as a taxpayer, should all we be concerned about is saving as much as possible? I have not seen any articles about how these savings could be passed on to the taxpayer. Wouldn’t we want to know when the savings can be applied against our taxes?
Also, as another side bar issue, South Simcoe Police has a very active role in our community. All the OPP would do to achieve cost savings would be to just set up an outpost to service our community. I’m not crazy about this idea. I also agree with the South Simcoe Police assessment that we have some of the lowest crime rates in Ontario. As a resident of this community, safety means more than saving a buck or two off our tax bill.
I admire town council for being proactive in cutting costs where possible. Our police force isn’t where services should be altered.
Perhaps other synergies could be looked at, such as a centralized for the police service and the towns of Innisfil and Bradford amalgamating purchases, for example.