The Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) costing proposal for Brockville that is to be presented to council this week will be turned over to and analyzed by city staff and MNP Accounting.
The presentation is to take place in the community hall of the Brockville Memorial Centre on Wednesday, Jan. 25 at 7 p.m. It will be an official council meeting; the public is welcome to attend. The financial analysis to follow will include one-time transition costs associated with changing police service providers as well as expenses involving a facility that would meet the OPP's requirements, a city news release issued on Jan. 18 notes.
An in camera meeting of council is planned for Tuesday, Jan. 31; the closed-door session is to include staff presentations about the building and other items involving the costing proposal.
The staff and accounting firm analyses will then be presented to council and the public at a special council meeting scheduled for Wednesday, March 1. A public meeting at the memorial centre is planned for Monday, March 6. A summary of the financial analyses will be presented, and the public will have an opportunity to provide feedback to council and ask questions.
"This discussion is emotional and it is important we recognize that we are dealing with two organizations that are highly respected for their people, their professionalism and the work they do," Brockville Mayor David Henderson stated in the release.
The city will accept comments and submission on the OPP costing (via email and mail) from March 2 to April 6. At another special council meeting at the memorial centre on March 28, the OPP's response to feedback from council and the community is expected. The city treasurer is also to present an updated financial analysis at the March 28 session.
It is anticipated that council will then debate the issue at another special meeting at the memorial centre on April 12 and make a decision on the future of policing in Brockville. "We will ensure that the city will continue to be a safe community and we will do our due diligence to ensure we are providing the service that we need and want in an effective and efficient manner," the mayor stated.
Provincial police have indicated that they would provide the city with a three-year transitional contract. That would be followed by an agreement based on the standard billing model that takes into account the number of properties and a three-year running average of calls for service.
Brockville would become part of the Leeds County detachment, but service would be provided from a station in Brockville. The OPP will provide two options to the city on the subject of office access hours.
Brockville Police Service officers "with a good record" would be offered positions with the OPP to serve in Brockville, the city's release states. A different process would be applied to managerial personnel with the municipal police department.
OPP dispatch services would be provided by the regional communications centre in Smiths Falls.
When Prescott opted to disband its municipal police department and switch to the OPP in 2004, one of the town officers was not offered employment by the provincial police. Of the several full- and part-time dispatchers who worked with the Prescott police and fire departments, one was hired by the OPP.
The OPP costing proposal timeline issued by the city lists March 7 as the date associated with the Brockville Police Association being invited to submit a proposal.