Councillors to hear potential PHPS savings at Tuesday meeting 0
PORT HOPE – A decision on whether the Port Hope Police Service (PHPS) will police the entire municipality or remain as is, or whether the Northumberland Ontario Provincial Police will do all the policing, or continue to police Ward 2 only, will be one step closer to reality as the Port Hope Police Services Board will speak in a delegation Tuesday night.
Port Hope Police Services Board chair Dave Houston is scheduled to speak regarding potential PHPS savings under the existing hybrid delivery model and is expected to outline a strategy for cost savings over the next 10 years.
Mayor Linda Thompson says council members, as Committee of the Whole, will receive the delegation, with the final decision to be made at the Oct. 30 special council meeting.
This will provide Council members two weeks to consider the newest information prior to making their decision as to which way to vote.
In July 2011, Council opted to investigate opportunities for cost savings and implications of a potential new policing model and, with the assistance of KPMG, a review of the current policing model and potential new approaches was conducted. KPMG presented its findings to Committee of the Whole on June 5 of this year.
Several open houses and Committee of the Whole and Council meetings later, as well as several date changes for the final vote, have led council members to this point.
At its July 17 meeting, the Committee of the Whole made a recommendation that on Sept. 11, Council consider the option of OPP providing policing across the municipality from a renovated Walton Street police station open from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday to Friday.
The PHPS headquarters is currently staffed at night to provide dispatch services and the door is generally locked after 10 p.m. for security reasons, but dispatchers are inside and may unlock the door at their discretion. The OPP model would include the transfer of officers from the PHPS to the OPP, subject to suitability and would have the same officers reporting to and serving the same areas, but with cost savings.
On Sept. 4 a notice of motion was presented recommending that the final decision on policing be deferred and that the police services board in consultation with the PHPS, submit a police services board-approved strategy for cost savings. The strategy is to outline how the board and PHPS would achieve savings in areas such as communications, organizational / officer and civilian staffing / administration, building and / or other savings as deemed appropriate by the PSB, totalling approximately $5 million to $6 million over 10 years to provide policing to Ward 1 within the PHPS / OPP hybrid police service delivery approach.
At a meeting on Sept. 25, it was recommended that the date for that presentation be changed to ensure that all members of Council can be in attendance.
Members of Council and municipal staff continue to be available to speak with any member of the public to provide more information or address any questions. Contact information is available on the municipal website or by calling 905-885-4544.