News Local

Port Hope Police develop new business plan

PORT HOPE -- Urban Port Hope residents policed by the municipality's own police service are being asked to provide input on a proposed 2018-20 business plan for the service that includes increasing police visibility.

The Municipality of Port Hope has a contract with the OPP to provide policing services in the rural, northern half of the municipality.

"The Port Hope Police Services Board is encouraging members of the public to read the draft business plan and to provide any input to the Board before the Nov. 17 deadline," Police board chair Jeff Gilmer stated in an e-mail interview.

Asked about the differences between the previous plan and this one, Gilmer stated:

"The objectives for the 2015-2017 Business Plan were: effective service, community engagement and mobilization, organizational excellence, and sustainable resource management. The last plan had an overall goal of community safety. The 2018-2020 Business Plan was developed with the same underlying emphasis on keeping Port Hope a safe community "¦ (specifically), the qualitative priorities of the 2018-2020 Business Plan are: public safety and well-being, core policing, engagement and community outreach, and operational excellence."

To develop this future-policing plan, there has already been some community consultation as well as with the police senior management team, he said.

Asked how the police will have greater visibility going forward, Gilmer said that "the community engagement plan is still being developed; however, it will focus on making police interactions with the public more pro-active and meaningful. (This will be accomplished by) implementing more education programs and strengthening partnerships with social service agencies."

A media release from the Police Board quotes Police Chief Bryant Wood as also emphasizing the need to make police officers more visible.

"The Port Hope Police Service is committed to increasing officer visibility and has already begun developing a community engagement plan that aligns with the business plan. We worked closely with the Board to develop a plan that was relative in scope to the size of our community and our service."