Will trading local police for OPP save money?
Published Wednesday, April 25, 2018 6:39PM EDT
It's something small towns across northern Ontario are looking at, and some have already done.
They are getting rid of their local police forces to save money, and letting the Ontario Provincial Police handle the police services.
West Nipissing, outside North Bay, has done it and now in Espanola, about 45 minutes west of Sudbury, the town council is doing the same.
People in the town of Espanola have mixed feelings regarding the pending change from a local police service to the OPP. Some are accepting of decision, while others prefer the town police.
"The town police were doing a great job. They’re going to be losing their jobs, same with the dispatcher. You know, that puts them people out of work and then when the OPP are called out, who's gonna be left to take care of the town here?" said one resident.
It's a change that will save the town of Espanola over $5.6-million over the next ten years.
However, local councillor Ron Duplessis said during a meeting on Tuesday that getting rid of the local police service will not likely mean a reduction in tax bills right away.
"What the saving may do indirectly is not save them at cost on their tax bills this year or next year, but save the amount that we have to increase to provide these services and infrastructure to the people of the community.” Said Duplessis
Several full-time and part-time staff will lose their jobs because of this transition, but in the meantime, Espanola Police Chief Todd Zimmerman says things will be business as usual.
"The Espanola Police Service is still providing services to the community of Espanola until such time that the transition period takes place and it becomes the Ontario Provincial Polices’ responsibility." said Zimmerman.
The official date for transition has yet to be set.