Commentary by Linda Saxon
Following amalgamation, the Ontario Civilian Commission on Police Services’ decision regarding the ‘new’ policing proposal was, “From the standpoint of staffing, deployment and supervision, the proposal overall appears sound, and if the proposal is implemented as presented, it should allow for adequate and effective policing in the Town of Amherstburg.”
Three patrol zones were proposed with 24 hour a day policing and a maximum strength per 12 hour shift of six officers: 3 in Zone 1, 1 in each of Zones 2 and 3. Another officer would support all three zones as may be required.
The minimum strength per 12 hour shift was to be one officer per zone with a minimum strength of four officers until 4:00 a.m.
By 2010, as noted on page 8 of the Amherstburg Police Service Annual Report, “The Town is divided into 2 patrol zones ensuring that all areas receive an ongoing police presence.”
In a December 9, 2011 commentary, Amherstburg Police Chief Berthiaume Tight-lipped About Deployment, I asked, how will we know if we’re getting the service that was proposed if there is no accountability?
The question is just as relevant today; the only way to determine the best policing option for our community is to undertake a full comparison and obtain an OPP costing. Council’s decision should not be a subjective one based on speculation or fears, but an objective one based on facts and figures.
Five of the seven essex county municipalities are policed by the OPP as are 324 of the 444 Ontario municipalities; what have we got to lose?