Windsor Police Issues Third Letter Re Denial of Policing Proposal Request

Windsor Police Service’s denial to the proposal in its entirety is under Appeal with the Information and Privacy Commission Ontario.

Windsor Police has issued a third letter, this time enclosing an Index of the 57 pages and the corresponding sections of the Act that it deems applicable.

Just to recap:

Mayor DiCarlo advised me the Windsor response would be made public.

Paula Parker, Town Clerk, advised I would have to request it from Windsor.

Windsor Police advised I had to file an FOI request.

Windsor Police denied access to the proposal in its entirety, citing exemptions.

Windsor Police issued a second letter with added reasons to deny the request.

Windsor Police issued a third letter with an index of the reasons for its complete denial.

How does transparency and accountability apply when information is not released?

FOI Access To Windsor Policing Proposal Denied

Mayor DiCarlo advised me the OPP and Windsor responses would be made public after the consultant and steering committee reviewed the responses and council received the reports.

However, as mentioned in this post, Town Clerk Paula Parker advised I would have to request it from Windsor Police Services directly. On June 11, the Windsor Police Privacy Coordinator advised I must make an access request, pursuant to the Municipal Freedom of Information Act.

The Windsor Police Service has denied access to the proposal in its entirety, citing the following exemptions:

Law enforcement

8 (1) A head may refuse to disclose a record if the disclosure could reasonably be expected to, 

(c) reveal investigative techniques and procedures currently in use or likely to be used in law enforcement;

(e) endanger the life or physical safety of a law enforcement officer or any other person;

(g) interfere with the gathering of or reveal law enforcement intelligence information respecting organizations or persons;

(l) facilitate the commission of an unlawful act or hamper the control of crime.

Third party information

10 (1) A head shall refuse to disclose a record that reveals a trade secret or scientific, technical, commercial, financial or labour relations information, supplied in confidence implicitly or explicitly, if the disclosure could reasonably be expected to,

(a) prejudice significantly the competitive position or interfere significantly with the contractual or other negotiations of a person, group of persons, or organization;

Economic and other interests

11 A head may refuse to disclose a record that contains,

(c) information whose disclosure could reasonably be expected to prejudice the economic interests of an institution or the competitive position of an institution;

(f) plans relating to the management of personnel or the administration of an institution that have not yet been put into operation or made public;

(g) information including the proposed plans, policies or projects of an institution if the disclosure could reasonably be expected to result in premature disclosure of a pending policy decision or undue financial benefit or loss to a person;

Application of Act

52

(3) Subject to subsection (4), this Act does not apply to records collected, prepared, maintained or used by or on behalf of an institution in relation to any of the following:

1. Proceedings or anticipated proceedings before a court, tribunal or other entity relating to labour relations or to the employment of a person by the institution.

2. Negotiations or anticipated negotiations relating to labour relations or to the employment of a person by the institution between the institution and a person, bargaining agent or party to a proceeding or an anticipated proceeding.

3. Meetings, consultations, discussions or communications about labour relations or employment-related matters in which the institution has an interest.

Questions For Council: OPP Costing Process Not Followed

Members of council have been asked the following questions:

why did council not provide the OPP with an opportunity to schedule an information session?

why was the September 14, 2017 letter from the OPP to Mayor Aldo DiCarlo not presented to council until five months later at its February 26, 2018 meeting?

and why did council not submit a resolution to the OPP by the September 30, 2017 deadline?

Access To Letter: Town Did Not Follow OPP Costing Process

As mentioned in this post, I submitted a FOI request for the letter referenced by the mayor in a November 14, 2017 RTT article since he did not respond to my two emails regarding my request for the letter.

The town has disclosed the letter, along with the fact that it is publicly available so no FOI request was required.

The article, OPP does not give police costing to Amherstburg, quoted Mayor DiCarlo:

“Instead of getting a costing from the OPP, we got a letter saying they are not going to follow our guidelines.”

The OPP “basically said no” when asked for the details the town wanted, said DiCarlo. He said it was “incredibly disappointing” the OPP didn’t want to work with the town’s guidelines, adding it was also “very frustrating” that while Windsor was willing the OPP “couldn’t be bothered.”

The September 14, 2017 letter from the OPP is addressed to Mayor Aldo DiCarlo.

Rather than indicate an unwillingness to follow the town’s guidelines, the OPP reiterated “the OPP utilizes the Information Manual for the OPP Contract Proposal Process for all contract proposals” and explained, “the process prescribed in your Request for Proposal differs in significant ways from the process described in our manual. As a result, the OPP cannot participate in your Request for Proposal.”

The OPP also stated, “we have made several attempts to schedule an information session to explain to your Council the OPP contract proposal process. Since we have not been provided with the opportunity to do so, we recommend that you and your Council familiarize yourself with the Information manual, as it outlines all the steps involved in the contract proposal process.”

The OPP required a council resolution by September 30, 2017 if it wished to proceed.

The town confirmed that the September 14, 2017 letter to Mayor Aldo DiCarlo was presented five months later to council at its February 26, 2018 meeting.

Therefore, I disagree with the mayor’s position and submit the town did not follow the OPP costing process. How incredibly disappointing.

What Is Adequate And Effective Policing?

In the November 14, 2017 RTT article, mentioned in this post regarding an FOI request for the letter referenced by Mayor Aldo DiCarlo, the mayor said he didn’t understand their costing model. According to the article, he said while the town understands it would get “adequate and effective” policing from the OPP, “they won’t tell us exactly what that means.”

Well how are we supposed to know exactly what it means if the Windsor Police proposal requires a Freedom of Information request?

FOI Request For Letter Referenced by Mayor

In addition to the FOI request to Windsor Police, I have submitted an FOI request to the town of Amherstburg for a letter referenced by Mayor Aldo DiCarlo in the RTT.

Mayor DiCarlo was quoted in a November 14, 2017 RTT article, “Instead of getting a costing from the OPP, we got a letter saying they are not going to follow our guidelines.”

In a June 9, 2018 email to Mayor DiCarlo, I requested a copy of the letter he referenced and the council meeting minutes wherein it was presented and discussed.

On June 11, I let the mayor know that I am awaiting his response.

Amherstburg Mayor Responds

Mayor Aldo DiCarlo’s response RE Windsor Police Proposal Requires FOI Application:

“I believe it has been stated publicly already that the Windsor proposal contains operations information that could jeopardize the safety and/or the property of the residents of both Windsor and Amherstburg.  It should be noted that Amherstburg police have never released related information as well, for the same reasons.

The entire process, short of the operations information, was public and transparent.”

I disagree on both counts.

Windsor Police Proposal Requires FOI Application

On June 6, in response to a request for the Windsor Police proposal to takeover Amherstburg Police, Town Clerk Paula Parker advised it was not posted publicly as it contained a confidentiality clause and I would have to request it from Windsor Police Services directly. I did.

Today, Windsor Police Privacy Coordinator advised I must make an access request, pursuant to the Municipal Freedom of Information Act, for a copy of the records I am seeking.

So, I apprised all members of council of my requests for the proposal and stated ratepayers were led to believe the entire process would be transparent.

I also asked if anyone would like to explain how being transparent is possible if information is kept from the public?

Any responses, if received, will be posted here.