OPP

OPP does not give police costing to Amherstburg

 

By Ron Giofu

 

If the town switches from its current police service, don’t look for the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) to be the service they go to.

Mayor Aldo DiCarlo confirmed that the town did not actually get a costing from the OPP and only received a costing from the Windsor Police Service.

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

DiCarlo said it was “definitely disappointing” that the OPP took that position, but said he was aware of how costing proposals are presented. The town had guidelines on what it wanted in terms of policing and believed the OPP was unwilling to provide the details the town wanted in a costing whereas Windsor was willing to do so.

 

 

“Our position as the people responsible for the taxpayers dollars is that we don’t have to know every last detail, but someone has to confirm what the taxpayers are paying for,” said DiCarlo. “The OPP refuses to give that information.”

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.”

DiCarlo didn’t doubt the OPP provides an excellent police service, he said he didn’t understand their costing model. 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.”

The town will now move forward with the options of switching to the Windsor Police Service or sticking with the current Amherstburg Police Service. That process, including public consultation, should continue early in the new year.

Two arrested after Saturday morning crash

The Amherstburg Police Service responded to a single vehicle collision on Essex County Road 20, east of Essex County Road 9, Saturday around 8 a.m. that involved a silver Chrysler Aspen.

The vehicle was located by a passing motorist and there were no individuals with the vehicle.

Police began checking the surrounding area for anyone who may have been involved in the collision. Police say they subsequently located two individuals walking in the 9600 block of Concession 9 Road South and it was determined that the two individuals were involved with the collision.

Amherstburg police add that while speaking with the individuals, police received information that the vehicle had recently been reported stolen from Leamington. The two individuals were arrested and transported to the Ontario Provincial Police in Leamington.

As the theft occurred in their jurisdiction, the Ontario Provincial Police Leamington detachment is handling the investigation.

If anyone may have information relevant to the investigation, you are encouraged to contact Leamington OPP, or Crime Stoppers anonymously at 519-258-8477 (TIPS) or online at www.catchcrooks.com.

(NOTE: This is an updated version to what was published in the Sept. 20 print issue.)

LaSalle not to give Amherstburg a bid on police services

 

By Ron Giofu

 

And then there were two.

Should Amherstburg town council vote to switch policing services away from the existing Amherstburg Police Service, the choices will be between the Windsor Police Service and the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP). That is because LaSalle has opted not to submit a bid to police Amherstburg.

LaSalle Mayor Ken Antaya noted that there was a large discrepancy between Windsor and the rest of the field on dispatching and that showed “we don’t have the economy of scale” to match up.

Windsor’s dispatching bid came in at $653,000 over a five-year period with LaSalle police’s bid being over $1.48 million over that time frame. Owen Sound police and Strathroy-Caradoc police also submitted bids with those bids being just under $1.48 million and $1.54 million respectively.

“It’s difficult for smaller municipalities to match that,” said Antaya.

When it comes to bidding for the overall service, Antaya indicated that LaSalle believes they couldn’t offer up the cost savings Amherstburg is looking for.

“We recognize the economic scales involved here. Amherstburg is looking at saving costs and we are not sure we can give them the savings they are looking for,” Antaya said.

The LaSalle mayor added his community is happy with the policing they receive and there were some concerns about “watering down” the LaSalle Police Service should resources have been necessary to include Amherstburg. With it now being possible that municipalities are non-contiguous can get to police one another, it now means LaSalle doesn’t have to be part of the equation, Antaya added.

Safety is the most important thing to LaSalle residents, Antaya added.

LaSalle council will discuss possibly giving Amherstburg a police costing Jan. 26.

LaSalle council will discuss possibly giving Amherstburg a police costing Jan. 26.

The news that LaSalle wasn’t going to submit a bid wasn’t the best news Amherstburg Mayor Aldo DiCarlo has heard, but he was understanding of why it happened.

“Overall, my biggest reaction is disappointment more than anything else,” said DiCarlo. “With no disrespect to other mayors or other municipalities, they have to do what is best for the interests of their municipalities.”

DiCarlo indicated he is a fan of municipal policing, but believed a regional policing model would be cost-effective for those municipalities involved.

“As was stated when we first started this process, this council is the first one to do its due diligence in getting the numbers,” said DiCarlo.

An advisory committee has been set up and DiCarlo believes they have done a good job articulating what Amherstburg wants in a police force. He said Amherstburg has gotten used to a level of service and doesn’t want to lose it, adding that bidders will have to provide a similar method of policing to what exists currently.

The town issued an RFP and the deadline is mid-October. While DiCarlo anticipates there will be some savings, “if Windsor or the OPP can’t do it cheaper, that’s not a bad thing.” He said that is affirmation that the Amherstburg Police Service is providing a good service for a good price.

Saving are in the resources, he added, noting police salaries are roughly the same across the board.

DiCarlo emphasized that retaining the existing Amherstburg Police Service is an option council will have as well. Even though he anticipates a savings from bids from Windsor police and the OPP, DiCarlo said the question then would be whether those savings are enough to not keep the Amherstburg Police Service.

“That is ultimately up to council.”

Mother, son die as a result of 401 crash

 

Two people from Amherstburg died as a result of a six-vehicle collision on Highway 401 last Sunday afternoon, Chatham-Kent OPP state.

On July 30 around 4:40 p.m., Chatham-Kent Ontario Provincial Police (OPP), Chatham-Kent Fire Service, and Chatham-Kent Emergency Medical Services (EMS), responded to the collision on Highway 401 near Dillon Road.

OPP states that a westbound tractor trailer collided with five vehicles which were stopped on the highway due to a separate motor vehicle collision. As a result of the collision, two passengers traveling in the pick-up – a 42-year-old female and 14-year-old male of Amherstburg – were pronounced dead at the scene. The identities of the victims are Lacie and Kyle Brundritt of Amherstburg, the OPP stated Tuesday morning.

OPP logo

The 39-year-old male driver, of the pick-up, was air lifted to hospital with serious injuries and a 12-year-old male passenger was transported by ambulance to hospital with non-life threatening injuries, police add.

Highway 401 between Bloomfield Road and Queens Line was closed for eleven hours.

As of Monday evening, the cause of the collision remained under investigation.

Any person with information regarding this collision is asked to contact the Ontario Provincial Police Chatham-Kent detachment at 1-888-310-1122.

Should people wish to remain anonymous, they may call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 (TIPS) or leave an anonymous online message at www.helpsolvecrime.com where they may be eligible to receive a cash reward of up to $2,000.

Policing decision could come quicker than anticipated

 

By Ron Giofu

 

Town council has taken the next step in deciding the future of policing in Amherstburg with the final decision possible this term of council.

At the conclusion of Monday night’s meeting, town council re-emerged from an in-camera session and passed a motion that administration be authorized to proceed with the issuance of a request for proposal (RFP) for police services and invited LaSalle, Windsor and the OPP to participate.

Mayor Aldo DiCarlo said the joint police advisory committee has met and the town is ready to proceed to the next stage, which is getting the numbers from the interested police agencies on what costs would look like for them to police the town of Amherstburg.

Town HallWEB

While it was looking like it would fall onto the next council to make the final decision, DiCarlo said the process has advanced quicker due to Amherstburg rising in the queue for an OPP costing. A number of municipalities have dropped out, the mayor said, which has led to Amherstburg’s costing request to be granted sooner.

“We will be getting numbers by the end of the summer, if all goes well,” said DiCarlo.

DiCarlo said the town’s two motions still stand as it relates to the OPP coming in and the possibility of a regional police force. He said existing officers with the Amherstburg Police Service would be offered jobs should a switch take place.

Residents are looking for the same standard of policing as they have currently, the mayor stated.

Town council wants to make the decision once and doesn’t want to accept or reject any proposal without knowing all the details, DiCarlo said.

“It was always council’s position to look at all of the options at the same time,” he said. “The goal is to have all of the information in front of us.”

Should a switch be made, DiCarlo said it would be six months to a year before it would be implemented.