RFP

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.”

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.

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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.