- by Anne Finlay-Stewart, Editor

The services and costs of having the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) provide Owen Sound with policing was presented to the OPP costing working group on September 12. That information is available to the public here.
The City has retained Levack Management Consulting of Amherstburg to help with the analysis of the information. Levack has worked with other municipalities on this issue, helping ensure that apples are indeed being compared with other apples.
For example, some costs like payroll for Owen Sound Police Services (OSPS), are now done at the City level and are not included in the OSPS annual budget.
While the subject of policing, cost-control and service has been in the Owen Sound air for years, the consultant and the working group (Mayor Ian Boddy and Councillor Brian O'Leary and senior city staff) are proceeding very quickly. A consultant's report to the working group is expected in November. Boddy said there will be a public meeting in December and the Council will have the report, without recommendations, on the table before the beginning of the 2018 election year.
The decision, the mayor emphasized, will be Council's alone.
In the meantime the public relations campaign is in high gear, with lawn signs produced and distributed by the Owen Sound Police Association, high visibility of police and police vehicles in the community and at events, and pro-active OSPS work with the recently-formed "Neighbours Against Drugs and Crime Action Group."
The OPP representative made it clear that they do not consider their presentation a "bid", nor do they consider themselves in competition with the OSPS with whom they currently work very closely. The OPP currently police adjacent Meaford and Georgian Bluffs and other municipalities in Grey and Bruce. There will be no public campaigning by the OPP.



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