Since we last updated you, the OPP Costing Project Team has completed its work and the Future of Policing Advisory Committee’s Terms of Reference work progresses. August 9, 2012.

Policing Update

Since we last updated you, the OPP Costing Project Team has completed its work and the Future of Policing Advisory Committee’s Terms of Reference work progresses. Here is what you need to know:

AMO - OPP Costing Project Team:

As previously reported, AMO staff, senior municipal officials and Ontario Police Service Board Association staff have been meeting regularly over the past months with the Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services (MCSCS) and the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP). The project team was established to advise the OPP on how they could provide and/or improve the transparency and accountability of municipal costs in communities policed by the OPP. 

On August 7, 2012, the OPP Commissioner, Chris Lewis, released the document “Understanding Ontario Provincial Police Municipal Policing Costs”. It is an OPP document that was prepared to provide municipal governments with a comprehensive understanding of how their municipal policing costs are calculated and recovered.

This was a major undertaking and significant step by the OPP. This information will allow municipal governments who have a service arrangement with the OPP, or are considering such an arrangement to be better informed in their discussions with their OPP Detachment Commander and the OPP Municipal Policing Bureau. This project was about greater transparency on the OPP recovery formula schedules and associated information. The rising cost of policing, whether municipal or OPP services, was not part of the project. Matters related to the rising cost of policing are being considered in the work of the Future of Policing Advisory Committee.

AMO participation on the Future of Policing Advisory Committee (FPAC):

This is our second update on the Committee’s work. The MCSCS established this stakeholder advisory committee to look at policing activities and re-examine what is core policing and what is not. It will recommend to the Ministry changes to legislation, regulations, policy matters and strategic direction. The Advisory Committee consists of a majority of employer representatives and service providers and includes employee representatives. The Police Services Act and the associated regulations that set out among other matters, policing standards have not been reviewed since the late 1990s.

The Committee has had two meetings to date and will meet again in the fall. AMO is represented on this Committee by President Gary McNamara.

FPAC has established four working groups that will investigate changes to achieve a sustainable model for future policing – whether OPP contract or municipal own forces. AMO has appointed senior municipal staff representatives to each of the working groups which are:
  • Crime Prevention;
  • Law Enforcement and Assistance to Victims of Crime;
  • Emergency Response and Public Order Maintenance; and
  • Administration and Infrastructure.
Each of these four Working Groups is tasked with considering the following within their topics:
  • How the outcomes of each of the core police services are currently measured and/or should be measured and how outcomes are communicated to the public;
  • Core duties, roles and responsibilities and accountability of police services and police services boards;
  • How police services are currently delivered and how alternatives to service delivery by police, civilians, and other public safety/community wellness providers may be implemented; and
The current legislative/regulatory and policy framework to determine what change may be necessary to achieve a sustainable model for the future of policing.

The AMO appointed municipal staff members represent the geographical diversity of contract policing and municipal forces. Each working group reports to the Advisory Committee and will review police services through the lens of efficiency, transformation, innovation/technology and integration – criteria that we hope will have a positive impact on service delivery and cost.

AMO will continue to update members on the progress of the Future of Policing Advisory Committee as milestones are achieved.

In concert with all the policing costs work being done, it is important to note that AMO’s active advocacy on pension contribution rates and changes to Ontario’s arbitration system, if contained in upcoming legislation, could have a significant impact on the cost of policing services.