May 1, 2020

The AMO Board recently approved a discussion paper on the establishment of new OPP detachment boards. The paper is designed to help municipal officials assess key issues, lead informed conversations, and lay the foundation for successful governance in the future.

The paper recognises the importance of municipal self-determination and cooperation in re-establishing OPP boards. The paper asserts twelve guiding principles to inform that discussion. Of note, AMO recommends the provincial government relinquish its authority to make appointments to OPP detachment boards.

Canadian precedence for fully municipally appointed boards exists in Alberta, Quebec, and Saskatchewan. Municipal employees may be appointed to a board in Manitoba and Alberta.

AMO sees merit in municipally selected board members being composed of local elected officials, community representatives (ie. not holding elected office), and a municipal staff member to support the policy drafting functions of a board.

While the exact composition of each board will vary, AMO believes all municipalities should have the opportunity to select a representative on an OPP detachment board. Municipalities in a detachment (or a portion of a detachment) should be provided every opportunity to develop and propose locally developed board composition ideas to the province.

Regulatory discussions regarding the establishment of new detachment boards are not expected to resume until the public health emergency is over. As local circumstances and priorities permit, the OPP Detachment Board paper is submitted for municipal discussion. This is an opportunity for municipalities to consider what the future of police governance should look like once that conversation restarts.