OPP to look at standardizing policing costs
Police official notes current system of payment for OPP police services is complicated
The OPP says it wants to standardize how municipalities pay for policing, as the existing system leaves some communities paying hundreds of dollars more per household than others.
Currently, communities are billed on the basis of projected costs in the coming year.
OPP commissioner Chris Lewis says the new billing system would include a flat fee "that gets you the bricks and mortar of the OPP, and the basic infrastructure of the OPP and some basic services. And, beyond that you would pay more depending on workload."
Lewis says communities with high crime rates — or those that want extra hours — would be billed for the required services.
He said the current system is so complicated, even he doesn't understand why some communities currently pay so much.
"Communities like Red Lake in northwestern Ontario pay unusually high costs," he said. "And, I can't even explain how all that works."
Atikokan Mayor Dennis Brown said he likes the concept of standardized costs.
"It's about time," he said. "As a small community, paying well over $600-$700 per household just doesn't seem fair."
Brown said he looks forward to seeing how much might be saved when the new pricing comes into effect.