Ontario municipalities and OPP face rising policing costs

An Ontario Provincial Police cruiser sits on a near a highway in Belleville, Ont., in this Jan. 16,...

An Ontario Provincial Police cruiser sits on a near a highway in Belleville, Ont., in this Jan. 16, 2013 file photo. (QMI Agency files)

Jennifer O'Brien, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 5:15 PM ET

Part 1 of 2-part feature: Police spending in Ontario

LONDON, Ont. — Response times are fine, crime is plummeting and the service provided is good, mayors of the 324 communities policed by the Ontario Provincial Police agree — but there’s a big problem.

The cost is killing them.

As municipalities wrestle with increasingly unmanageable police budgets, the issue — brought to a head with the recently announced 8.55% raise for 6,300 OPP officers — has reached a breaking point in some rural communities.

Mayors of municipalities that switched to OPP to save money on administration and equipment updates — dozens have traded in local forces during the past two decades — say their towns are scraping by to pay the bills.

Told they must pay anyway, they want change.

And they have suggestions: Pull policing out of the municipal budget or give municipalities a say.


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