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.