The North Bay Police Association is preparing to release its list of recommended candidates for the upcoming municipal election.
It continues to review responses to a questionnaire it sent out to all municipal candidates.
The issue of OPP costing was a topic of conversation around the council table and is of particular interest to association members.
Association President Aaron Northrup says it is important that people know the difference between municipal policing and detachment policing.
“It’s never a shot against the OPP or the OPP officers, but it’s a different level of service. We feel we’re your coaches, your friends, your next door neighbours. We’re in the community and it’s really important for us to get out there and get into this election,” said Northrup.
“There are many issues. We spoke with many of the council candidates, as well as mayoral candidates and there’s no surprise that because North Bay is a hub, especially with mental health and the hospital, that we may have more mental health calls than some of the other centres, but we have the regional hospital, so we’re looking at that,” said Northrup.
“We had great meetings with the council candidates with more supports for police service because again, what happens quite often is when people don’t know what to do, they call police. We’re police officers, we’re not social workers, we’re not mental health workers, we’re not nurses or doctors. But we’re tied up with people at the hospital who need care that the police just don’t deliver.”
The list is expected to be released Saturday.
“We’ve been working with candidates right up until last night, one of our members was meeting with people. So there will be a press release and ads put out of who we support,” said Northrup.
In an interview with Baytoday earlier in the week, Northrup said it's about the jobs. The municipal police service has 160 members, of which about 60 are civilian.