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Opinion: OPP costing. If it ain’t broke, why try to fix it?

The reality is that police, fire, all emergency services are very expensive because of demands made on the serving individual, the cost of training, cost of equipment, hours worked, family events missed and the list is long
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north bay police building logo and slater sign turl 2017
North Bay police headquarters.

By Colin Vezina, North Bay.

The issue of police service in North Bay is an election topic for some political aspirants and they have every right to raise the issue. Any issue. But it’s an old issue that has been studied again and again, especially in the past decade or so.

People are properly worried about cost of service, but as a former Police Board member, four years as chairman, the figures showed at that time that OPP costing was well beyond the cost of our own police service operation.

The community of Callander went through this exercise in the late 1990s and switched service from the OPP to North Bay Police and found it cheaper and the personal service level greater.

One of the major differences with a municipal service and a provincial service is that the municipal men and women make their home in North Bay and area and retire here. Their families are raised here and many stay here. The OPP personnel are often moved from detachment to detachment and that personal contact with the public served is subsequently much less evident. Talk to the people, especially the young people in Callander about personal contact and friendly relationship with North Bay Police officers who patrol their area and attend public functions while on patrol!

The OPP men and women are as professional and dedicated as one could hope for but they and their service are incredibly expensive. Look at West Nipissing right now and the tug of war going on between those who prefer the municipal service for varied reasons.

The reality is that police, fire, all emergency services are very expensive because of demands made on the serving individual, the cost of training, cost of equipment, hours worked, family events missed and the list is long. Not everyone is attracted to police work and not everyone can be successful as a police officer. A major attraction is a good salary. That just makes sense. If we want the best, we compete.

North Bay Police Service is second to none in municipal work and is led by a very accomplished and dedicated Chief, born and raised in North Bay and who is fully supported by his sworn and civilian staff.

This OPP vs. city service has been worked to death by some politicians,  so let’s just get over it and carry on. If it ain’t broke, why try to fix it?

Colin Vezina




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