As a resident of Deep River (35+ years), and a retired member of the Deep River Police Service, I have been keenly following the costing process currently underway.
Much of the focus has been on cost, when I believe the primary issue is service level.
The Deep River Police Service provides a stand-alone service level dedicated to the town of Deep River.
The Ontario Provincial Police provides an integrated service level which may provide a patrol zone level of service to Deep River as well as their other communities.
In the last police costing process in Deep River, the town was provided with a number of costing options from the OPP, which included a stand-alone service level. On the stand-alone option the OPP was more expensive.
The OPP no longer provide a stand-alone cost in part because they appear to be more expensive, and the integrated model works better for how they function.
There is a price to be paid for the level of service being provided.
The information provided with the policing survey indicates that Deep River policing costs have increased from $566,527 in 2000 to $1,449,579 in 2015.
There are a variety of reasons why police costs have increased, including internal accounting such as accommodation costs.
The numbers and graphs don’t mean much without some appropriate context.
A fairer and more accurate assessment of cost increases would be to consider what percentage of the overall budget is being expended on policing.
I don’t know whether costs have increased, decreased, or remained the same, as an overall percentage of the town budget.
Knowing this would be helpful in giving context to the costs of policing in Deep River. We may find that the overall costs of the stand-alone model have not increased much, or at all.
Maintaining a dedicated policing model at or close to current overall percentage of the budget could be the best deal versus an integrated model at a reduced price. As we have all heard, “you get what you pay for.”
To the men and women of the Deep River Service, thank you for your continuing service to our community.
Chief of Police (retired)
Deep River Police Service