Leamington faces looming deadline as OPP service ends in less than a month

·2 min read
The Municipality of Leamington will discuss police service options on May 18, during its regular virtual meeting. Weighing options for police services is critical because the municipality's contract with Ontario Provincial Police ends on June 9. (CBC - image credit)
The Municipality of Leamington will discuss police service options on May 18, during its regular virtual meeting. Weighing options for police services is critical because the municipality's contract with Ontario Provincial Police ends on June 9. (CBC - image credit)

The Municipality of Leamington is faced with a looming deadline, as council needs to come to terms with which police service they will contract next.

On Tuesday, Leamington council will hold a virtual meeting — and police services are at the top of the agenda.

Leamington is currently serviced by the Ontario Provincial Police. That service is set to end on June 9, a decision made last year by Leamington council in June 2020. Councillors voted to terminate the $5.4 million contract with the OPP due to dissatisfaction with the service.

Leamington Mayor Hilda MacDonald told CBC News at the time the OPP refused to give them eight officers a shift, despite the municipality being willing to pay more.

On Sep. 8, 2020, council approved the issuing of an RFP, or a request for proposal for police services. The purpose was to analyze all of the proposals which would result in a final report from MPM Consulting to council.

The final report concluded that Windsor Police Services was the preferred proponent, but if council accepted the Windsor Police Service's proposal, a 13 per cent municipal tax rate increase in the first year or cuts to some current municipal services would be required.

Windsor Mayor Drew Dilkens was in favour of offering the Windsor Police Service to Leamington last year.
Windsor Mayor Drew Dilkens was in favour of offering the Windsor Police Service to Leamington last year.(Dan Taekema/CBC)

Last year, Windsor Mayor Drew Dilkens released a statement saying he would be happy to accommodate.

"(The) City of Windsor / Windsor Police Service Board will be pleased to participate in any process that Leamington might set up to allow us to have a conversation with them about taking this on," read an emailed statement from the mayor.

It is currently recommended that Leamington council does not accept proposals in response to the Request for Proposals for Police Services.

The OPP will continue to offer its services in Leamington until June 9.