Council Turns Down OPP Traffic Enforcement Position

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No Additional Help Coming our Way for Speeding Complaints

In a healthy debate tonight Essex Council held a recorded vote which was 4-4 , a failed vote to add to our OPP contract.

Councillors Bondy, Verbeek, Bowman and Meloche voted to add an extra position to our OPP compliment to help reduce speeding in our municipality. Mayor Snively, Councillor Garon, Bjorkman and Vander Doelen voted against the position with valid comments primarily stating this should already be part of their contract. And it SHOULD but it has not been no matter how much we ask. It was time to do more and finally make headway with this top safety concern. We failed to do that tonight, in my opinion.

Deputy Mayor Richard Meloche said he had received complaints about speeding since his time on council and there has never been a solution so he was willing to try out the new position.

Councillor Verbeek the Police Service Board chair was also in support saying our current allotment of officers does not allow for as much traffic enforcement as we would like with officers responding to other calls.

A budget number of $197,000 for the first year (2022) and then the cost would be reduced to approx. $176,000 the following years for just the position salary.

Councillor Bowman who also sits on the Police Service Board agreed and Councillor Bondy said she finally wants to see some solution to this top complaint in the town. We pay the lowest amount for policing in the Region and we have one of the biggest and hardest municipalities to police. We have done everything possible to reduce speeding and I have zoomed into the Police Service Board meetings for over a year and saw how the Board has tried to tackle speeders.

After it was brought up that we should reduce the proposed tax increase this year by putting the $197, 000 back into residents pockets but majority of council wanted to hold onto it until we debated the Capital budget in more detail. So stay tuned as Council returns in January to further debate the Capital budget.

This Position Came Recommended to Council by the Police Service Board.

Minutes of the Police Service Board held : Thursday, August 12, 2021 10:15 a.m. – 11:15 a.m.

“Moved by Member Tapping
Seconded by Member Robertson
That the Committee recommend the Enhancement to the O.P.P Contract to add a
Traffic Enforcement Officer and that the position be included in the 2022 budget.”

See the full minutes below:

Regional Municipalities Budget for Policing 2020: