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Wednesday, December 18, 2019

Hanover Wants To Talk Police Amalgamation

Hanover | by Robyn Garvey  

Hanover would like to resume talks with West Grey exploring the possibility of a police amalgamation.

Hanover would like to resume talks with West Grey exploring the possibility of a police amalgamation.

The talks began in 2016 with the establishment of a Hanover West Grey Police Task.

That task force retained the services of a consultant who produced a report in 2017 that showed the feasibility of amalgamating the two police services.

According to the consultant's report an amalgamated police service could save at least 650 thousand dollars annually which is 11 percent of the combined budgets.

The report says Hanover Deputy Mayor Selwyn Hicks also noted that there would be no reduction to the current level of service enjoyed by both municipalities, in fact he says the reports says the level of service would exceed the standards of the Police Services Act.

Hicks says other benefits identified in the consultant's report include:

-reduction in overtime costs

-enhanced coverage and enhance capacity to deal with extreme emergency events

-increased ability for specialization in areas such as crime investigations, drugs and street crime

- more opportunities for officers to receive specialized training and diversity in their jobs to enhance morale

He adds a sub-committee of the task force estimated the combined savings to the taxpayers of Hanover and West Grey would be 3.2 million by 2026 and 9.4 million by 2036.

Given the significant promise of cost savings, the assurance that there would be no reduction in the level of service and the added benefits of additional training opportunities and increases ability for specialization, Hicks believes Hanover and West Grey owe it to their ratepayers to continue to explore the possibility of a police amalgamation.

As such, Hanover Council is sending a letter to the Municipality of West Grey expressing interest in reconvening the discussions of the Police Services Amalgamation Task Force.

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