MINUTES

OTTAWA-CARLETON POLICE SERVICES BOARD

CHAMPLAIN ROOM

22 DECEMBER 1997

5:00 P.M.

PRESENT

Chair: Mr. P. Vice

Vice Chair: Mr. A. Bouwers

Members: Mr. G. Baskerville, Ms. A. Boudreau, Regional Chair B. Chiarelli,

Councillor H. Kreling, Councillor J. Legendre

 

CONFIRMATION OF MINUTES

That the Ottawa-Carleton Regional Police Services Board confirm the Minutes of the 24 November 1997 meeting.

CARRIED

 

SWEARING-IN OF NEW BOARD MEMBERS

Regional Chair B. Chiarelli, Councillor H. Kreling and Councillor J. Legendre were officially sworn-in as members of the Ottawa-Carleton Regional Police Services Board.

 

INQUIRIES

1. Draft Official Languages Policy

Councillor Legendre referenced the draft Official Languages Policy that the Police Service plans to present to the Board in the Spring of 1998. He hoped it could be circulated to the francophone community and the RMOCís French Language Services Committee for comment prior to being finalized. The Board concurred and staff agreed to undertake this.

 

2. Board Meetings in Various Communities

Councillor Legendre noted Board meetings had been held in various locations across the Region in 1995 and suggested the Board consider the possibility of doing so again. He requested that staff prepare a report to be presented to the Board at an early date addressing the philosophy of holding Police Services Board meetings in the community. He suggested one option might be to try to meet in each municipality in the Region over a three-year period. Vice Chair Bouwers suggested also finding out which communities would like to have the Board come out. Chair Vice noted the Board must also be cognizant of the cost such meetings would incur.

3. Red-Light Intersection Camera/Municipal Photo Radar Report

Councillor Legendre referenced a report prepared by the Peel Regional Police Services Board and forwarded to all "Big 12" Regional Police Boards in Ontario regarding the implementation of red light intersection cameras and municipal photo radar. He noted the report is to be presented to the Board at its next meeting. It contains recommendations that the Board support in principle the use of red light intersection cameras and that it await the results of a comprehensive pilot project in Peel, prior to proceeding in its own community. He requested that the report scheduled to come forward in January include a recommendation for a pilot project in Ottawa-Carleton attuned to the needs of this community.

Chief Ford stated he would have to meet with representatives of the Regionís Transportation Department because they are taking the lead on this subject. Councillor Legendre suggested that additional information be sought from the Region of Peel such as the proposal for their pilot project, and issues involving current provincial law; i.e. whether they will be allowed to issue tickets.

4. Rogerís Television Program on Policing Issues

On behalf of a constituent, Councillor Legendre inquired about the possibility of creating, in collaboration with Rogersí Cable, a local television program which would look at policing issues such as crime prevention, community policing, safety, or break-ins. With the concurrence of the Board, the Councillor undertook to follow-up with his constituent to determine whether Rogerís would be amenable to the idea.

5. John Howard Society Invitation

Councillor Legendre made reference to a letter he had received from the John Howard Society offering to give a presentation to some members of the Board. He inquired how the Board was planning to respond to the invitation.

As other members of the Board had not received the invitation, Councillor Legendre agreed to have copies made available to them.

Chair Vice was receptive to the idea and encouraged the John Howard Society to make its presentation to the full Board at a regularly scheduled meeting.

6. Streamlining Communications between Police and Judiciary

Councillor Legendre referenced a situation in which a constituent had his vehicle stolen more than once. Although the vehicle was recovered, the owner subsequently received a number of traffic violation fines for which he had to go to court. He inquired about the possibility of improving communications between the police and the judiciary so individuals would not have to go to court in such situations. Chair Vice asked the Chief to take the request under advisement.

 

ITEMS OF BUSINESS

1. PUBLIC COMPLAINTS REPORT (AS OF NOVEMBER 1997)

- Chiefís report dated 11 Dec 97

Councillor Legendre was surprised that 7 of the 17 complaints were withdrawn and felt this ratio was high. Inspector R. Brzozowski, Professional Standards Division, acknowledged that this monthís report has an unusually high percentage but assured the Board the average rate of withdrawal is less than 10%. He stated categorically that complainants are never pressured to withdraw their complaints, but that sometimes a third party may come forward with additional information that causes the complainant to change their mind.

Chief Ford noted any complainant who is dissatisfied with the outcome of their complaint or who feels pressured to withdraw it has the option of bringing their complaint to the Ontario Civilian Commission on Police Services (OCCPS). Member Boudreau inquired how many of the withdrawn complaints in 1996 proceeded to OCCPS. Insp. Brzozowski undertook to obtain and circulate that information to the Board.

That the Ottawa-Carleton Police Services Board receive this report for information.

RECEIVED

 

 

2. POLICE SERVICES AMENDMENT ACT - PART V COMPLAINTS

- Chiefís report dated 18 Dec 97

Chair Vice explained this is an interim report and that a final report will be coming forward at the next meeting for approval. Vice Chair Bouwers, who has been involved with this issue on behalf of the Ontario Association of Police Services Boards (OAPSB), commented that the OAPSB and the Big 12 police boards had shared the cost of hiring a lawyer to draft a generic policy and by-law. However, some differences of opinion remain between the boards and the chiefs in terms of authority, and these must be worked out before a final report comes forward.

Councillor Legendre noted the police were well represented on the working group proposed in the report but that the public were not. He therefore felt that he and the Board had a responsibility to ensure the publicís interests were represented.

Councillor Legendre inquired about the public complaints brochures produced by the Province, and requested that Board members receive copies in both official languages as soon as they are available.

That the Ottawa-Carleton Police Services Board receive this report for information.

RECEIVED

 

3. HAZELDEAN COMMUNITY POLICE CENTRE LEASE

- Commissioner, Planning and Development Approvals Department report dated 10 Dec 97

Chair Vice inquired why 600 square feet of space is being included in the contract if it is not needed. Pam Mills, RMOC Property Services, explained the lease is retroactive to 1996 and is therefore for 1800 square feet as this is the amount of space that has been occupied since that time. Chair Vice and Vice Chair Bouwers wanted assurances that as of January 1/98, the lease would be for 1200 square feet only. Ms. Mills assured the Board the contract will be amended accordingly.

Councillor Legendre requested a summary of all costs for community police centres in the Region, so comparisons can be made. S. Kanellakos stated he would present that information to the Board.

That the Ottawa-Carleton Police Services Board receive this report for information.

RECEIVED

 

4. COSTING ESTIMATES FOR OPP OFFICERS

- Board Secretaryís report dated 17 Dec 97 and attached letter from

OPP Inspector L. Beechey dated 08 Dec 97

That the Ottawa-Carleton Police Services Board receive this report for information, to be included in the 1998 budget estimates.

RECEIVED

 

5. REQUEST FROM COUNCILLOR B. HILL RE: ONE-YEAR DELAY

OF EXTENSION OF REGIONAL POLICE INTO RURAL TOWNSHIP

- Board Secretaryís report and attached report from Councillor B. Hill dated 17 Dec 97

Moved by B. Chiarelli

That the Ottawa-Carleton Police Services Board re-consider its decision not to delay the extension of Regional Police into the rural townships.

CARRIED

Councillor Hill felt a responsibility, as the Regional Councillor representing three of the four rural townships, to ask the Board to reconsider its decision to proceed with the extension of Regional policing into the townships. Furthermore, she did not feel the Mayors had received a fair hearing at the previous meeting and maintained that no facts or figures were offered to substantiate the Boardís decision.

She explained that the townships have formed a rural alliance and have made a presentation to the Citizenís Panel requesting that they be allowed to opt-out of regional government. The Councillor felt the extension of Regional policing into the rural townships should be delayed until a decision is made by the Citizenís Panel. She believed that, should the Citizenís Panel approve the rural allianceís request, it is likely the townships will want to reverse such a transition.

Councillor Hill stated that Councilís direction was to implement a plan for the assumption of policing from the OPP should this be practicable. She wondered about the cost of extending policing into the rural townships and noted the full impact of provincial downloading is not yet known and the Police Service could help the Region meet its budget requirements by not extending this service unnecessarily. She requested that the Board consider the costs and the implications to both the Regional and the Police Service budgets.

Chair Chiarelli thought it more than hypothetical that rural townships might leave the Region. He noted there are a number of strong advocates working towards that change. He wondered what the expenditure and status of transition would be should it become clear by January 1st, 1999 that some or all of the rural townships would be leaving.

D. Frazer reminded the Board that the decision regarding how the costs for policing in rural areas would be phased into the police services budget flowed out of Councilís decision to introduce a region-wide mill rate for policing in 1995. She added, the biggest component that hadnít been included in police finances to that point was the contract for police services with the OPP. She explained that at that time, it was agreed that $12.1M of costs would flow into the Police Service budget over the next five years to create a budget base for policing in those areas. Regional Council agreed to a five year phase-in program, about $1.7M annually, and that is the basis on which OPP policing costs have come into the Regional Police Service budget. Ms. Frazer noted that regardless of who does the policing, those costs will flow in at $1.7M annually to adjust to actual levels at the end of the phase-in period.

Vice Chair Bouwers, though recognizing the concerns of the mayors of the Rural Alliance, expressed surprise that in recent newspaper articles they have linked public safety to the regionalization of police services. He indicated the Board has committed to maintaining officer complements at each changeover. He stressed the safety of residents and officers has always been a primary objective of the Board and the Executive. He maintained his recommendation to not delay extending Regional Police into the rural areas and reiterated that the decision followed from a sensible, open and extensive consultation process. Vice Chair Bouwers stated the Ontario Civilian Commission on Police Services (OCCPS) not only approved the changeovers, but also the time-table. He explained that the Police Service has 25 recruits heading to the Ontario Police College so that they will be ready and available to fill staffing needs in Osgoode and Rideau, and OPP officers have already declared their intent to join the Ottawa-Carleton Police. He stressed that the careers and family situations of over 70 officers would be affected by any decision to delay the changeover in Osgoode and Rideau.

Member Baskerville reiterated that in November 1996, OCCPS approved the phase-in of Regional policing into the rural townships. He stated the Ottawa-Carleton Police Services Board has a mandate to provide adequate policing, and to proceed with the rural phase-in. Until such time as the Region is dissolved or re-organized, he believed the Board must proceed with its mandate. He stated that all recruitment and staffing issues have been resolved noting that requirements for advanced patrol training are now being handled locally through Algonquin Collegeís Professional Development Centre. Mr. Baskerville explained the cost elements that were identified during the public consultation process are still valid, adding the province will be issuing a regulation on the costing formula for OPP service. Under the formula, all municipalities will have to pay the over-head costs of their local OPP detachments and the OPP bureau in Orillia, in addition to paying for service. In light of that, Mr. Baskerville thought it all the more timely to proceed with the transition of the Regional Police into the rural townships. He stated that public safety and the level of service have not been compromised and believed the Regional Policeís service delivery model would enhance community policing in the rural areas. In closing, he re-stated that the careers of a large number of officers remain in limbo until this issue is resolved. He noted, the townships are asking for a one-year delay but without knowing what the timetable will be for municipal restructuring, or even if it would take place, he believed that granting the request would only result in facing the same situation again next year.

Chair Chiarelli wished to clarify what effect a delay would have on the Police Services budget. Ms. D. Frazer indicated that regardless of whether or not the transition proceeds, the mill rate will go up by $1.7M to pay for the services whether they are provided by the Regional Police or the OPP.

Councillor Legendre wondered what the impact would be to the rural taxpayers. Ms. Frazer indicated there would be no difference in the impact on rural taxpayers. She reiterated there is $12.5M worth of OPP policing happening across the Region, the cost of which is being phased-in regardless.

In response to a question from Chair Vice, D. White, RMOC Legal Department, explained that a recent amendment to the Police Services Act, introduced by Bill 105, provides that in the absence of a contract, the OPP are obligated to provide policing with the costs to be established by regulation. However, without a contract, the Region would not know what costs it would be facing for OPP policing. A. Bouwers believed it would be higher than previous agreements because the OPP are now able to add items such as overhead into their costing.

Chair Chiarelli asked whether the rural townships would have the option of terminating a contract with the regional police and enter into a contract with the OPP should they separate from the Region. It was confirmed that in the event of a separation, the rural townships would be free to choose.

Councillor Legendre noted the recent expenditure for a new radio communication system is an example of a cost that will not be lessened in the event of a delay.

Member Boudreau inquired, in the event of a one-year delay, what would happen to the OPP officers who have declared their commitment to transfer and the new recruits who have been hired and are on their way to the Ontario Police College. She expressed serious concerns about the timelines for a decision from the Citizenís Panel. Insp. Beechey stated the officers who have committed to the Region will not be impacted. Officers who have requested transfers out of the Region have not received commitments and would simply have to wait a little longer. In terms of the 25 recruits recently hired, Chief Ford stated the Board would have to apply to OCCPS to have them laid-off.

Member Baskerville believed the Board would also be required by regulation to apply to OCCPS to have any changes in the phase-in timetable approved. D. Wilson, RMOC Legal Department, confirmed that in order to downsize the force or to make changes to the approved transition plan, the Board would have to re-apply to OCCPS.

Councillor Hill maintained that Bill 143 does not require that the Regional Police move into the townships. She felt the request to delay was a reasonable one and asked the Board to reconsider its decision.

Chair Chiarelli asked what contractual obligations had been made toward OPP officers transferring to the Regional force. Vice Chair Bouwers explained that the Board made a commitment that every OPP officer who wished to make the change could do so and would be protected in terms of salary and rank. A number of meetings were held to discuss what would happen to their pensions and salary structure. He also reiterated the Boardís commitment to providing equal or better service at the same cost or less.

Councillor Hill noted the rural townships put forward eight questions with regard to the transition plans and no answers were ever received. She questioned such issues as the number of officers, the number of detachments, the locations of detachments, capital start-up costs and how they will be funding and on-going operating costs. Vice Chair Bouwers indicated those questions had been addressed in a report presented to the Board in June, 1996.

Mayor Glenn Brooks, Township of Rideau questioned the estimated savings forecasted by the Police Service. Ms. Frazer stated there would be a region-wide saving of approximately $300,000 by the end of the phase-in period. Mayor Brooks maintained that the public, in rural townships, do not want regional policing.

Chair Vice noted the most vocal opposition to regional policing originally came from Rockcliffe Park. He asked Councillor Legendre what feedback he had received from the community since the amalgamation. Councillor Legendre stated he could relate to Mayor Brooksí feelings, but believed the people of Rockcliffe Park now have the kind of presence they wanted, the same officers serving their community, and a higher level of service with 24 hour coverage. He felt there was general acceptance and satisfaction.

Councillor Legendre agreed it was not an unreasonable request. He understood the concern of the rural alliance which sees the transition as pre-empting the governance issue. However, he argued that delaying would be pre-empting the governance debate in the other direction. He also noted that while a delay was not a cost issue for rural taxpayers, it would be for Regional taxpayers. For those reasons, he did not support the request.

Councillor Kreling agreed that to delay would not be a cost saving to the Region. He believed that if the argument is made that the transition of policing services would pre-empt the governance issue, then it could be argued that at least 70% of our core services also pre-empt that debate already. He added that within OPP policed areas, arising issues require communication with Toronto or Orillia, and this takes more time then if problems can be addressed locally. The Councillor did not support delaying the transition into rural townships.

Vice Chair Bouwers recognized the Regionís unpopularity in the rural communities but felt that in this instance, the townships could benefit. He noted that when OPP policing was free to the rural townships, he too supported keeping the OPP. However, now that the townships have to pay for their policing, he believed they would be better served and at a lower cost by the Regional Police. He also noted the Region is already funding community policing in the rural townships.

Moved by B. Chiarelli

That the Ottawa-Carleton Police Services Board delay the extension of Regional Police into the rural townships.

LOST

YEAS: B. Chiarelli ..... 1

NAYS: G. Baskerville, A. Boudreau, A. Bouwers, H. Kreling, J. Legendre, P. Vice ..... 6

 

6. REGULAR REPORT FROM THE CHIEF AND OPP INSPECTOR

- verbal update from Chief B. Ford and Inspector L. Beechey

Insp. L. Beechey indicated the OPP have been making presentations to the new Councils in their areas to provide information on general policing issues and to answer questions. He provided statistics for the Christmas/New Year Ride Program. He stated 15,400 vehicles have been checked resulting in 66 12-hour suspensions and 26 charges of impaired driving.

Chief Ford reported the following:

Councillor Legendre wondered how the statistics from the Ride program compare to previous years. Insp. Beechey believed the numbers are up from previous years.

Councillor Legendre wondered what the figures were in the urban area. Deputy Chief Mackie indicated the numbers would be available for the next meeting. He stated there has not been an increased police presence in connection with the Ride program but that figures may be affected by the times and locations of the checks. He believed the best way to impact public behaviour on this matter is through the media.

That the Ottawa-Carleton Police Services Board receive this report for information.

RECEIVED

 

IN CAMERA

That the Ottawa-Carleton Police Services Board move In Camera to discuss a personnel matter, in accordance with Section 35(4)(b) of the Police Services Act.

CARRIED

 

ADJOURNMENT

The meeting adjourned at 7:20 p.m.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

____________________________ _____________________________

W. Fedec P. Vice

Secretary Chair