(BlackburnNews.com photo)

North Huron Council Hears More Opinions About Policing

An admission from North Huron’s reeve has changed the conversation when it comes to policing in Wingham and the surrounding area.

Reeve Neil Vincent revealed during Monday’s council meeting that as many as four neighbouring municipalities have shown interest in being covered by an expanded Wingham Police Service.

Growing the Wingham Police Service has been the third of three options for North Huron Council.  The other two options being considered are for the Wingham Police Service to remain as it is, or for the OPP to handle all calls in the Wingham ward.

Vincent stressed that despite the new information, this remains a “Wingham issue”.

Councillor Ray Hallahan said residents of Blyth/East Wawanosh are happy with their current coverage, and there is little desire for expansion of Wingham police to cover these areas among the residents he has talked to.

Hallahan claimed police coverage costs for residents in Blyth/East Wawanosh would “more than double” if those residents went with an expanded Wingham Police Service instead of the current OPP coverage.

A representative from the Wingham Business Improvement Area, Doug Kuyvenhoven, said the BIA strongly opposes the proposal to move to the OPP.

Kuyvenhoven says slow response times, safety of workers during late hours, and other municipalities regretting the switch to OPP in the past are the key reasons the Wingham BIA has a firm stance of wanting to keep the Wingham Police Service.

North Huron will hold another public meeting on policing in Wingham and the surrounding area on Monday, February 26 at the Town Hall Theatre in Wingham, beginning at 7pm.