Wingham Police Chief Tim Poole looks on as North Huron council debates policing options ( file photo)

North Huron Votes To Keep Wingham Police Service

The Wingham Police Service will continue to police the town of Wingham after council voted against accepting an Ontario Provincial Police cost proposal.

Council voted 6-1, with Councillor Trevor Seip as the lone “no”.

The OPP submitted an updated cost proposal in the final hour to try to tip the scales in their favour, but ultimately it was not enough to convince other council members to vote to disband the Wingham service and switch to the OPP.

“You get what you pay for,” said Reeve Neil Vincent. “I think level of service is one place that they can really have some say into it by having a police services board for the current Wingham police.”

Wingham Ward Councillor Yolanda Ritsema-Teeninga says she was worried about what the cost of having the OPP cover the area would look like after three years.

“We don’t know what the final numbers are going to be. There have not been a lot of municipalities who have gone through this process. And I think we need time to look and see, for those municipalities that go through it, see what the numbers are after year three and year five and perhaps then revisit it,” says Ritsema-Teeninga.

Wingham police Chief Tim Poole hopes that now council has voted for the Wingham Police Service to remain, that a discussion is held about increasing the number of on-duty officers, noting Wingham is the only local force in Ontario that has only one on-duty officer on at all times, instead of two officers which is the norm across the province.