Bruce County council rejects study on policing options

( OPP file photo)

There will not be a county-wide police force in Bruce County any time soon.

County council voted 5-3 to reject a request from South Bruce Peninsula council to explore the feasibility of policing options at the county level, although the discussion may have opened a potential partnership at the municipal level.

South Bruce Peninsula Mayor Janice Jackson said she accepts the decision of county council.  She pointed out the request came about in an effort to reduce the cost of policing on taxpayers, adding they have no issues with the quality of service currently provided by the OPP.

South Bruce Peninsula approached Saugeen Shores during the previous council term regarding a quote for service from the Saugeen Shores Police Service, but Saugeen Shores declined to proceed.

It’s an option worth revisiting, according to Jackson.

“So definitely I’ll take that back to our council and if we decide to pursue [approaching Saugeen Shores] a second time, I would be happy to lead that charge,” said Jackson.

Saugeen Shores police Chief Mike Bellai attended Thursday’s council meeting and said if the political will is there, he has no problem providing a quote for service to any neighbouring municipality.

“We’re open to different municipalities coming to us and speaking with us about perhaps providing policing needs to them, we have no issues with that,” said Bellai.