Leamington OPP Station Hours Changing

Leamington OPP Station.(BlackburnNews.com file photo)

The Municipality of Leamington is saving an estimated $339,320 a year in policing costs with the local OPP station set to reduce its operating hours.

Council unanimously approved a move giving OPP authority to change the detachment hours from 24 hours a day, seven days a week to 8am to 4pm Monday to Friday as of April 1. However, a date for the hour change at the station hasn’t been decided yet.

“Well the economics of today’s policing requires us to focus on budgets, accountability and developing efficiencies,” says Glen Miller, detachment commander for Essex County OPP. “Leamington OPP detachment is a 24 hour a day operation, 365 days of the year and that will not change, it has never changed.”

The decision comes despite Leamington’s agreement with the Ontario Provincial Police outlining 24/7 operating hours at the station until the end of 2015. Leamington Director of Corporate Services Brian Sweet is confident the OPP request meets their contractual obligations.

Council would have had to pay the $339,320 it’s saving in order to reclassify 4.5 positions to keep the station open 24/7. Those jobs will be paid for by the province and remain in Leamington, but through attrition, will be moved to a more centralized location in southwestern Ontario to serve as civilian data entry positions for the OPP.