Update: Police In Windsor CMA Called Inefficient

BlackburnNews.com file photo.

A study by the Fraser Institute suggests police in the Windsor census metropolitan area are the third least efficient in Canada, but Windsor’s police chief says it doesn’t make a fair comparison.

Al Frederick says the study includes police in LaSalle, Tecumseh, Lakeshore and Amherstburg, two separate municipal services and the Ontario Provincial Police. It also doesn’t include local factors like the presence of Caesars Windsor in the community. If the think tank wanted to report accurately on the efficiencies of policing, Frederick thinks it should have compared police forces and not CMAs.

He also says the study uses out of date data from Statistics Canada. It calculated the ratio of police officers for every 100,000 residents in 34 major census metropolitan areas across the country. “Our staffing level in 2011 was 466 officers,” says Frederick. “Today we have 440 officers. So there’s been a reduction of 26, and that has all occurred at the mid-management and upper-management levels over the last three years.”

The Fraser study also says police costs across Canada between 1986 and 2012 rose 45.5%, while crime fell 26.3 %, and criminal case loads fell 36.8%. Frederick admits crime is falling, but says in Windsor, costs are down 6%, and the nature of policing has changed. “There’s a number that’s thrown around quite often (that) 20% of our time as police officers is spent investigating criminal allegations and 80% of our time is spent doing other things,” he says. “Responding to mental health crisis in our community has doubled in the last five years.”

Windsor’s police services budget for 2014 is almost $74-million, or 19% of the city’s total operating budget.

Saint John, New Brunswick and Winnipeg, Manitoba are the only cities that fared worse than Windsor in the study, while Moncton, New Brunswick was the most efficient.