Essex Council Discusses OPP Contract

Mayor Ron McDermott discussed with Essex Town Council the enhancement to their OPP contract to have a community liaison officer based in Essex Feb. 22. The contract will cost $176,000 for the Town of Essex. (Photo by Caleb Workman)

The Town of Essex is tabling a recommendation to receive and reestablish a contract with the OPP.

The motion to table the $176,000 annual contract for a community and media liaison OPP representative will be held until a further date.

Councilor Bill Caixeiro says the position acts as a chief for the town as if they had their own municipal police force.

“What we were discussing was adding an enhancement to our contract,” says Caixerio. “It had been decided by council that we were going to bring back the enhancement.”

The enhancement will pay for the full contract of the position but council is still figuring out how overtime pay will be dealt with, which is the main reason council is pushing back the item. There is also no defined limit on overtime, so Caixerio says this will be discussed in later meetings.

Among the councilors who supported the motion the table is councilor Steve Bjorkman who says the overtime pay is something they want to make sure they understand completely.

“What we were discussing tonight was the clarification that any of the overtime we can expect is already built into that contract price,” said Bjorkman.

The contract is treated separate from the current OPP contract to have them serve in Essex.

The general OPP contract pays for professional policing and also additional support and services including child exploitation investigators, aviation services and drug enforcement.

“It’s over and above the formula as it stands,” said Caixerio. “There’s a base amount that we pay and there is calls for service, so this is over and above that amount.”

Council will look into the information they have received regarding the contract and discuss the item further in following council meetings.