Future Of Amherstburg’s Policing Could Come Sooner Than Expected

BlackburnNews.com file photo.

A little good luck means the Town of Amherstburg will not have wait as long as expected to make a decision on the future of policing in the municipality.

“A couple of other councils bailed on their costing request [to the Ontario Provincial Police], so we literally just moved up the list,” says Mayor Aldo DiCarlo. “We were like, third, fourth down the list. They were talking at least another couple of years before they got to us.”

DiCarlo says the town could have the OPP’s costing for providing policing in Amherstburg by the end of the summer or early fall.

Once councillors have that estimate in hand, it will have six months to make a decision, so DiCarlo says it will be the current council that will decide whether to make the switch, go with another policing service, or maintain its municipal police.

“Unless we want to go through the whole process again, by the looks of it, it will have to be decided by this council,” he says.

A committee that is considering the town’s policing options has also sent Requests for Proposals to the Windsor Police Service and the LaSalle Police Service.

If councillors opt to sign a contract with another police service, DiCarlo says officers with Amherstburg police will not lose their jobs.

“The standard practice is that all active officers unless they want to retire… or just want to do something else, will all be offered a job as long as they have clean records,” explains DiCarlo. “As far as I know, all our officers have great records.”

He says the transition from a local force to a new provider will vary, but if council chooses the OPP, it will take about a year.