Orangeville pulls the plug on its policing service

BARRIE — The politicking is over, the debating is done.

Orangeville town council decided to change policing services on Monday night.

"I think we did a much more thorough investigation, and the result is in the vote last night," Orangeville Mayor Sandy Brown says.

Council voted 6-1 in favour of pulling the plug on the Orangeville Police Service (OPS) and transitioning to the OPP. But before the changeover can take place, the town must apply to the province to disband the OPS.

"They want to make sure those affected by job losses – and there will be some job losses – receive fair and equitable severance packages, and that will be part of this application process," Brown explains.

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According to officials with the OPP, all uniformed officers with the OPS will be offered the opportunity to work for the provincial police force. Officers will be required to complete four weeks of training at the OPP Academy in Orillia. Those hired on will return to Orangeville if they choose to do so.

The town‘s existing police station will also need $1.1 million in modifications before the OPP can utilize the building.

The OPS has served the community for over a century.

The mayor says it came down to a business decision to save taxpayers millions. "It really speaks to fiscal sustainability for the town. We believe through the costing exercise and consultation, the service level provided by the OPP will be as high, or better than the OPS is providing right now for significantly less cost."

There is no specific timeline, but transitioning the police forces could take six to seven months. The OPP says many of the officers will be familiar faces around town.

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