The Renfrew and Arnprior detachments of the Ontario Provincial Police could amalgamate in 2013.
At the Nov. 6 meeting of the local Community Police Advisory Council, Horton councillor Glen Campbell said he was told the proposal could be realized as early as January 2013.
“Efficiencies are one of our goals within the organization,” Staff-Sgt. Colin Slight, commander of the Renfrew OPP, told The Renfrew Mercury EMC.
“At this point in time we’re looking for efficiencies and cost-saving measures, and amalgamation of detachments is one of the things being looked at.”
Slight stressed that no final decision has been made, but that if the amalgamation does happen it would likely occur in 2013.
The number of officer and civilian employees is about 45 in the Renfrew detachment and about 15 in Arnprior, says Staff-Sgt. Slight. At present, the Arnprior detachment polices the Town of Arnprior, while the Renfrew detachment is responsible for policing in Renfrew, and the townships of Greater Madawaska, McNab-Braeside, Admaston-Bromley, Horton and about half of Whitewater Region Township.
If the proposal is approved, Campbell said the OPP would retain its Arnprior office, but administrative personnel would operate out of the Renfrew OPP.
Arnprior’s platoon of officers, which are mainly out of Stittsville and Kanata, would remain housed in the Arnprior division, added Campbell.
Any amalgamated detachment would be headed up by Staff-Sgt. Slight.
If the amalgamation happens, Campbell says there would be no negative operational impact or increased cost to Horton Township for police services.
Depending on whether it’s Horton or other local municipalities, there would be an estimated decrease in police costs of two to 15 per cent.
“Again, it’s a proposal. From what we’re hearing and what they’re proposing, there’s no negative impact. The Arnprior officers are still in Arnprior, and the Renfrew officers are still in Renfrew. Some that are not familiar with each area will be crossed over so they learn the areas.
“It’s not a new concept,” said Campbell, offering the example of the Killaloe-Whitby amalgamation, for which Killaloe serves as the host and Whitby as the satellite detachment.