Perth Mayor John Fenik will be playing a game of blackjack with the OPP.
The mayor and his negotiating team have come up with 21 suggestions, “a number of items we would like for the OPP to consider for the contract,” said Fenik, during the police transition meeting at the Perth town council chambers on Friday, Sept. 28.
“You folks take a look at it and tell us what you think,” Fenik said. “We think that they are very reasonable and do-able… We’ve put a lot of thought into the items we’ve put forward to you.”
The meeting also heard that, following a human resources committee meeting with the town’s legal counsel, as the merger between the two forces continued to proceed; the committee had identified four main personnel groups that needed to be dealt with, including:
- The Perth Police Service dispatch department
- Perth police Chief Pat Capello
- Uniformed officers likely to make the transition to the OPP
- Uniformed officers likely to retire before the transition
“We will be contacting the (police) association and the civilians,” Fenik said. “It’s imperative that we have a transition date in place so that we can move forward.”
Many of the details of personnel issues will, however, remain in camera, according to the mayor.
“We will continue on with it as an in camera item until we have a contract,” he said.
OPP Const. Paul Legault reported that the “Section 40” brief, required for the Ontario Commission on Police Services (OCOPS) hearing later this year, is slated to be with the town by Friday, Oct. 5. Lanark County OPP detachment commander Insp. Gerry Salisbury said that personnel issues should be settled before the hearing. Legault also reported that while the Perth dispatchers could not absorbed directly in to the OPP’s communications centre in Smiths Falls, a testing day had been set aside just for Perth dispatchers interested in a position. Legault also noted that rank determination would be made for Perth officers crossing over to the OPP would be made after the OCOPS hearing, and that Perth police Chief Pat Capello was even welcome to apply, though his rank determination would also have to be looked at after the OCOPs hearing.
In terms of disposing of the Perth service’s assets, Deputy Mayor John Gemmell reported that, “if it is within the four walls of the police service, we want to look at it.”
“If there are items we can purchase from you, we will,” said Legault.
Gemmell also noted that the last audit of Perth police records was five years old and needed to be updated.
Capello noted that, when it comes to files, he wants to “marry up what we do with what the OPP does regarding record retention,” though Capello added that, “your records retention probably mirrors ours.”
While open case files will be brought over to the OPP, Legault pointed out that when it comes to things like closed case files, “many of the files, they will stay with the municipality. They are their property,” though if the records are disposed of, they will have to taken care of properly since “there is privileged and sensitive information in there.”