Police Report for 2021

For the last couple of years, Cobourg Police have provided glossy reports with information about their performance.  The report for 2021 was released yesterday and the numbers look good.  Major achievements reported for the year are the hiring of a chief Financial Officer and a Deputy Chief plus the decision to implement body-worn cameras.  Mixed in with all the “feel-good” talk and photos, some key statistics are provided.  There are now 35 uniform members (same as last year), 26 special constables (up from 20 last year) and 11 Auxiliary (volunteers – down from 18 last year).  Calls for service dropped to 10,782 from 10,994 and 11,391 in 2019. The total operating budget of $8.8M was up 9% from 2020 but the amount that came from the taxpayer was only up 3.7% at $6.5M.  No explanation is provided on why the budget is up when calls for service have dropped but 84% of the budget goes on salaries and benefits.

The good news is that the Police are strong on providing information on KPI’s (Key Performance Indicators).  These include:

  • Criminal Investigation Branch Statistics
  • Drugs and Weapons Seizures – particularly Fentanyl, Cocaine, Crystal Methamphetamine and Oxycodone Pills
  • Working with Venture 13 – supporting innovation and the new CCTV program (more here on CCTV project – 28 Nov 2020). 
  • Community Engagement – a major focus – includes support of Cornerstone and Rebound
  • Reports on Use of Force – down from 2020
  • Tracking and reporting on complaints – unchanged from 2020 at 11
  • Crime Statistics – including percent solved – more in table below
  • Non-Crime Statistics – Police don’t just catch criminals and prevent crime – more in table below.

In addition, information is provided on organization and staffing.

Download the full report available in “Resources” below.

The proactive effort of Community Engagement is hopefully beneficial but it’s hard to measure apart from perhaps the reduced calls for service.  Below are some highlights of statistics of basic Police work – catching criminals (tables are from full report).

Cobourg Crime Statistics – 2021

Cobourg Crime Statistics 2021

Cobourg Non-Crime Statistics – 2021

Non Crime Statistics 2021

As far as I can tell, these Annual reports are new – starting in 2021 for 2020 activity.  It’s good to see transparency improving.

Separate to this report, Cobourg Police continue to provide some limited information on the geographic distribution of recent Crime with a neat interactive graphic.  Go here.

Resources

Cobourg News Blog Post

Cobourg Police

Download Police Reports from Cobourg News Blog

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45 Comments
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Mark
19 March 2022 2:06 pm

a town should not be paying for policing or fire , this should be a provincial responsibility

marya
18 March 2022 8:13 am

On our Street for 2022, there have already been more than 3 Actual Robberies that were cited for 2021. We are grateful that Cobourg Police quickly responded and that there were some positive results.

Last edited 2 months ago by marya
Deborah OConnor
17 March 2022 11:47 pm

OPP are great when it comes to highway patrol and rural areas, but when it comes to urban communities, I want my local cops on the job. They know the problem locations and who the bad guys are.

Last edited 2 months ago by Deborah OConnor
cornbread
Reply to  Deborah OConnor
18 March 2022 8:14 am

And foot patrols are down by over 50% this past year. Not good…What happened to real visibility in the downtown core?

madams@eagle.ca
Reply to  cornbread
18 March 2022 11:31 am

I see three foot patrols everyday that I am in the downtown core as well as that same amount of car patrols, which, for me, during the Winter months make sense.

Leweez
Reply to  madams@eagle.ca
18 March 2022 4:26 pm

So all municipal employees shouldn’t have to work outside in the winter?
im sure the other town departments would enjoy that same luxury

marya
Reply to  Leweez
19 March 2022 9:23 am

Yes. The reduced activity in those areas of employees are noted.

Concerned
Reply to  cornbread
19 March 2022 12:50 pm

You’ll get 0 foot patrols from OPP

Cap’n John
17 March 2022 10:06 pm

I believe that the quality and cost effectiveness of the police force will be determined by the Chief.
I have met him, and I am impressed by his professionalism, knowledge and energy.
There may be more cost effective policing options, and it is important to understand this.
But Cobourg is well served by the police force at this time.

Old Sailor
17 March 2022 6:49 pm

What thoughts do our Council members, Chief Administrative Officer and CPS Board have on our present CPS? Are they allowed to speak? It would be helpful if those in the know were encouraged to express themselves.

Dunkirk
17 March 2022 3:38 pm

In 2003, Mayor Delanty declared that we have the ‘Cadillac of Policing’ in suggestion that their unbridled expenses & share of the Town budget could not be sustained….
Twenty years later, I suppose it’s time to say we have the ‘Ferrari Testarossa of Policing’…

Pete M
Reply to  Dunkirk
17 March 2022 4:48 pm

Maybe its time to explore the option of the OPP?
Both Orangeville and Shelburne went this option.

Leweez
Reply to  Pete M
17 March 2022 7:04 pm

what exactly is the benefit of having a Cobourg police service instead of contracting it out to OPP?

Pete M
Reply to  Leweez
17 March 2022 7:59 pm

Currently there is a business services unit that has contracts to provide criminal information checks to other companies across canada.
Revenue has been used to offset capital costs- new cruisers, building repairs and upgrades etc. As well as the renovations of the Venture 13 Building, of which they are the primary tennant pay a yearly lease to the Town. Think of that relationship sort of like Holdco or LUSI.

Take the business services out of equation, I figure Opp with shared services with other Northumberland communities could be policed with 20 constables and 2 segeants. Budget probably 4m to 4.5 m per yr.

Benefit of having own police service is paying extra 2 m per year.

ben
Reply to  Pete M
17 March 2022 8:37 pm

Those who forget history are doomed to repeat it. I guess the subject of contracting out the Police is a perennial repeater. Last time around it came down to service levels as the cost was about the same. The OPP couldn’t guarantee the same service time as Cobourg – a 4 minute response.

But let’s see what the taxfighters and anti Cobourg people think this time?

Pete M
Reply to  ben
17 March 2022 10:10 pm

I suspect their are a number of residents who would say they ve called and waited more than 4 minutes over the last few years

How is it anti cobourg to want a good police service, while being fiscally responsible with the tax payers dollars?

Wally Keeler
Reply to  ben
17 March 2022 10:27 pm

anti-Cobourg people

C’mon Ben. You are alluding to the members of the Cobourg Taxpayers Association. That kind of remark is nothing more than divisive political pollution. Quite frankly. members of the CTA are very pro-Cobourg, just as you are very pro-Cobourg and I am very pro-Cobourg.

ben burd
Reply to  Wally Keeler
17 March 2022 11:30 pm

Words in my mouth wally! There a lot of different people on this board who write non supportive comments surely the CTA isn’t that big.

Wally Keeler
Reply to  ben burd
18 March 2022 10:50 pm

lot of different people on this board who write non supportive comments

So are those people the ones who are “anti-Cobourg” in your estimation? Or is it the CTA that are anti-Cobourg? If a commentator declines to support a Town policy initiative do you regard them as anti-Cobourg? The phrase “anti-Cobourg” came out of your yap — own it.

Frenchy
Reply to  Pete M
17 March 2022 10:13 pm

As well as the renovations of the Venture 13 Building, of which they are the primary tennant pay a yearly lease to the Town.

How much rent do you figure they pay every year Pete M?
Anybody?

Frenchy
Reply to  Frenchy
17 March 2022 10:22 pm

I’ll give you a hint, the answer is ZERO!

Zero.

We’ve been had.

Last edited 2 months ago by Frenchy
Bryan
Reply to  Frenchy
18 March 2022 12:56 am

Frenchy:
We’ve been had???

The Police-Corporate Services (PCS) is a business unit of the Town, the same as the marina, campground (VPC), and Northam. None of these pay rent to the town for the use of “their” facilities.

That said, I think they should “pay” rent for the purpose of performance measurement and accountability.

Also note that the PCS contributed upwards of $1M towards the general renovation costs of the V13 building. I think the accounting and disclosure of this could be more transparent.

The same applies to:
the CCC’s $4M mortgage ($275K annual payment for 10 more years)
Bld 7 Parks/Works $5.5M debt, annual payments about $600K
Waterworks water meters $2.3M debt, repayment, interest and term not disclosed

Pete M
Reply to  Bryan
18 March 2022 12:52 pm

Police Corporate Services is a business unit of the Police Service. The police service is its own separate from the Town. Directed by the Independent Police Services Board.
Yes it receives support from the Town gor HR benefits and is a line item on the Town Budget, but cannot dictate the police budget.
As such revenue (income) received by the Police Corp Services can only be used by the Police Service and cannot be directly transferred toor used by the Town

Bryan
Reply to  Pete M
18 March 2022 2:19 pm

Pete M,

The Cobourg Police Services, Police Corporate Service (PCS) and the Cobourg Police Services Board (CPSB) are all part of the Town’s corporate structure and ownership. The Police Act empowers the CPSB to set police department policy and budget line detail. Council must approve (or not) the police budget total (not line detail).
IMO, Council’s lack of control of the CPSB is due to the lack of aggressive Town leadership

You wrote: “…revenue (income) received by the Police Corp Services can only be used by the Police Service and cannot be directly transferred to/or used by the Town…” Do you have a reference for this from the Police Act? I don’t believe the business of the PCS is part of “core police services” as set out in the Police Act.

Pete M
Reply to  Bryan
18 March 2022 5:45 pm

As per Sec 4(1) of the Police sevices act. The municipality in this case is responsible for ” shall provide adequate and effective police servicesin accordance with its needs” This can be done by establishing a police service or contracting out to OPP or another police service 4(3) says municipality is responsible for providing all infastructure and administration necessary for providing such services- vehicles, boats, equipment, communication devices and supplies. So yes the town owns the cruisers and provides support thru pensions and payroll. If contracted out to opp, opp would include those costs cruisers and supplies in the annual fee. HR would go back to Province and OPP could use existing detachment, hence Town would have empty buildings Police station and V13 The important and key section of the PSA is 31(1) “A board is responsible for the PROVISION of adequate and effective police services in the municipality and shall:” The town is responsible to ensure adequate…not responsible for the delivery or provision that is the domain of the board. That is why council cant and shouldn’t exercise more control over the board. The board needs independence and directed by the political winds of council. 31(1)(a) The board appoints ( hires) the members/ officers The Town doesnt have anything to do with hiring The board negotiates with the Police assoc for contracts- not the Town 31(1)(b) the board in consultation with the Chief determines the objectives and priorities- Not the Town Council . 31(1)c The Board establishes policies for effective management of the Service Not Town Council 31(4) Board not to direct the Chief of Police re specific operating decisions or day to day operations of Police. They can terminate if they dont like those decisions- ask Peter Soley in Ottawa. If A Board cant direct neither can a… Read more »

Pete M
Reply to  Pete M
18 March 2022 6:14 pm

My apologies i was using A PSa that has be superceded by the new act passed in 2019.
That being said the principles, actions and responsibilities stated still stand.

Bryan
Reply to  Pete M
18 March 2022 7:28 pm

Pete M;

Thanks for the research and information.

Kyle
Reply to  Pete M
19 March 2022 8:36 am

Three of the 5 positions on the Board are under Town control. Thus the Town should not be able to hide behind the PSA. Again, look at Ottawa. Municipality removed their appointed Board Chair.

Frenchy
Reply to  Bryan
18 March 2022 10:02 pm

Yeah, we’ve been had. What we are experiencing now is not even close to the sales pitch we were given when V13 was being sold to us.

Bryan
Reply to  Frenchy
18 March 2022 10:13 pm

Frenchy:
I agree that we were had regarding V13.

The cop’s crimcheck business however is legit, saving Cobourg taxpayers $840K+ in capital expenses.

Kyle
Reply to  Frenchy
18 March 2022 10:32 pm

Best example of small Town politics in years. The Police & Venture 13 connections are known to many but are unspoken it seems in public.

Bryan
Reply to  Pete M
18 March 2022 12:33 am

Pete M
You wrote “…pay a yearly lease to the Town…”. This is not correct. There is nothing in the budget showing that the Police – Corporate Services (crimcheck business) pays rent. $45K is paid to V13 (a Town business unit) for utilities.

You further wrote: “….Think of that relationship sort of like Holdco or LUSI….” The PCS is not like Holdco or LUSI in any way. It is a Town business unit within the Town’s corporate structure, not a distinct corporate entity.

Holdco and LUSI are distinct corporate entities. Holdco is 99.99% owned by the Town and LUSI is a wholly owned subsidiary of Holdco.

Holdco is a holding company: owns investments and has no staff. It is a passive company with no operations.
LUSI is a Holdco subsidiary providing management and staffing services to Holdco and LUI. LUSI also operates Cobourg’s water service (Waterworks) on a contract basis. Both LUI and LUSI own physical assets such as land, buildings, equipment and vehicles.

Dunkirk
Reply to  Bryan
18 March 2022 1:46 pm

Guys–I think the Police and Fire do a good job, but, if you get lost in the weeds of police service metrics and rent calculations and ‘satisfaction surveys’, I think you are audience to the ‘shell game’ and miss the big issue….It’s about the $$$….it’s quadrupled in the last decade and our taxes go up accordingly…
85% of the budget is salaries and wages…
Check the Sunshine list…
It’s millions of $$$ and it’s half our our town’s budget.
Am I wrong?

Bryan
Reply to  Dunkirk
18 March 2022 3:28 pm

Dunkirk,
Cobourg’s sunshine list is mostly cops and firefighters. Town execs (CAO, directors) and a few managers are included.

Yes, it’s a lot of $$, but not as much as you suggest.

For 2019, the cops budget was $6.225M, 25.85% of the budget ($24,077,903) levy. $840.75M in capital expenses were paid by the PCS, $85K from capital reserves and $125K from Northam.

If these capital expenses were included in the levy, it would increase by $1,050,750 to $25,127,653. The police cost would increase to $7,275,288, which is 28.95% of the revised budget levy

Last edited 2 months ago by Bryan
Pete M
Reply to  Pete M
18 March 2022 1:23 pm

Article on Orangeville Opp costing
https://www.theifp.ca/news-story/9307196-orangeville-police-costs-average-household-864-per-year-here-s-how-the-opp-could-stack-up/

If calls for service go down there is a rebate or incentive

Dunkirk
Reply to  Pete M
18 March 2022 2:03 pm

Pete M–that’s a great analysis, that speaks for itself. Could Cobourg see the same see the same sort of trending? What if we also merged services with Port Hope or went County-wide?

ben
Reply to  Dunkirk
18 March 2022 4:51 pm

What if we also merged services with Port Hope”

What a dreamer! In my thirty odd years of Council watching there have been many attempts by the respective Services to cooperate/collaborate/partner and they have all failed. I guess we will never know why as the participants never did want to talk about the failures.

Bryan
Reply to  Pete M
18 March 2022 2:38 pm

Pete M,
Interesting article. Thanks for posting this.

Cobourg has the only “non OPP” force. Port hope has a hybrid: local policing in urban Port Hope and OPP in the rural area (former Hope Twp). The other five towns are policed by the OPP.

Several years ago a study of police cost per pop and household for Northumberland municipalities was done. Cobourg had the highest cost, about 30% higher than Port Hope and much higher than Cramahe and Hamilton Twp.

Updating this study is on my “do list”. I will expand the scope of the study to include “peer” communities

Mark
Reply to  Bryan
20 March 2022 9:24 am

One could look at what happened in Trenton, where the OPP took over from the local police about 10 years ago
Are most of the people happy with that out come ?

Concerned
Reply to  Pete M
19 March 2022 12:13 pm

Read this before you think the OPP is the better way to go. Lots of issues.

https://www.auditor.on.ca/en/content/annualreports/arreports/en21/AR_OPP_en21.pdf

Last edited 2 months ago by Concerned
Bryan
Reply to  Concerned
19 March 2022 12:53 pm

Concerned,

Indeed, Lots of issues. As I read the report, which is titled “Value for Money Audit – OPP”, I couldn’t help wonder if a value for money audit of the Cobourg police was done, would the issues be the same. Based on the comments on this board and others (Today’s Northumberland, etc), I believe they would be.

Concerned
Reply to  Bryan
19 March 2022 1:59 pm

I doubt they have a 26% drop in frontline policing like the OPP an a force of that size it will get worse before it gets better and the cost for frontline constables we’ll get much higher much more quickly considering they are the highest paid force in the province.

ben
Reply to  Concerned
20 March 2022 9:33 am

In the last report about the OPP this concern was front and centre. The OPP would not guarantee the same amount of frontline officers or the response time. It’s hard to respond quickly when the constables on duty on the weekends are looking after accidents/incidents on the 401

Concerned
Reply to  Pete M
19 March 2022 2:12 pm

Yeah and then we can help pay for the 8.5% pay increase the OPP gave frontline officers in their last contract.

Bryan
Reply to  Concerned
19 March 2022 3:04 pm

Pete M;

We already are.
Provincial income tax, sales tax and numerous user fees.