Police Transparency and Budget

It’s hard to know what other Police forces do but Cobourg Police are increasing their level of reporting.  For the last year, they have been issuing monthly reports on the quantity and types of crime including neat graphs showing trends for the last 3 years.  They also report on the number of Opioid overdose calls received. I find the most interesting to be their report on “Investigative Occurrences” which describes a selection of incidents – some of which have been resolved and others are still being investigated. But these reports are not available on the Police web site nor on their social media – instead you need to look at the Agendas for their monthly board meetings.  I have created a page that briefly talks about our Police and which lists all these reports.  You can see it here.

Apart from these operations reports, the Agendas and minutes of the Police also provide other news items.  For example, one item that caught my attention: Cobourg Police have issued an RFP for a consultant to do a “Facility needs assessment”.  The intent is to decide how to manage the outgrowing of the current facility.  The building on King Street is quite old although it has been renovated inside.  Go Northumberland reported that Chief VandeGraaf said that “it’s still in the very early stages, but it is something that is being looked at by the Police Services Board.”

Here are the monthly reports from 2022 (not all months were published).
January 2022, February 2022, April 2022, July 2022, August 2022, September 2022, October 2022, November 2022, December 2022

Police Budget

At the next Council meeting on Monday, the Police will be presenting their budget. And no surprise, they are setting the increase at 5.1%.  Although current high inflation makes a big increase expected, inflation of salaries is not entirely to blame – they are fixed at 2.25% due to a union agreement – there is also an addition of 3 staff: one admin and two constables.

Download the full presentation to Council here.

Resources

Print Article: 

 

40 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
cornbread
16 January 2023 4:29 pm

With Per Capita Debt in Canada at about $65,000 thanks to our Goverments, and average household debt at about $50,000…With increasing interest rates, we had better watch how we spend our money or incurr additional debt for Jettys and new space for the police.

cornbread
Reply to  cornbread
19 January 2023 7:15 am

Add to this Ontario per capita debt at about $27,000.
Stop spending!!!

Pete M
16 January 2023 12:22 pm

I would suggest that everyone take a look at the following look as to what our Police Service and Board are required by statue to provide in the way of effective policing either by the police service or in agreement with OPP or other police services as mandated by the Province

https://www.ontario.ca/laws/regulation/990003

Pete M
Reply to  Pete M
16 January 2023 12:54 pm

So after reviewing what the Province has mandated, is the Service looking at enhancing their capabilities by taking on more responsibilities themselves rather than in a shared agreement, therefore requiring a larger facility?

Pete M
16 January 2023 12:03 pm

Whatever the Cobourg council does, it needs to ensure that we dont end up like Surrey BC and their ongoing mess. Previous council decided to switch from RCMP and create their own police service, based on cost savings reports. Then 2 yrs later new council comes in and commissions new study and report and says RCMP cheaper. So new council.is trying to disband current Surrey police service and replace with RCMP.
When politicians only focus on dollars and cents and fail to consider those decisions and the impact it has of the affected people, it results in law suits and large cash settlements, negating and perceived savings

https://vancouversun.com/news/local-news/surrey-police-service-lays-out-concerns-with-report-on-sticking-with-rcmp

Pete M
16 January 2023 10:36 am

If only it was that easy as opening up a store front and throwing some desks and chairs.
The officers need computer access to various policing and govt databases. Govt rules dictate that these buildings have various security measures in place to.prevent access and secure the database and networks. So external store fronts dont make sense from a cost perspective. Plus been tried before and failed in Cobourg.
The Town needs a modern functional police facility. One where the central cell block is inside the main building and not external to main building as is the current case.
Proper interview rooms from both acccused and victims
Proper facilities to forensically examine vehicles .
Modern forensics lab room to process and examine evidence.
Proper training rooms
Proper facilities for IT
Basically a facility that meets Ont Govt Ministry standards for a modern police agency in the 21st Century

ben
Reply to  Pete M
16 January 2023 4:32 pm

Plus been tried before and failed in Cobourg.”

Please tell us where and when, I can only remember the trailer in the trailerpark, hardly a store-front.

Pete m
Reply to  ben
16 January 2023 7:38 pm

Storefront on King St E (#9? King) beside entrance to Oddballs in late 90’s to 2000

New to Cobourg
16 January 2023 8:11 am

Another option might be to merge the Cobourg Police Service with the Port Hope Police Service. This would keep a local force while reducing costs. I’m not sure of the optics of doing this but it seems to me a viable alternative.

Frenchy
Reply to  New to Cobourg
16 January 2023 9:22 am

Welcome to Cobourg, New to Cobourg.
You couldn’t be more right, but these two towns would never go for it.

Pete M
Reply to  New to Cobourg
16 January 2023 9:30 am

It has been tried a couple of times but becomes political. One Town council is all for it and and the other Town council is against. Port Hope Police only police the urban area of the Community. Opp police the rural areas-
Plus there is that 11 km of land ie Hamilton Township that lies between both Towns–Hamilton Township and is policed by opp.
So there are a lot of logistics to the geographic and policing responsibilities..who polices what areas?
Will Hamilton Twp seek a costing from a newly combined port hope/ cobourg police service?

Gerinator
Reply to  New to Cobourg
18 January 2023 5:43 pm

Reduced costs won’t happen. There is no change to the geography to be covered, the ‘admin’ of the larger force will remain the same and IMO the root cause of these increasing costs is the Police Service Board, will be unaffected.

Pete M
15 January 2023 6:55 pm

If we are going to do a facilities need assessment , then we should do an OPP costing as well, so we know exactly cost of new building vs going OPP.
Stirling Rawdon built a new facility for police and in less than 10 yrs switched to OPP. OPP declined to take over Stirling building, maintained building in Madoc.
We dont want to make same mistake and build a 15-20 million facility and then OPP takes pver and says it doesnt meet their standards.

Orangeville a community of 30000 switched to OPP. As part of costing and needs assesment for Cobourg the consultants / committee could reach out to Orangeville council to enquire about pros and cons over the last 2yrs

Rationale
Reply to  Pete M
15 January 2023 7:35 pm

OPP is not the way to go.

Attached below is what Orangeville residents, businesses and anyone has to do if there is a problem before 8am and after 4pm.

Cobourg Police Services are essential to our community.

https://www.orangeville.ca/en/living-here/police.aspx

Pete M
Reply to  Rationale
16 January 2023 9:20 am

Careful rationale,
What that link/ article is saying is that office/ building is only open between 8 am and 4 pm.
You still have 24 hr coverage for emergencies Call either 911 or the 1 800 number and they will respond either in person or thru a phone call depending on need or enquiry.
Cobourg was doing the same; locking doors at night and putting phone in front foyer. You reached officer by picking up phone and speaking to a dispatcher in Owen Sound who would screen ur call and send an officer or have an officer call u depending on need and urgency of the matter.

Rationale
Reply to  Pete M
16 January 2023 12:21 pm

You missed the point. The post was to demonstrate the around the hoop process that will be necessary after hours.

ben
Reply to  Pete M
16 January 2023 4:34 pm

One of the big reasons for the failure to go to the OPP in years past was the fact that the OPP could not guarantee the same coverage and response times to be the same as the CPS. This situation has not changed. I bet if the people in the areas being policed by the OPP realised just how thin the coverage actually is they would be very surprised.

Gerinator
Reply to  Pete M
16 January 2023 11:40 am

Great idea Pete to consult with other potential ‘bench marks’ to see if other Munis have solutions to the exponential cost increases by protective services. The tremendous prospective increases in the Toronto budget for protective services of approx 10%+, will IMO cause other Munis budgets to climb to equivalent levels. So ya alternatives are required to be thoroughly researched.

cornbread
15 January 2023 12:14 pm

I knew it…Build a new un-needed Jetty for $25 Million, Next, the Police want a new building for, who knows…$15 Million or more to contain a special physical training room etc., etc. We should have switched to the OPP years ago and I believe at that time our Mayor Brocanier was in favour of switching. Perhaps we are not too late to make the “right” decisions for Cobourg.

Rationale
Reply to  cornbread
15 January 2023 12:25 pm

In my view The OPP would not have the resources, time and ability to cover Cobourg anywhere near the support and security that the Cobourg Police Services provide to Cobourg each day.

CPS are essential to Cobourg residents and businesses and we all need to support them.

Kevin
Reply to  Rationale
15 January 2023 10:49 pm

Rationale, would the majority of the money we now give to the Cobourg Police not be used to pay the OPP? The OPP would then hire the necessary people, which could include some of the local police. If you really think “the OPP would not have the resources, time and ability to cover Cobourg anywhere near … provide to Cobourg each day,” then perhaps you believe Cobourg Police use our tax dollars much more efficiently despite the economy of scale of a much larger organization. Payroll services and vehicle purchases are a couple of ways the OPP could have an advantage as a result of larger scale. Maybe officers with PTSD could be reassigned within the larger OPP organization instead of being on leave. I understand a larger part of the police budget is for paying police who are not working due to PTSD.

Pete M
Reply to  Kevin
16 January 2023 9:41 am

Kevin,
Ur right economies of scale.
Municipality of Quinte West did away with their police service and contracted with OPP for a stand alone OPP detachment that policed with in the boundaries of Quinte West. This meant cars and resources were not sent to Brighton or Stirling Rawdon or into the County unless it was an absolute emergency.
Quinte West has a brand new Police Building built by OPP for the OPP. i cant say how much money Quinte West had to kick in.

Gerinator
Reply to  Pete M
16 January 2023 11:43 am

Add to your point Kevin there is an OPP detachment in Cobourg off Division (I think). So no new infrastructure needed.

ben
Reply to  Pete M
16 January 2023 4:41 pm

Hmmm check that comment how many of those ‘standalone’ resources are being used to patrol the 401 as well as worthen the boundaries of QW. Check to see if coverage and response times have remained the same since the transition.

ben
Reply to  Kevin
16 January 2023 4:38 pm

Rationale, would the majority of the money we now give to the Cobourg Police not be used to pay the OPP? The OPP would then hire the necessary people, which could include some of the local police. If you really think “the OPP would not have the resources, time and ability to cover Cobourg anywhere near … provide to Cobourg each day,””

Of course the same amount of money would go to the OPP – to be used as they see fit. But in the last round of negotiations the Majority of the Town was not convinced that the OPP would provide the same level of service and a 4 minute response time.

I don’t believe much has changed since then!


Sandpiper
15 January 2023 10:18 am

I for one would like to know the percentage of resolved or solved crimes if you like to the actual number of reports or calls for assistance , thefts , assaults , fraud s etc .
Locally Fraud has been increasing yet no mention .
The other thing that everyone has noticed is the number of incidents in the down town core area
as noted in a previous police crime Report & Map has risen from prior years and shown that the catch and release approach is not working . Security cameras are going up every where . Yet they apparently produce little very little concern to criminals and capture & conviction rates are not increasing .

Chief Paul VandeGraaf
Reply to  Sandpiper
15 January 2023 10:48 am

Sandpiper…I encourage you to review the annual report. We define the solvency rate as a clearance rate and many have increased. What that means is our team is solving more crime. Some have decreased, again to be expected year over year. The number of incidents downtown is a misleading comment if you are discussing crime rates. Most of those calls for service are actually not reported in any Uniform Crime Reporting as we are required for Stats Canada. Your issue of “catch and release” is also not a police issue. As I have said many times, the decision on detention and release rests with Ministerial directives from the Ministry of the Attorney General. I am curious where you receive conviction rates, we currently do not measure that as again a conviction means many different things to different people. As always, happy to discuss all of this in person.

Paul

ben
Reply to  Chief Paul VandeGraaf
15 January 2023 9:56 pm

Thanks Chief for the rebuttal. I doubt it will make much difference to Sandpiper who makes wild statements and then refuses to reveal sources or state references for all of them.

Sandpiper
Reply to  ben
16 January 2023 2:46 pm

If the facts and actual numbers are not being released
or are released through hidey holes and various sites
not generally known to the public how is one to know , other than paying attention to what’s going on around you or talking place in your immediate area / Neighbourhood .
Why has nothing come out about the Third st Condos and the fact that all the cammers proved to be of nothing usable to the police so what did they do——?——— They Hired a Private Security force and Canine squad .

ben
Reply to  Sandpiper
16 January 2023 4:44 pm

If the facts and actual numbers are not being released
or are released through hidey holes and various sites
not generally known to the public how is one to know “

Another Sandpiper non-statement. Why don’t you read the explanation provided by the Chief and you will know there are no “hidey-holes” filled with missing statistics.

Sandpiper
Reply to  Chief Paul VandeGraaf
16 January 2023 12:55 pm

Lets just leave it at The Crime issues of all sorts , Graffitti , and Garbage Dumping in Cobourg is continuously getting worse . There needs to be a deterrent . Whats the answer ????????
Are you suggesting we all Call The Attorney Generals office ?

Cobourg taxpayer
14 January 2023 4:04 pm

As an example of police activity I looked at December 2022 which includes comparison to December 2021. This may be simplifying police activity however this snap shot shows a slight increase in calls for service. Mental health calls and violent offences were nearly the same numbers. Property crimes and domestic calls have slightly declined. Collisions and traffic violations have skyrocketed. In my opinion this is where police should be focusing their efforts. I do feel that these figures do not justify the large increase in the number of officers.
I am surprised it has taken the CPS this long to need a new building. When PHPS got one a few years back I thought here we go. However here it is now. I can NOT imagine what this new building will cost the Cobourg taxpayer. It will have to be state of art no doubt and above and beyond what is necessary. We will have another building that is way over the top that a town of 20000 will have to pay for. Think CCC, library and the new Golden Plough Lodge.

SW Buyer
Reply to  Cobourg taxpayer
14 January 2023 5:03 pm

Why does the CPS need a new building? The current one is serviceable so continue to use it as the HQ. Put a satellite station (or 2) in rented space, say at the mall and another in the east end.

Cobourg taxpayer
Reply to  SW Buyer
14 January 2023 7:46 pm

Excellent idea!

Sandpiper
Reply to  Cobourg taxpayer
15 January 2023 10:20 am

Think Old Golden Plough Repurpose or even Brookside its already a detention center

Tucker
Reply to  Sandpiper
15 January 2023 11:29 am

Brookside would be an ideal location. That way, the “purps” as they are called can be held in jail, instead of the “catch and release” system apparently in place now. How much more are the citizens of Cobourg going to be asked to “fork over” in increased taxes to fund this project?

Bryan
Reply to  Sandpiper
15 January 2023 11:39 am

Sandpiper & Tucker,

Interesting ideas. The main problem is that the Town owns neither facility. The County owns the GPL and the province owns Brookside. Also, both would have a substantial renovation time and cost.

Someone suggested closing V13 (non-productive: hasn’t met its performance targets) and putting a satellite police station in that space.

Dave
Reply to  Bryan
15 January 2023 11:43 am

In addition there would have to be a change in the justice system, not the police. Justin Trudeau has been invited and refused, I believe it was reported, to meet with Provincial Premiers to overhaul the bail system. So until then there isn’t much point in thinking of converting Brookside.

Last edited 18 days ago by Dave
Tucker
Reply to  Bryan
15 January 2023 12:44 pm

Then have our newly elected Mayor and Council propose buying Brookside from the province for a nominal fee and /or coming up with an agreement with the County for same. I’m sure taking one or the other away from current ownership would be worth looking into.

Kathleen
Reply to  Bryan
16 January 2023 9:58 am

Wow, V13 isn’t meeting their targets? In a town of only 20k with a large retired demographic? Who would have guessed?….(typed with tongue planted firmly in cheek).
Great suggestion for a satellite Cop Shop though. (Whether it’s CP or OPP). No need to hire a consultant! Great ideas put forth just reading JD’s Blog!