Policing decision coming soon – Mayor

Christopher Gooding
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Springhill to decide on service before next budget

SPRINGHILL – The dust is starting to kick up on social media and the fate of Springhill’s police force is the focus.

Springhill police

A largely pro-police website with more than 500 members is getting much attention on the social website Facebook, but offline Springhill’s Mayor and the policing review committee members continue to meet with the town operated service and R.C.M.P. while a decision looms.

“Right at the moment we’ve gotten modules from the police department and the R.C.M.P.,” Springhill Mayor Max Snow said.

While an invitation was extended to Amherst Police, it went unanswered so the committee is now weighing the existing service and R.C.M.P. could offer, including what type of coverage would be provided, staffing, location and cost.

“That’s the stuff we’re looking at, We won’t release anything this week, but we’re going to have a look at these and really soon an announcement is going to happen. In the next few weeks I suspect,” Snow said. “It’s not going to be another year. It’s going to be real soon.”

A lot of weight is being given to making a decision sooner than later ahead of the town’s next fiscal budget, Snow said, to be fair to the members Springhill Police Service. Since the review was called last year, it would be unfair to leave the department in uncertainty any longer than they already have.

In February 2013, the town called for the policing review, just a month after signing a retroactive contract with the department and a few weeks away from entering negotiations on the next contract. At that time, Mayor Snow said the newly formed policing review committee was not a reflection on the department’s service, but the cost of the department. A salary increase of 18.5 per cent in the last contract, Snow said in 2013, was unaffordable and talk of raising taxes had taken place.

The cost of policing in Springhill in 2012 and 2013 represented between 22 and 23 per cent of the town’s operating budget. In 2012, the town was operating on a $6.6 million budget, while in 2013 that increased to $6.9 million.

Organizations: Springhill Police Service

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Recent comments

  • TERESA
    January 29, 2014 - 20:23

    I think we should keep our springhill police just the way we are.Good job

  • Doup P.
    January 29, 2014 - 10:18

    Here is a wonderful example of unions causing costs to become unaffordable (18.2% raise??? ) resulting in a possible layoff of of an entire police department. Keep honking in support of union caused unemployment! To the police who might loose your positions: you were conned by your "representatives" - they priced you out of your job.

    • john
      January 29, 2014 - 17:48

      Hey Doug we get it you don't like Unions

  • Doup P.
    January 29, 2014 - 10:11

    When the Federal government taxes away most of the citizens revenue to pay for its "programs" it leaves less at home for local governance. One such program is our force of mounties whose budgets gets bigger and hungrier by the year. Their appetite is why money is not available for local policing. The option of local policing is being slowly removed thanks to Parliament's power to drain local pockets for their own interests. Local policing is the only way to keep costs at bay from a monolith RCMP bent on slowly strangling local forces. Local policing is the only way to keep para-militarized policing out of your neighborhood. Go ahead trade in your local police for the federal force; you won't save any money by doing it; you will be paying for far more expensive policing overall. And when you have Ottawa's boys in red, you will not be allowed to go back. Why must we beg to get our money back by way of transfers?

    • CAM
      January 29, 2014 - 15:15

      No governing body can afford to keep giving percentage wages. During my working years you would get a cost per hour wage increase, like 10, 15, 20, 25 cent raises this kept everyone going up at the same level and caused less descention. We do not need to have more than 8 police officers in this town We have the same population now as we did in 1985 about 1900 paying taxes or approximately 3800 people. Paying for two vehicles and 12 to 15 police officers is ridiculous They out priced themselves. As a tax payer I cannot afford 1/3 of my taxes to go to something that could cost 1/3 less than it does now. The RCMP were going to come here before and it was under $800,000.00, not the 1.6 million it does now.