VIDEO: Amherstburg Approves 20 Year Contract With Windsor Police
Amherstburg Council has accepted a proposal from the Windsor Police Service.
In a 3-2 vote, council approved a 20-year contract which goes into effect January 1, 2019.
Over the course of the deal, the town will save roughly $14-million plus an additional $2-million to $3-million in pensions and benefits.
Several residents at the vote were not happy with the outcome.
Jen Ozyer says she would have liked to see policing stay local.
"The City of Windsor, I'm not disrespecting them, I'm sure they're good, but this community is very different and I think we have a good rapport with our officers so to say and I just think that it should stay the way it is."
Trudy Dempsey says council did not listen to the public.
"I really don't think they took everything into consideration, all the meetings that people came to and said "no". They've already decided this long before tonight. That's exactly how I see it and I'm really, really upset."
Residents look on as Amherstburg Council dicusses a 20-year proposal from the Windsor Police (Photo by AM800's Zander Broeckel)
Mayor Aldo DiCarlo voted in favour of the change and says the majority of residents he spoke with felt the same.
"The majority I heard from either said, "I am for the switch" or "I am OK with the switch", and so that was a big factor for me. Those were rolling in, I can honestly say right up to the beginning of the meeting, still just kind of trickling in. Maybe it was because they finally saw the final report, maybe they felt more comfortable saying it."
He says he kept politics out of his decision.
"There's plenty of people who have said if you vote this way you will not have my vote. I can honestly say I've never voted with the intent of whether it would get me re-elected. I take my position very seriously combined with what I believe is in the best interest of the town."
Amherstburg Council dicusses a 20-year proposal from the Windsor Police (Photo by AM800's Zander Broeckel)
DiCarlo says the 20-year contract fits in nicely with the town's direction.
"What we've shown in a lot of the big decisions we've made in town is we're no longer just looking at next year or the year after or five years down the road, we're working with 15 or 20-year plans now. With this, we have a 20-year, about as confined a cost as you're going to get."
Voting in favour with DiCarlo were councillors Rick Fryer and Leo Meloche.
Councillors Joan Courtney and Jason Lavigne voted against the proposal.
Deputy Mayor Bart DiPasquale and Councillor Dianne Pouget declared a conflict of interest as they have relatives who work for the Windsor Police.
The proposal now goes to the Ontario Civilian Police Commission for final approval.
Resident George Kritiotis believes the contract is not a done deal.
"There's still another process with the OCPC. This was a decision who supports it from town council. I think that there is a significant amount of signatures, a significant amount of people that are against this and that speaks volumes."
In the past, only bordering communities could share services, but the commission recently approved a contract between Stratford and St. Mary's with Perth in between.
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