Leamington Ready to Accept Proposals for New Police Service

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Leamington is all set to accept proposals from neighbouring municipalities interested in taking over policing in the town.

Council passed a report from MPM Consulting Tuesday night outlining what the town is looking for in a possible proponent.

The municipality terminated its agreement with the OPP back in June after complaints from residents about the level of service continued to pile up.

Mike Mitchell is with MPM Consulting and says level of service will carry the most weight in the proposal.

"The concerns are more oriented towards the level of service as opposed to the cost. We were developing this with the objective of making it extremely comprehensive and very specific without putting in so many requirements that we might scare a potential bidder away."

Councillor Tim Wilkinson says the incoming service must be willing to listen to council and the public.

"What I'll be putting a lot of emphasis on in the future is making sure that the police are willing to work with this council. They need to be very open minded and listen to the pulse of the public here when we give them repeated instructions on where we think improvement needs to be."

Mayor Hilda MacDonald says the OPP should take note of the report.

"This is not a cookie cutter RFP because I see things here that are specific to Leamington and that's part of the level of service. Quite honestly, if the OPP would look at this, they could find a new service model. This covers the areas that we lack."

Mitchell says the goal is to have a new police service in place by mid-June 2021.

The town will now put together a committee to evaluate proposals — the group will consist of Mitchell, two members of council and two members of the public.

A timeline for proposals or when a decision will be made has not yet been set.