Policing costs expected to drop in Tecumseh in 2022

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It appears policing costs are going down in Tecumseh.

The OPP's proposed 2022 budget comes in at $3.4-million down just over $119,000 or 3.4% compared to 2021.

According to police officials, a major factor is the decrease in calls for service as 911 misdials are being handled differently.

Officers are no longer being dispatched each time — a problem that was costing the OPP an estimated $55-million across the province each year.

Inspector Glenn Miller says thousands of unnecessary calls have been eliminated.

"Dropped calls that we get, that's now being mitigated through our code communication centre," he continued. "So the officers now are not being dispatched and having to go to all these different types of calls which, of course, there was a charge for all of that."

Miller says police are no longer being pulled away when an accidental 911 call comes in. 

"We're keeping the officers focused to the areas of the community that you want us to be in and we're not chasing around a dropped call because that was just absolutely continually and you're not being charged for that as well. So that's about a 30% drop in calls directly to that."

Tecumseh Police Services Board chair Christopher Hales says 911 calls are now being analyzed as they come in.

"Pocket dials, it was a cry from the Ontario Association of Police Service Boards. Someone who can just analyze the call in a call centre as opposed to sending out a car, it's just a tremendous opportunity to save money," Hale said.

With the decrease, residents will be paying $419 per household for policing in the town.

Tecumseh's current contract with the OPP is set to expire in 2023.