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Dryden to address policing costs

By Adam Riley Oct 26, 2023 | 3:47 PM

Dryden is now the community with the highest cost for policing in the region.

Chief Administrative Officer Roger Nesbitt says the city pays just under $1400 per property.

“We are almost double Kenora’s policing costs per property, this represents some of the highest cost OPP municipalities in the province and we are far and above.”

Nesbitt revealed the numbers as he informed council of a request to meet with the Solicitor General to discuss the issue at a municipal conference early next year.

However despite the higher costs, Nesbit says the decision to disband the Dryden Police Service and have the Ontario Provincial Police takeover was the right one, adding the service level provided to the city is both adequate and effective.

Speaking with Acadia News Mayor Jack Harrison says he and others with the city continue to press the issue with both MPP Greg Rickford and the Ministry of the Solicitor General.

One of the solutions being put forward is financial assistance from the province.

“We’re looking for an operating grant throughout the duration of Dryden’s transition OPP contract. We’re not asking to be brought down to the average OPP cost, which is about $350 per household, we just want to be on par with our neighbours.

Harrison also believes the reason costs are so high for Dryden, is a matter of location.

“We’re central to Northwestern Ontario, we’re right on the Trans Canada Highway. We understand that gangs from cities such as Toronto and Winnipeg have set up business here and are using Dryden as a regional distribution hub.”

According to Harrison at a recent drug bust in the city, police seized enough drugs to kill every resident in the city if they were a first time user.