Police board expected early next year

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The province is one step closer to establishing a police services board for the County of Haliburton.

A spokesperson for the Ministry of the Solicitor General wrote County CAO Mike Rutter July 19. Rutter had submitted the proposal for a detachment board on behalf of the townships.

The spokesperson said all proposals had to go through a thorough review process but confirmed the Haliburton County OPP detachment board proposal had been approved by the Solicitor General to the next step in finalizing the board compositions. That will involve posting to the Ontario Regulatory Registry (ORR).

The ministry is working on drafting the regulation, expected to be available on the ORR for public comment in the summer or fall, the spokesperson said.

“Posting of the regulation is one of the last steps before the regulation can be finalized in advance of bringing the Community Safety and Policing Act, 2019 (CSPA) into force in early 2024,” the spokesperson added.

The suggested composition is a sevenperson board, with five councillors, one community representative and one provincial appointment.

On behalf of the Ministry of the Solicitor General, I would like to express my appreciation to all the communities involved in the proposal development process,” the spokesperson said.

“I acknowledge and value the significant efforts undertaken to create a proposal for a detachment board that addresses the unique needs of each community that receives OPP policing services in your detachment.”

The spokesperson added, “the ministry is planning to share more guidance as soon as possible on next steps, with the understanding that municipalities and First Nations require time to plan for the implementation of OPP detachment boards before the CSPA comes into force.”

The mayors used to meet with the Haliburton Highlands detachment commander as part of an informal Community Policing Advisory Committee (CPAC). However, following the CSPA in 2019, the province told municipalities they had until June 7, 2022 to apply for detachment boards.

It’s all part of the new community safety and well-being plan presented to County councillors at a Jan. 26, 2022 meeting.