Can We Really Cut $5-7 Million from Cornwall Community Police Service Budget? 100517

Cornwall Ontario – With talks of a 6% tax increase coming, chiefly because of a lack of infrastructure reserves, and plummeting property values, one area of cash to dialog on is our police budget which roughly stands at about $18M per year for a city of about 40,000 people.

Putting that into context, Toronto spends about $401 per person on policing.  Cornwall, a whopping and incredible $397!!!!

Ottawa spends $391, Kingston $277, and the OPP in SD&G, where our police chief and many of his staff Sgts live, only $158!

This newspaper has been in a struggle to get basic information from the CCPS when it comes to real numbers.

For example, the Kingston Police Service does an amazing job communicating to the public.  They put out a weekday police blotter that should be the best practice for all police forces.   

The CCPS refuses to offer anything close to this information.   They release a few items, sometimes going as many as six days without reporting any crime.  They also don’t get timely information out to the public when it comes to machine guns being stolen or stores being broken into for some reason compared to other forces.

Going by the numbers they provide they clearly do not need a budget of this nature.   Viewing how they respond to incidents there usually is double or triple the amount of resources used for an incident.

Likewise, they are refusing to answer, after repeated requests, about events like the one that occurred recently where at least three police vehicles and several officers were doing a pr fill the truck for a local food bank.

The question was simple.  We’re these officers on duty?  In other words, were taxpayers paying for a PR stunt for the force?     All the officers were in uniform and of course using police vehicles.   How much did this stunt cost taxpayers?  An early estimate was for more than the value of food collected by four times or nearly $6,000.00!

When queried the CCPS media officer referred it to SSGT Brian Snyder.  Emails to both Snyder and the Chief went unanswered.

A retired local service person laughed when I raised this question with them pointing out the fire and police rarely would ever donate their own time for events like this.

Most of the charges on the police blotter in Cornwall are not serious.   Cornwall doesn’t have the crime problems, thankfully of other cities, mostly because it has a graying population of more seniors as tragically more of our young people leave.   Seniors rarely lead to more crime, and certainly not of as violent a nature as what Kingston, Toronto, or Ottawa would see.  It also leads to more flimsy charges being rung up in Cornwall such as people being charged for throwing grass clippings or students shaking a fist at a teacher.

Cutting the CCPS budget by half the difference of the SD&G OPP budget  per person would be about $5 million dollars per year.

That cash would go a long way towards paving streets and repairing water mains with some extra towards improving the downtown core.

Frankly the CCPS needs a thorough outside investigation and a new management team.  With Chief Parkinson retiring after his last shady contract it might be time to bring in some fresh blood as our Deputy Chief, Danny Aikman,  seems to be a part of what ails the culture at the police HQ.  It might even be time to have a real open dialog about having the OPP takeover policing for Cornwall as flawed as they themselves may be at times.

Either way the free ride should end this next election for Police and Fire services who may think that the city has an endless pile of cash.  We don’t.

Those that pay have a right to know how their money is being spent, something that the CCPS clearly are refusing to do at this time.



  1. Anything is possible. What would help us is if the CCPS didn’t keep getting obscene arbitrated pay raises while the rest of the city employees, minus the fire services, gets pissed on by city council. The budgets for the CCPS and the CFS are best described as obscene at best. I could use other words, but they wouldn’t be as polite.

  2. Author

    Hugger arbitration isn’t going anywhere, but the amount of officers might. We seem to have a lot of older Staff Sgts. I think that anyone that would object to the public having more insight into our services clearly has something to hide….

  3. I agree. I’ve never quite understood why police and, at times, fire services get to use binding arbitration, while other city services are left to the whim of city councils across Ontario. Using the nature of their services as an excuse to forces obscene awards on taxpayers is not right and has to end. They have to join the lines with other city services. I know this is dreaming, but…..

  4. Author

    Hugger the OPP are the largest force in the province. I think officers simply want equal pay and I can’t blame them. It’s how we’re using them. For example, in my famous Panda incident I was stopped on 2nd Street by two cars with four officers and held for nearly 30 minutes for a non offense. After all, if you get a call about someone refusing to leave (which was never the case) and stop them blocks away, clearly you don’t have an incident that requires FOUR officers midday.

  5. I agree. It’s all about proper use of resources. And a lot of police services across Canada and around the world do not do a good job in allocating resources to the situation that is being attended to. I’d say a thorough review of a lot of police services is required and for them to get out of services where they shouldn’t be.

  6. Author

    Hugger the difference is we have more information about this one and we both live in this community. I really don’t care as much of issues with say… Hamilton…and frankly your rationalization of tourism faults doesn’t change the focus or issue right here at home.

  7. I agree. As we live here the focus should be here. But your statement of “rationalization of tourism faults” has me confused. I didn’t mention tourism. If you’re referring to me including other police services it is about what happens here. Others were included to try and get my points across that actions have repercussions.

  8. Author

    Yes hugger. Saying a problem occurs somewhere else doesn’t change the impact here, nor the focus to identify it and improve our lot.

  9. YES,,, their are huge tax savings at CCPS ! When “out of town Dan” finally retires, do NOT replace the Deputy position ! Institute a hiring freeze, reduce positions, arbitration is killing us taxpayers. We will just have to do with less. Also, far too many in the higher ranks. It wouldn’t hurt to look at the OPP. Improve the quality of the POLICE BOARD,,,,,,,,?

  10. There are very few crimes in Cornwall compared to Ottawa and elsewhere and the cops of Cornwall are killing flies in the office so why pay big bucks to kill flies. There was a shooting at Billings Bridge Shopping the other day but we went there this morning and my heart pounded something awful. I am trying to calm down. Down Bowser down. Everyone was running for cover with the gunfire.

  11. I don’t blame Chief Dan at all for living outside of that mighty wacky town of Cornwall. OMG I would never live there at all and it has been a good 3 years since we even stepped foot down there just to smell the air. We would have to live out in the country as well. The cops in Cornwall could not handle the insanity that goes on here in Ottawa – they would run for their lives – very dangerous.

  12. I have never understood why cops of different cities and towns get the same pay. Cornwall has the smugglers and the nuts in the community to deal with every now and then but nothing like the big cities where crime is rampant. There is hardly a time that I don’t see the cops and fire as well as paramedics speeding down the streets here in Ottawa with all the problems. Cornwall is mighty small.

  13. The only way to cut is on their enormous pay for such a very small town. It makes absolutely no sense at all. If Cornwalls cops were here in Ottawa and other large cities they would high tail out of here like a kangaroo on steroids. The crimes here are unbelievable. I miss the Sleepy Hollow years of Ottawa. Society today has gone to hell and back.

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