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To Serve and Protect

Do other communities looking at the ‘OPP Option’ for their police service requirements raise serious questions regarding the policy and powers of the Niagara Regional Police and their apparently uncontrollable secret service police board? Now, what would lead other communities to consider dumping their police departments while our Niagara Regional Government has only threatened this action…Twice?

Is the idea of having one police force for the province a good idea?

Would one provincial police force lead to an even bigger governance issue or would it force the elected Ontario Government to keep the police more accountable?

Did St. Catharine’s taxpayer’ really pay an extra $80,000 to get the Niagara Regional Police to do exactly what they are already paid $Hundreds of Millions of Dollars to do?

Did this additional $80K get extra police presence for only five hours per day during the benign hours of 11:00AM to 4:00PM and only through the summer months?
Is it acceptable that it takes EXTRA cash incentives and payola to be paid to the NRP in exchange for what should be an obligatory police service? During this same period did the very same leaders of the NRP squirrel away $Millions of dollars for the sole purpose of ‘Empire Building’?

At what point, since the St. Catharine’s Police Department was rolled into the consolidation of the regional police forces under the banner of Niagara Regional Police, did the patrolling of our downtown core business areas become a ‘fee for service-per event’ situation?

It is the contention of the WINNERS CIRCLE {A volunteer advocacy group} that the downward pressure on our downtown business core has a direct correlation with the character and inadequacy of downtown policing. We contend that the situation downtown will not improve until it is deemed safe. Our downtown will not be considered as safe and pleasant until policing is what it should be.

Considering the NRP’s recent and expensive grab {$10’s of millions} for the {Now inadequate}  ‘Taro Building’ at the corner of James & Church, only to demand an even further and far more audacious expansion, {$100’s of Millions}. Could this situation be considered a landmark study in empire-building?

Are these valid reasons to pay the Chief an extra $34,000.00, which is a pay increase of nearly 50% more than the $23,400 average annual income of our individual taxpaying citizens and approximately 2/3 over the $56,000 average annual family income? These average annual income figures include the public sector incomes in the over $100,000.00 {Taxpayer funded} club, who are looking after themselves vary handsomely indeed.

What could be the reason or excuse for the cynicism creating secrecy that denies the general public information regarding the simple relocation of a police headquarters?

While we’re impressed with the report out of Niagara Falls that the Niagara Regional Police has made a record 107 drug busts in 100 days, followed by repeated reports of many further amazing Niagara Fall’s successes, we must ask if St. Catharines is not paying its fare share toward the hefty costs of the Niagara Regional Police, so that we might realize some of the same astonishing successes here in our Garden City?

Instead we are treated to a bizarre situation where our unelected chairman of the observably uncontrollable secret service police board, stating that the only role for our elected government and its taxpayers is to “fund the operating and capital budget that will result in facilities that meet the adequacy threshold that has been determined by the board and the chief.”

Our appointed police board chairman also declared that "only the board has authority to decide the fate of new police facilities!”

It would appear that our  appointed chairman of the secret service police board went on to threaten that “if the Region fails to provide funding the board feels is proper, it will take the matter up with the Ontario Civilian Commission on Police Services, {another unelected body} which CAN make a decision binding on the board and the Region.”
Is this the way to treat the Taxpaying Citizens of Niagara?

Is now a good time to find out where our Provincial Government Stands?
Is our unelected chairman really dictating to us that we taxpayers and our elected Niagara Regional Government have no say in anything to do with the NRP no matter what the cost?!

How much damage has this episode and subsequent comments caused?

If the NRP is only controlled by the NRP and its secret service police board with no accountability to our Regional Government or the TAXPAYERS that pays for the NRP services, could one be faulted for viewing this situation as the seeds for accepting the conceptual thinking towards a POLICE STATE?

When did the servants of the people become the masters of the people?

So much for democracy!

Click here for another example of police State thinking in Niagara...