The Board of Police Commissioner’s report released last night revealed council debated four different models of policing in two days of closed door meetings this week.
Option A was to maintain the status quo, which was what council voted for. The report cited no disruption in service, the urban expertise of Halifax Regional Police, and the rural expertise of the RCMP as advantages. Disadvantages to maintaining this model, according to the report, include the image of a divided municipality and future uncertainty concerning federal contributions to the RCMP’s operating costs.
Option B suggested expanding the HRP to Lower Sackville and Cole Harbour, harmonizing the urban and suburban cores, as well as reducing overhead costs. Disadvantages to this model, according to the report, include the possibility of impairing the relationship between HRP and the RCMP.
Option C, which the board recommended, involved expanding the HRP to take over all policing duties in the municipality. This model was the best financial option, according to the report, and HRM would have greater control over policing operations and budgets. Disadvantages included the elimination of the RCMP’s presence and possible disruption in effected communities.
Option D involved the takeover of policing duties in the HRM by the RCMP. This model had similar advantages to option C but cited high transition costs, as well as reduced budgetary control and oversight for regional council as disadvantages.