By Cecilia Nasmith
Twenty-eight civilian jobs with the Cobourg Police Service have been saved by the Police Record Checks Reform Act that comes into effect Nov. 1, news that was announced Saturday at the Venture 13 building by Northumberland-Peterborough South MPP David Piccini and Minister of Community Safety and Correctional Services Michael Tibollo.
These employees work at the police department's business-services division providing criminal records checks, criminal record and judicial matters checks, and vulnerable sector checks that are required by so many employers and agencies that rely on volunteers. This service realized $2.2-million in 2017 that was used to defray policing costs to the taxpayers.
The Port Hope Police Service has a similar service, but not on as big a scale as Cobourg's – where they are on track to raise $3-million in 2018 and perhaps as much as $5-million in 2020. They also hope to add six employees and a midnight shift in the coming weeks, with perhaps 10 more employees at some point.
The act amends Bill 113 which, as of Nov. 1, would have imposed restrictions on third-party criminal records checks that would have endangered these jobs with local police services and potentially sent them out of province, Piccini said.
Not only are these local jobs safe, he added, but there is the potential for this work force to grow.
Piccini noted there are also implications for members of the public on several fronts. The monies raised make it possible to purchase capital items like cruisers and license-plate readers that do not have to go on to the tax levy. And having this extra equipment sooner enhances the force's capacity to serve members of the public.
He gave as an example the recent ride-along he had with Port Hope police, who demonstrated their license-plate reader. This equipment not only made it possible to apprehend a number of individuals driving while their licenses were suspended, he said – one was also driving intoxicated and was promptly taken off the road.
Piccini sometimes calls politics a team sport, and said this is best illustrated by the municipal officials who brought this situation to his attention in time to take action to safeguard jobs.