PAO Responds to Fraser Institute Study

Ontario's Professional Police Provide Value to the Community

MISSISSAUGA, ON, Sept. 22, 2014 /CNW/ - "The value that professional policing provides to communities across Ontario cannot be measured by one set of statistics", said Police Association of Ontario President Dan Axford in response to the reaction to the Fraser Institute's paper on police costs.

The nature of policing has evolved beyond reacting to crime, though that will always be a core function. Professional policing involves a range of community-based initiatives to keep public order, prevent crime, address the needs of vulnerable groups and improve the quality of life in our communities by keeping them safe. The value of what our members do cannot be solely measured against reported crime statistics.

Increased civilian oversight and accountability has also increased our workload. The PAO is committed to the value of public accountability, but it comes at a cost. Moving to lower cost "private sector" delivery of key police services has the potential to undermine the strong oversight and accountability measures the public has demanded.

The PAO agrees that further study is needed to determine the most effective way to provide police services and keep our communities safe. We have actively participated in the Future of Policing Advisory Committee, working with all stakeholders to develop effective, efficient and sustainable police service delivery in Ontario.

The FPAC process has demonstrated to us that the delivery of police services is a complex issue with no easy solutions. Ontario's police personnel provide a range of essential services to our communities that no one else is providing - 24 hours a day, seven days a week. We provide immeasurable value to our communities and we are accountable to our communities.

This study really adds no new insight to the conversation that has been going on for the last 30 months at the FPAC table. What is clear is that professional police have continually taken on more responsibility within society in a highly professional and accountable manner. The public has demanded this and our members have delivered.

The Police Association of Ontario (PAO) was founded in 1933 and is the unifying voice for Ontario's professional police personnel. Our membership consists of over 18,000 police and civilian members from municipal police associations across Ontario.

SOURCE: Police Association of Ontario

For further information: Dan Axford, Acting President, 519-494-2574

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