Town remains committed to reducing unnecessary police calls
By Patricia Leboeuf
Posted on Thursday, May 3, 2018
Petawawa Police Services Board continuing public education programs in an effort to lower the number of Calls for Service.
The Town of Petawawa is continuing its mission to reduce unnecessary policing fees.
Policing is billed to every municipality in two parts, said Petawawa Police Services Board (PPSB) Chairwoman and Councillor Treena Lemay.
The contract for policing services is negotiated every five years, and the current contract will be renewed in 2020. In 2016, the cost of policing was $1,752,555 which includes a basic cost which covers everything the police service requires to ensure it is fully operational, as well as a secondary cost called Calls for Service. Whenever the police are called out during an incident, there is a charge to the town.
Communities have little control over the basic cost of policing, but they do have the opportunity to reduce the number of Calls for Service.
“Our board has taken the position that, through a variety of educational means and opportunities, we will advise people to keep themselves, the neighbourhood and the community safe and avoid calling the police for service,” said Lemay.
That does not mean that citizens shouldn’t call the police when needed.
Rather, the PPSB just wants to ensure that residents reduce the possibility of becoming a victim by taking certain precautions such as locking up their homes and vehicles and paying attention to the road, as well as contacting the right resources when requiring assistance.
The education campaigns by the PPSB have had a positive effect, reducing the number of Calls for Service over the past year, Lemay confirmed.
Unintentional calls to 911 also take up a considerable amount of time and funds, as at least two officers must respond to every call, even when they are made in error.
“That is a significant cost and the more accidental 911 calls we get the more you have an increase in calls for service,” said Lemay.
As part of their educational programs, the PPSB encourages people to lock their screens and to remember that even old deactivated cell phones can still call 911.
Wild animals such as bears are also a common sight and do not necessitate a 911 call unless there is an immediate danger to humans or pets.
It is much better to call the toll-free Bear Wise reporting line at 1-866-514-2327 if one is spotted.
However, residents should not hesitate to call 911 when they believe a true emergency is occurring, said Lemay.
For tips on how to stay safe, please visit the Petawawa Police Services Board’s Website at www.petawawapsb.ca.