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Background--- HRM Policing Review
(Tuesday, August 27/2002)--Halifax Regional Municipality recognizes that the Halifax Regional Police (HRP) and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) are providing valued services within the region--- and providing them well.
Nevertheless, HRM must make decisions about future resourcing of policing services in the context of what the public expects HRM to provide, and there is not an unlimited source of funds to add resources at will.
Because of the uniqueness in having two service providers, it was felt there was a need for the development of a common Business Plan to provide policing services throughout HRM, regardless of the service provider. The purpose of the review was not to select a preferred police service delivery, and no recommendations or comments are made in this respect.
A consultant, Perrivale + Taylor, was hired to assist in the determination of an appropriate level of policing services throughout HRM, based on best value and performance standards. The study team, with police/academic/private industry experience, undertook interviews; conducted focus groups; reviewed the literature; examined relevant documents; and participated in ride-alongs in both HRP and RCMP districts. The study cost $169,310, plus HST. (The Province of Nova Scotia contributed $25,000 towards the cost.)
The report is fairly detailed, although data incompatibility prevented statistical analysis at an overall HRM level. It provides information on policing services currently being provided; benchmarks with other jurisdictions; and analysis of officer utilization.
The report states that both HRP and the Halifax Detachment of the RCMP are both are competent and professional, and concludes that HRM is well served by both service providers. Not only do they make significant contributions to safety and security in HRM, but through their special skills and expertise, contribute to the policing of other jurisdictions. The study did not find one service better than another.
While both organizations are providing a quality service in the HRM, the report outlines a total of 81 recommendations. A number relate specifically to creating efficiencies; some will require a period of time to implement; while others are not operationally suitable.
The report mentions there are some issues regarding information- sharing; difficulty demonstrating that community priorities are being met; and inefficiencies in some service delivery functions.
It provides a number of recommendations dealing with ways to improve:
The consultant identifies a number of areas where both policing agencies can work better together. The recommendations involve specific actions by the Province of Nova Scotia, Halifax Regional Council, the Halifax Regional Board of Police Commissioners, HRM's Chief Administrative Officer, the HRP and the RCMP.
HRM staff are currently reviewing the recommendations and will be reporting back to Regional Council in the near future with an action plan to respond to the review's recommendations. Some recommendations have already been acted upon.
Sergeant Don Spicer
Halifax Regional Police, Media Relations
Constable Peter Marshall
Media Relations Officer, Halifax Detachment RCMP
(902) 869-5079 (cell) 229-6523
HRM Corporate Communications Officer