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Essex mayor pushes for 'satisfaction survey' regarding town’s policing

File photo of an Essex County OPP vehicle, Wednesday, Dec. 5, 2012. (Melanie Borrelli / CTV Windsor) File photo of an Essex County OPP vehicle, Wednesday, Dec. 5, 2012. (Melanie Borrelli / CTV Windsor)
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The mayor of Essex is hoping the community will partake in a new public satisfaction survey about policing in town.

“Getting public feedback on our OPP services, the level of service, seeing what the public thinks,” said Mayor Sherry Bondy, who raised a notice of motion at Monday night’s town council meeting to see if her colleagues have the appetite to survey residents.

Bondy said this has been done in town before, but she wants more feedback to see if the public feels satisfied with the level of service provided by OPP.

Common complaints she hears from residents include lack of police presence and lack of traffic enforcement.

“We know they're out there. We just don't always see them,” she said.

Bondy said Essex is generally safe, but she wants to make sure the community is getting value for dollar from the OPP.

Bondy also expressed frustration that the town doesn’t have much control over the shared OPP services, with an oversight board only meeting every two months.

The new board, which replaces the police services board, combines Essex, Tecumseh, and Lakeshore as a single entity.

“As mayor, I'm pretty frustrated, you know? Because I'd like to see more traffic enforcement and sometimes we don't see that,” said Bondy. “So I want to have the public's opinion. And then we'll take it from there.”

“I want to gauge that, you know, term to term and see if public satisfaction continues to decrease, maybe council needs to do something about it,” Bondy said.

Bondy said the town isn’t looking to outsource policing right now, noting it would be a costly endeavour for taxpayers.

“We know that the OPP contract is much more affordable than other contracts in the region. So we have to think about if we were to change policing services, there would be a hefty tax bill with that,” she said. “And that's something that I don't think our residents want at this time, but I want to hear from them.”

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