STELLARTON – The Stellarton police commission will be bringing its proposal for policing in the town to the council meeting on Monday.
The Town of New Glasgow issued a release Wednesday, stating that their proposal had been turned down and Stellarton would be continuing with the status quo with its own police force.
Stellarton police commission chair Don Taylor said they would be releasing information on their decision and the reasoning behind it after it becomes official from council.
“We all took an oath for the office, and the oath is to maintain the security and confidentiality of what we discussed in camera. It becomes official one way or another on the ninth,” he said. “Given that almost all of council was involved in the review, I suspect that they will rubber stamp it, but until it’s official, it’s not official.”
They notified each party involved, New Glasgow, the Pictou County RCMP, Westville and their own town, of their decision first so they wouldn’t hear it secondhand, Taylor said, adding that each police force worked hard on their proposals.
New Glasgow deputy mayor Jack Lewis, who is also that town’s police commission chair, expressed disappointment in Stellarton’s decision.
“We provided a very thorough proposal to Stellarton that would have provided police services in a very fiscally responsible and prudent manner and we believe would have significantly enhanced policing services for the citizens of Stellarton,” Lewis said in a news release.
Sgt. Kevin Dunlevy with the Pictou County RCMP said they had received word from Stellarton as well.
“It is what it is,” he said in response to the decision, adding that the RCMP would be continuing with business as usual.
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In November 2013, Mayor Joe Gennoe said he expected the decision to be made in the new year.
In response to a question about the delay, Taylor said that comment might have been made too soon.
“There’s a lot to it. You’re changing the whole face of policing. You want to do it right one time, as opposed to wrong several times,” he said. “That was where our thinking was. It wasn’t something we wanted to rush through. We felt a lot of pressure. I’ve talked to a few of the committee members who had some sleepless nights.”
He noted they required additional information from one proposal and outside help for a mathematical issue, furthering the time the decision took.
Taylor added that some members had other commitments and employment, meaning it couldn’t be wrapped up in a short time.
One of their concerns throughout the process was to ensure their 10 officers received an answer as quickly as possible.
“They didn’t know where their future was. They deserved an answer… that was another pressure we were under.”
If council were to reject their recommendation, Taylor said they would have to return to the drawing board.
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