Police say more cops on the street better use of funds than new police station in north Oshawa

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Published November 25, 2021 at 3:02 pm

With gun crime rising in Oshawa’s north end, the call for a greater police presence in the area and in particular, for a new station, was heard once again, this time with a trio of police inspectors on hand to listen.

The police inspectors were at Oshawa Council Monday for an end-of year state of the union address and Ward 2 Councillor Tito-Dante Marimpietri
took the opportunity to see if there was any chatter on the police board about a new station in Oshawa’s growing north-east neighbourhood.

The Durham police budget is in the hands of Durham Council right now, and while the recommended budget calls for 53 more staff – including 20 new frontline officers – there’s no mention of a new station.

Inspector Dave Saliba, the Officer in Charge of Central East Division, said personnel increases will almost always be the biggest ask at budget time, adding that more cops on the street is a better use of money than a new station.

“It’s not about bricks and mortar, it’s about understanding the area of challenges and making sure we have the resources to address those challenges.”

Marimpietri had questions about response times from the Whitby headquarters (“we are getting to those calls even quicker this year,” he was told), Mayor Dan Carter wanted to know if enough mental health staff have been added to address those types of calls, and Ward 1 Councillor John Neal, another ardent backer of a new police station, had questions for the inspectors about station jurisdictions.

“We need a police station in north Oshawa,” he said.

The item is not on the DRPS wish list for next year’s budget, however. The recommendation from staff is for more than $232 million, including a one-quarter of a per cent increase for the DRPS body-worn cameras.

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