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The Municipality of Cumberland is issuing a request for proposals for the provision of policing services within the municipality. Council passed the motion unanimously during a special meeting on Tuesday, April 11, 2023.

“This is another step in a process we began a year ago,” Municipality of Cumberland Mayor Murray Scott said following Tuesday’s meeting. “We formed a review committee last May that included four councillors and myself as well as four citizens, our CAO and a representative of the Department of Justice. We held a series of public meetings last fall and considered what was said and how our residents feel about policing within the municipality.”

As part of its work, the committee oversaw a public consultation process. In August 2022, Narrative Research of Halifax was hired to facilitate this process and reported back to the committee in the fall.

The process included five public meetings in Parrsboro, Pugwash, River Hebert, Springhill and Upper Nappan, an online survey and one-on-one stakeholder meetings as well as social media, radio and newspaper advertising.

The committee reviewed the current policing model, reviewed policing needs for the municipality and options and was tasked with presenting a final report with recommendations to council.

In accordance with the protocol established by the Nova Scotia Department of Justice, a presentation by the RCMP on the current level of service within the municipality was also arranged.

Following this work, the committee identified three possible options: maintaining the status quo, conducting a review of policing services with the current provider or issuing a request for proposals for policing services.

The committee opted to recommend that council proceed with a request for proposals ensuring concerns raised through the public consultations were addressed.

Council accepted the recommendation and asked the committee to develop and submit a draft request for proposals.

At the March 31, 2023, committee meeting the review committee accepted the draft request for proposals and forwarded it to council for approval.

Any final decision on the future of policing in the Municipality of Cumberland will be decided by council.