Enniskillen policing cost climb 24 per cent

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The body of Andrew Chute, 45, of Sarnia was found at the Marthaville Habitat April 24. Enniskillen Township is facing increasing policing costs because of the investigation.

Blake Ellis/Local Journalism Initiative

Enniskillen Township will need to increase its policing costs about $96,000 in its 2024 budget after two major police investigations.

Township Administrator-Clerk Duncan McTavish met recently with Lambton OPP Inspector Chris Avery where he learned there will be a 24 percent increase in policing costs in 2024, compared to the previous year.

McTavish told council at its Nov. 6 meeting this increase is almost entirely related to two homicides, which were investigated in 2022. The first investigation began when the remains of 18-year-old Jelani Byer-Coates of Ajax was found on Dec. 28, 2021 in Enniskillen Township near Oil Springs.

The second murder investigation was triggered when the body of Andrew Chute was found in the early morning of April 14 near the entrance of the Marthaville Habitat Management Area in Enniskillen Township. Two people have plead guilty to accessory to murder and await sentencing.

The reconciliation of the 2022 policing costs requires a payment of $75,745, said McTavish.

The 2024 budget also has an increase of $20,569, which is directly related to a formula which calculates the four year average of overtime to build into the budget.

The OPP gives municipal governments an estimate of yearly policing costs, then refunds any over payments and tacks any extra costs on budgets two years later.

  • The Independent