Greater Sudbury’s parks may be closed for the time being, but the city’s finance and administration committee voted April 14 to extend their parks security contract with the firm Commissionaires for one more year.
The city’s contract for parks security services had expired with no extension or renewal terms available, and the finance and admin committee approved staff’s recommendation of a single source purchase with their existing provider for the 2020 season.
The 2020 budget for parks security services is $176,460. The estimated cost will be covered within the existing budget and any overexpenditures will be funded within the parks operating budget.
While the decision to extend the contract with Commissionaires was fairly cut and dry, city staff is looking to develop a comprehensive corporate-wide procurement for security services in the future.
“The city of Greater Sudbury is looking at its overall security contracts across the organization and is preparing for a larger procurement to incorporate all the needs — City of Greater Sudbury Housing, parks, Tom Davies Square and the rest,” said Steve Jacques, general manager of community development.
“Commissionaires, in their performance over the last five years have performed above the standard of the five-year contract, the additional rationale for sole source is they’re very familiar with parks operations, they’re familiar with the challenges that we face every day and they’re very familiar with our bylaws.”
Despite being familiar with the city’s bylaws, Commissionaires staff don’t actually have the ability to enforce city bylaws.
“We do have bylaw on in the summer until 10 p.m., but currently the level that’s supported by parks is a little bit different from bylaw because it is more security as opposed to bylaw,” said Brendan Adair, manager of security and bylaw services.
“The security through Commissionaires don’t have the ability to enforce bylaws — they’re merely enforcing the rules of the parks bylaw and I would suggest they’re using more Trespass to Property Act.”
The Commissionaires guards are, however, able to hold or detain individuals until police arrive, if necessary.
Commissionaires provides security at more than three dozen parks in Greater Sudbury, with all but Bell Park being done on a roving basis. Bell Park has stationary security provided by the company in the form of two guards from 6 p.m. – 2 a.m. daily from mid-May through the end of September.
Ward 11 Coun. Bill Leduc questioned whether the hours outlined for the stationary security officers at Bell Park were the best use of them, asking whether a timeframe of 9 p.m. – 5 a.m. might be more suitable as security issues are likely more prevalent after sunset.
“We would likely see a lot more damage in those late hours and into the morning,” said Leduc. “So I’m wondering if we can make a little change on that.”
Jeff Pafford, director of leisure services explained that the times outlined can always be subject to change, dependant on needs.
“The 6 p.m. to 2 a.m. timeline and that’s mainly for the stationary security at Bell Park is based on previous experiences and visitation and occurrences in the park,” said Pafford.
“Certainly there’s contract language that allows us to tweak locations and times. The recommendation from a staff perspective is that we continue to look at that 6 p.m. to 2 a.m., but certainly in response to any issues we see we can adjust those times.”
Full report can be found here.