Crime in Thunder Bay Under a Political Police Chief

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crime map Thunder BayTHUNDER BAY – If Thunder Bay Police Chief Bob Herman really wants to be a politician, and it sure looks like it lately, maybe he should step down and file his papers and run.

Herman has been badgering elected federal MPs Bruce Hyer and John Rafferty over their long stated opposition to the federal long-gun registry.

Herman seems to have forgotten that in 2008, citizens in our city voted for both MPs and one of the promises that both Hyer and Rafferty made to voters was to help scrap the long-gun registry.

Chief Herman, and the executive of the TBPS seem increasingly out of touch with the issues right here at home.

As people in Thunder Bay have grown increasingly worried about venturing out at night, Chief Herman told citizens that there are some places that just are not safe at night. As people have expressed concern, the Chief of Police has relished his role, last years as Vice President of the Ontario Chiefs of Police, and this year as President. It is almost as if, in the twilight of his career, the Chief has sought outside praise from his political efforts.

The truth is, that political role isn’t enhancing public safety in Thunder Bay.  If anything it is making things worse. The Chief has taken his eye off the ball, and public safety in our city is worse for it.

Now, to be clear, it is not easy to be critical of a long-serving police officer. Our respect for police and the tough job they do is important.

However, Bob’s job isn’t to be a politician, it is to be the Chief of Police in Thunder Bay. When his time and talent is dedicated to other efforts, and Thunder Bay is struggling, it is time for the Chief to re-focus.

If Bob Herman, the political side isn’t happy in the role of Police Chief, certainly he can resign and join the political race, either at the civic, provincial, or even the federal arena.

Chief Herman leads a police service with one of the highest crime clearing rates in Canada. We have for the most part a dedicated front line fighting crime. What is missing it increasingly appears is the leadership atop the service.

Maybe it is time for the Chief of Police to decide, if a political career is his real goal? Perhaps taking a shift on the streets, in a patrol car, so he can see what his officers are seeing is a next logical step? It might re-focus his priorities.

Either way, the Chief’s duty is to Thunder Bay first. The idea of flying off across the province, and country, to serve as a political voice isn’t making our streets any safer.

That of course is just my opinion, as always, your mileage may vary.

James Murray

The image in this piece is from the Crime Mapping site. It shows the crimes in Thunder Bay, excluding traffic stops by Police over the past 30 days. Visit the Crime Mapping site at www.crimemapping.com

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