Far too soon to judge the new Chief


Chief of Police JP Lesveque
Chief of Police JP Lesveque

THUNDER BAY – The Thunder Bay Police Service is running a major budget shortfall. It would be really easy to point a finger directly at our new Chief of Police J.P. Lesveque and place the blame on his desk. However that won’t solve the problem, and it is time that people in Thunder Bay started to look at the problem as one that needs to be looked at in a new manner. Many of the problems Chief Lesveque has to handle have been there for some time now.

Chief Lesveque has been the city’s top cop for only a few short months, taking the job last July.

There are some fairly obvious opportunities for the new Chief to arrest easily one third of the million plus dollars his department is over budget.

There are three police officers currently sitting at home, on paid suspension. Get those officers back to work, and there are over three hundred thousand dollars freed up. While those officers await their hearing, they could be manning a desk and freeing up other officers. Think of it this way, every day those three officers are sitting at home, another officer has to pick up the slack, it means overtime in a department where talking to front-line officers the workload is already heavy enough.

Second, a lot of the work that officers are currently doing, responding to calls on minor issues, could be reduced by implementing technology to do some of the heavy lifting. As repeatedly reported on Crimebeat, police services across Canada are implementing online reporting of minor crimes.

Statistics Canada has reported that 79 per cent of Thunder Bay has access to the Internet. It appears an opportunity to use online reporting, like the Calgary Police Service and other Canadian services have already implemented would help drastically.

The Calgary Police Service outlines the process very clearly on their website.

“This system allows you to submit and print a police report if one of the following has happened to you within the City of Calgary and you do not know who did it:

-You have lost or have had stolen something that is worth less than $5,000(not including firearms, licence plates or government-issued funds or identification).  (Lost Property or Theft under $5,000)
-Your property or vehicle has been vandalized. (Damage/Mischief to Property or Vehicle under $5,000)
-Your vehicle has been broken into. (Theft from Vehicle under $5,000)

All other crimes must be reported by calling the non-emergency line at 403-266-1234 or by visiting a district office”. (http://www.calgarypolice.ca/onlinereporting.html)

Chief Lesveque was carefully choosen by the Police Services Board. Thunder Bay, right now has a choice, either we support the new Chief of Police, or not. The Chief may have, from this budget shortfall, the opportunity to start putting his own brand on the Thunder Bay Police Service, and show citizens what he is capable of accomplishing.

That is not to suggest everything is perfect, but that after only 15 weeks on the job, it is far too soon to judge the new Chief.

James Murray
Chief Content Officer

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