THUNDER BAY – Crimebeat – The Thunder Bay Police Service unveiled the 2012-2014 Business Plan. The core of the document is to improve the police presence and engagement in the community. Both steps are ones that progressive police services are doing across North America. It is very positive to see Chief J. P Lesveque moving forward toward more positive engagement in our community.
Increased use of technology to fight crime is going to make a positive difference in Thunder Bay. The Business Plan outlines a shift in the policies of the past and starts to embrace the new technologies that are available.
There is already solid action on one effort to use technology to do some of the ‘heavy lifting’ by the Thunder Bay Police Service. Online Crime Reporting has now been implemented. This will free up officers from taking reports for:
- Damage/Mischief to property under $5000.00;
- Damage (Not Wilful);
- Harassing Phone Call;
- Lost and Found Property;
- Lost/Stolen Licence Plate;
- Lost/Stolen Securities (Identification);
- Theft under $5000.00;
- Theft from Vehicle under $5000.00.
This is a positive move that Chief Lesveque has now implemented. The system created by Coplogic in the United States is used by over 250 other departments and services. “The DeskOfficer Online Reporting System generates an incredible savings in time and allows agencies to better reallocate resources to proactively face crime trends and better meet the needs of the community. Agencies using DORS have reported taking in anywhere from 10 to 30% of all reports without dispatching an officer”.
The Thunder Bay Police Service remains sterling in their record for clearing cases. The Thunder Bay Police Service’s clearance rates are higher than the provincial and national averages. That positive is now being backed up by moves to prevent crime.
The TBPS seek to increase their community engagement. One of the goals will be to “Develop and implement a strategy to leverage social media in communicating with and educating the public on important policing and safety issues”. This is an important set forward. The Police also seek to “Work closely with all local media to ensure the accurate and timely release of information to the public”.
Those two moves are likely to help reduce crime in Thunder Bay. Letting technology, which is increasing in its scope all the time, do some of the work is going to make Thunder Bay a safer community.
Some of the moves needed are likely to be viewed as potentially risky by some in the police executive offices. Moving into new areas is not risky, it is good solid strategic planning. In Thunder Bay’s case, our service is following in the footsteps of some of the true trailblazers in Canada. They include the City of Toronto Police Service, the Guelph Police Service, and the Chatham Kent Police Service to name only a few.
Today, reading the report from the Thunder Bay Police Service, the only people who likely should feel there is risk involved are those in our community who seek to engage in criminal activities.
Chief Content Officer