THUNDER BAY – Thunder Bay Chief of Police JP Lesveque met with Ian Hogkinson, the head of the Guardian Angels in Thunder Bay on Tuesday.
Ian Hodgkinson shares, “I would like to give a quick update on how my meeting was yesterday with the Chief of Police. It was a huge honor for me as a Guardian Angel to have met with the Chief yesterday and his Staff. They were extremely professional, but more than anything they were extremely welcoming and kind, it was a great experience and I am glad that it happened.
“The Chief is extremely accessible and very humble and down-to-earth and it was an honor to see how he conducts himself it was a great learning experience for me. I learned a lot and I was givin a lot of valuable advice.
“Now we cannot sugarcoat things, Thunder Bay does have its issues and there are problems here there’s no doubt about it, and the reality is…its pretty intense, BUT I am blown away by all the amaizing people and orginizations that have been doing amazing work for years here in the City, I will tell you, yes its bad…but the amount of support that exists here now phenomenal, Thunder Bay just straight up kicks ass when it comes to people being cool and ready to help..what an amaizing City!”
“We spoke at length about the problems here in Thunder Bay and of course I was grateful that I was included in a conversation like that. The Chief and I both in agreement that there are certain things in the Guardian Angel curriculum that need to be restructured, for obvious reasons, Ontario law is very clear on what can and cannot be done not just with me but with any volunteer group.
“It was very refreshing to see the Chiefs concern for your Public Safety is huge.
Two of the big topics we tackled were these ..
1.We need to make sure that when we do have Guardian Angels training we weed out the people who think that this is a vigilante brigade that is just going to go out on the street and get into fights and beat people up.
That is not going to happen, not here or anywhere we don’t do that with the Guardian Angels. That is not our mission or our motive.
So this is not for people who are racist,or pissed off and just want to hurt people…hope this does not disappoint,but,its 2015, there are oner ways to make changes.
2. That if, in Phase 2 of the project if we decide to put people in certain areas during certain hours of the day at the element of safety, it is a well-trained group, well screened group, no one with a criminal past, or a separate agenda will be on the street as a Guardian Angel, and that we work as a unit, with the common goal of Public Safety.
I do not need the Chief of Police to tell me or to tell you that the number one concern of the Guardian Angels is every goes home safe and unharmed. Yes our intentions are to help our community tackles a public safety issues, but we are not superheroes, and I will not put anyone in danger, right now in the winter I’m going to organize this, get us together start the training, get the volunteers organized and well-trained, and we will make a plan with a timetable of things that we want to accomplish as a group.
In the meantime with the Chief’s blessings and I’m sure the Mayor will be on board today, ss I have stated I have spoken with the Catholic School Board, and we are all on the same page with implementing the anti-bullying program in the schools, and focusing on guiding our youth and providing an outlet for them to learn different alternatives on how to deal with the situations that are concerning them and parents today, and I will also start organizing the volunteers who are going to be in the Guardian Angels.
That is phase 1, I am very excited and motivated and actually the meeting with the chief of police yesterday was not only an amazing experience but turned out a lot better than I thought it would be!
So as I have said after the meeting today with the Mayor, we can schedule our first and we can get things rocking!
DONT MISUNDERSTAND..WE ARE THE GUARDIAN ANGELS…WE WILL ALWAYS BE THERE FOR YOU, BECAUSE…IT IS YOU, WHO BECOME GUARDIAN ANGELS..WE WILL DO WHAT WE NEED TO DO TO MAKE A BETTER QUALITY OF LIFE FOR OUR KIDS,OUR FAMILIES AND FRIENDS,OUR COMUNNITY…
We will support all and everyone who is already doing the heavy lifting of trying to make difference it is so awesome, Thank-you to the Thunder Bay Police,and the Chief and his staff to us, the Guardian Angels, the police are heroes.
The only thing I did not like about the Chief is that he is Bruins fan – just kidding 😉
January 14, 2015 – Chief of Police Statement
Chief Levesque met with Ian Hodgkinson on Tuesday January 13, 2014. Mr. Hodgkinson outlined his role as representing the Guardian Angels. The Guardian Angels is an international volunteer organization which promotes public safety through a variety of violence prevention programs.
From the discussions with Mr. Hodgkinson, it would appear that the Guardian Angels goal in Canada is to focus on mentorship and safety programs aimed at youth. Safety patrols, as established by previous Guardian Angel chapters, are not on the interim agenda for Mr. Hodgkinson.
Chief Levesque has asked Mr. Hodgkinson to develop a plan which outlines the intent of the Guardian Angels in Thunder Bay and clarifies that the G.A.’s are committed to assisting youth of all backgrounds.
Chief Levesque feels that “The Guardian Angels appear to be evolving and have the potential to have a positive effect on youth and public safety.”
As with any volunteer based organization, the Thunder Bay Police Service concern is that the organization has high ethical and legal standards. It is important that any volunteer organization ensure that members are screened regarding their background. Mr. Hodgkinson has indicated that any members of the Guardian Angels Thunder Bay chapter will have criminal background checks.