Thunder Bay Police Services Board Meeting Highlights

OIPRD Report Broken Trust
OIPRD Report Broken Trust

THUNDER BAY, ON, NEWS — The Thunder Bay Police Services Board (TBPSB) convened for its regular session this morning.

The Board is the oversight body for the City of Thunder Bay Police Service.

Following is a summary of notable items:

Update: OIPRD Report Recommendations

TBPSB  legal counsel provided an update regarding progress in addressing the OIPRD’s Broken Trust report recommendations.

All nine original cases identified in the OIPRD report have been reinvestigated and the files are being completed for review by the Executive Governance Committee.

While the nine cases were expected to be completed by March 2021, that goal has been adjusted to September 2021.

Re-investigation of the tenth case involving the death of Stacy DeBungee began earlier this year; a completion date has not yet been established.

Regarding Recommendation 9, Tuesday’s report noted that while the Criminal Investigations Branch and Major Crimes Unit adhere to all provincially mandated policies and procedures on investigating criminal matters, a training manual specific to Major Crimes will be completed shortly.

As per Recommendation 23, Tuesday’s report noted that the Service is reviewing The Hon.      Gloria Epstein’s April 2021 report on the Toronto Police Service’s missing persons investigations. A presentation and implementation strategy will be presented to the Board at next month’s regular meeting.

“With the release of the Broken Trust report in 2018, the Thunder Bay Police Service was confronted by a crisis in confidence,” says Board Chair Kristen Oliver. “The 44 recommendations are not simply items to be checked off a list. They are creating the foundation by which policing is done in Thunder Bay. It is reassuring to see changes taking place on an ongoing basis.”

Board to Appeal to Ministry of the Solicitor General on Various Matters

A motion inspired by a recent virtual meeting with members of the Ontario Association of Police Services Boards (OAPSB),  was passed.

The motion called for three actions, which reflect the concerns of OAPSB members:

  • that the Board appeal to the Ministry of the Solicitor General and the Public Appointments Secretariat for action in ensuring all provincial police board vacancies are filled in a timely manner;
  • that the Board ask the Ministry of the Solicitor General to ensure standardized training and development programs for police board members ;
  • and that the Board urge the Solicitor General to reconsider the “one board, one detachment” concept to allow for more effective consolidation of boards tailored to local geography.

“Boards have gone many months, and sometimes years, with seats unfilled,” said Board member Roydon Pelletier. “This is a situation shared by boards across the province and one that our board has experienced in the past.”

On training, one of the recommendations from Senator Murray Sinclair’s 2018 OCPC report was that the Province create a “New Board Member Orientation Standard.” The motion tabled Tuesday outlined the need for this training to go further.

“While the orientation training available through our Ministry Advisor is both informative and helpful, it is only a start,” said Pelletier, who was appointed to the Board earlier this year. “The complexities of modern policing and the resulting demands on its governance by boards demands more.”

Other Matters

  • Acting Sgt. Sal Carchidi from the Thunder Bay Police Service Traffic Unit provided a presentation on the 2021-2022 Traffic Management Plan. The Board heard there were 299 impaired driving cases in 2020, up from 204 in 2019. Carchidi attributed the increase to “the detection skills of our officers as well as the ability to do that testing.” The following traffic issues were presented as priorities for 2021-2022: intelligence-led enforcement; aggressive and distracted driving; removing suspended and uninsured drivers from the roads; and utilizing the Service’s media and social media platforms to educate the public.
  • The Board received a memorandum from the Ministry of the Solicitor General, addressed to all police chiefs, the OPP commissioner, and all police boards, related to public and stakeholder input on proposed legislation under the Community Safety and Policing Act, 2019. The Ministry is requesting input on proposed regulations related to: Oaths and affirmations for police officers, First Nation Officers, special constables, auxiliaries and police service board members; composition of OPP Governance Advisory; a review and revision period for community safety and well-being plans; suspension without pay; and Chief’s referral to the Law Enforcement Complaints Agency.
  • Board secretary John Hannam said the Governance Committee is working to schedule another meeting regarding the Work Plan, as per Senator Murray Sinclair’s OCPC report.
  • Member Michael Power introduced a motion for debate at the June 15 meeting to amend how the budget request for the new police headquarters is presented.

The full agenda can be accessed here.

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