Overview of Thunder Bay Police Services Board September Meeting

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Police

THUNDER BAY –  On September 21, 2021, the Thunder Bay Police Services Board (TBPSB) convened for its regular session this morning. Following is a summary of notable items:

Positive Ticketing Program

The Board welcomed a presentation on a community outreach program that will reward Thunder Bay youth for making a positive impact in the community.

Program proponent Mike Tallari shared a presentation with the board outlining the Youth Positive Ticket Program, which will see officers handing out “tickets” that include a free pizza to youth ages 10-17.

There are no costs to the service for this program as it will be supported by donations, sponsorships and volunteers, Tallari told the board. “Start building Trust – one youth at a time,” said Tallari.

Tickets will be issued when officers notice youth doing things like: demonstrating a positive attitude, pursuing education, helping others, making an effort, being good sports, acting with courage, following safety rules, and any other positive behaviours the issuing officer may notice.

“Building positive relationships with our community, especially with our young people, is important work for the Thunder Bay Police Service,” said Board Chair Kristen Oliver. “I believe this program will be beneficial for both the community and the officers involved and leverages. opportunities to bridge stronger relationships.”

The positive ticketing program was first created by an RCMP superintendent who was trying to shift the police mindset from crime reaction, to crime prevention, the board heard. It has since been implemented by several police services across North America. The proposal was referred to the Chief for review and report back to the board.

Other Matters

● The Board received an estimate, sketch and photos from Chief Sylvie Hauth related to options for security measures at the Balmoral Street police headquarters. A motion was passed to include costs in 2022 budget discussions.

● A motion was put forward and passed to ask Chief Hauth to present options and information on improving response times to 911 calls and resource deployment to address front line community needs and complaints.

● A report was presented by Chief Hauth on recruiting of new officers during the pandemic.

In response to Recommendation 41 of the OIPRD’s Broken Trust report, Thunder Bay Police Service has prioritized the diversification of the Service, in particular as it related to Indigenous candidates. While in-person recruitment efforts were hindered by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Service has been able to participate in career fairs and meet with potential candidates virtually. Chief Hauth’s full report can be found within the agenda.

● The board received updated statistics on impaired driving charges and tickets in Thunder Bay. Thunder Bay has a rate of 271 impaired driving incidents per 100,000 residents. This is more than two-and-a-half times the provincial rate of 104 incidents per 100,000 residents. The board heard that the service is prioritizing the problem through intelligence-led enforcement; targeting aggressive and distracted driving, as well as unlicensed drivers and uninsured vehicles; and engaging the public through mainstream and social media.

● The annual implementation status report was presented for the board regarding recommendations from the inquest into the deaths of seven First Nations youth. All of the recommendations directed toward Thunder Bay Police Service are complete or ongoing.