THUNDER BAY – NEWS – The Thunder Bay Police Services Board (TBPSB) convened for its regular session this morning. Following is a summary of notable items:
Appointment of an Integrity Commissioner
A report was received recommending the Board consider the appointment of an Integrity Commissioner to assist in ensuring enhanced ethics, good governance and increased transparency. The Board has approved this recommendation and hired Principles Integrity to provide this service. Principles Integrity is currently working with the City of Thunder Bay, as well.
“I am pleased that the Board has made the decision to select an Integrity Commissioner to assist us in ensuring enhanced ethics, good governance and increased transparency,” said Chair, Kristen Oliver. “We look forward to working with Principles Integrity to further enhance the work we are doing to ensure public safety, effective oversight of the Service and fulfill the responsibilities required of us under the Police Services Act.”
Annual Appointment of Chair and Vice-Chair
Each year, the Board appoints a Chair and Vice-Chair of the Thunder Bay Police Services Board. Today, the Board re-appointed the following members to serve as Chair and Vice-Chair:
• Kristen Oliver, Chair
• Michael Power, Vice-Chair
“I am pleased to continue to serve as Chair of the Thunder Bay Police Services Board,” said re-appointed Chair Kristen Oliver. “I look forward to continuing to work with the Thunder Bay Police Service and Thunder Bay Police Services Board to deliver adequate and effective police services in our community.”
Mayor’s Community Safety Awards
On December 6, 2021, the Mayor’s Community Safety Awards were presented to two residents and four community projects. Chair Oliver provided an overview of the Board- sponsored award to the Indigenous Food Circle, for Outstanding Community Project.
Background: Since 2016, the Indigenous Food Circle (IFC), a coalition of Indigenous-led and Indigenous-serving organizations in the Thunder Bay region, has worked to increase Indigenous food security and food sovereignty. When COVID-19 struck, federal and philanthropic funding allowed IFC to connect pandemic response teams in remote communities with regional food suppliers and distributors so they could develop their own relationships for bulk food ordering.
IFC also partnered with the Good Food Box program to facilitate fresh food distribution to households in nine road accessible First Nations. To help get fruits and vegetables to elementary students in Northern Ontario, IFC connected the Northern Fruit and Vegetable Program (NFVP) to 13 remote Indigenous communities. With funding from Community Food Centers Canada, IFC provided direct food supports to communities facing significant struggles, and supported remote First Nations to choose projects they deemed most beneficial for their communities. Twenty-nine communities benefited through immediate food orders, increased food storage infrastructure, tools to help build self-sufficiency and equipment for sourcing traditional foods. IFC contributed, along with numerous other community organizations, to the development of a Community Emergency Food Response Plan to strengthen networks, streamline communication, avoid duplication, and utilize resources more efficiently.
Other award recipients included:
Ma-Nee Chacaby, Anishinaabe Elder, Community Hero Award
Sponsored by Apex Investigation & Security
Cornelius Beaver, Young Leader Award
Sponsored by Generator
Matawa Safe Sobering Site – Outstanding Community Project
Sponsored by Enbridge Gas Inc.
On-Call Crisis Response – Outstanding Community Project
Sponsored by Circle K
Care Bus – OUTSTANDING COMMUNITY PROJECT
Sponsored by Matawa First Nations Management
“I would like to congratulate all winners of the Mayor’s Community Safety Awards,” said Chair Kristen Oliver. “All recipients have had a significant and outstanding impact on our community and I am proud that the Board could be a part of this wonderful and worthwhile initiative.”
Thunder Bay Police Campus
Chief Hauth presented information to the Board relating to a public engagement campaign for the New Thunder Bay Police Campus, in support of the motion passed in June of 2021 recommending that a new centralized headquarters be constructed.
The focus of this campaign is on education and awareness relative to the need for a new police campus. The campaign will run until January 26, 2022 at which time the Thunder Bay Police Service budget will be presented to City Council, including this project.
More information can be found at https://thunderbaypolice.ca/buildingtogether
Update on OIPRD Recommendations
The Board received an update on OIPRD Recommendations, which included:
• Culturally appropriate information has been provided in a display case at Headquarters, and the Service has worked with the Elders Advisory Committee, which gathered and was gifted an Eagle Staff, smudge kit with medicines, sweet grass, sage and cedar, per recommendation 17;
• Chief Hauth has sent a letter to the Chief Coroner requesting a Forensic Pathology Unit in Thunder Bay, and discussions are ongoing. A further letter is being penned requesting additional resources per recommendation 29; and
• Culturally significant training begun the week of December 13, 2021 for the Service, and will continue into January per recommendations 32 and 36. This training was featured on social media and in media last week.
“To reiterate, culturally significant training is an extremely important step in addressing recommendations in the OIPRD Report. I know the Service and the Board take this extremely seriously,” said Chair Kristen Oliver. “Training, which we’re very pleased began last week, signals another significant investment by the Service to continue to improve on delivering appropriate and effective policing in Thunder Bay.”
Update on Operations
The Board received a presentation from Deputy Chief Hughes on operational initiatives by the Service during the 2020-2021 period. Some highlights of this work included:
• An increase in staffing per the 2020-2021 budget and in line with OIPRD recommendations
• Shared training opportunities with Treaty Three Police, NAPS, APS and OPP.
• An enhanced sudden death investigations review process.
• Successful drugs projects through various investigations and warrants.
• A new unit assigned in the Community Oriented Response Unit to be deliberate, visible and focused on community issues.
• A continued relationship with Social Service providers to collaborate on various issues/initiatives and to help build capacity for service providers and conduct Street Outreach Services.
• The creation of a Strategic Plan, which aligns with recommendations from various reports and the Board’s Strategic Plan.
• Supports to navigate the stressors of police work.
• Units and crisis intervention training, which allows for a better served community with appropriate interventions by trained staff.
• The 2022 proposed operating budget was approved by the Board.
• A Certificate of Appreciation was presented to PC Sharlene Boudreau for her work with the Tree of Hope Project and her community volunteerism.
• A request of $1,000 for the Parade of Lights was received by the Board, and approved.
• The second episode of the Police Service’s “Our Call” video series which included a dramatic water rescue, was presented.
• The Board received an update from Chief Hauth relative to the deployment of frontline officers and outlined observed changes to the needs of the Service. A plan will be presented in 2022 on new community needs.
Mayor Mauro requested a motion be tabled at the next meeting regarding bail reform.
• Chief Hauth provided an update to the Board that the Service is in the process of applying for 2022 funding from the Province of Ontario relating to a recent announcement on their Guns and Gangs Strategy.