Highlights from the Thunder Bay Police Services Board Meeting: January 18, 2022

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Thunder Bay Police Services Board

THUNDER BAY — The Thunder Bay Police Services Board met on Tuesday. The meeting was held virtually.

The Thunder Bay Police Services Board (TBPSB) convened for its regular session.

Following is a summary of notable items: 

Greetings by the Inspectorate of Policing 

The Community Safety and Policing Act, 2019, awaiting proclamation, introduces a new Inspector General of Policing, which would replace previous investigative bodies. The Inspector General was welcomed to provide a presentation on its work. The Board welcomed: 

• Inspector General Ken Weatherill 

• Executive Data Officer Michelle Lloyd 

• Executive Assistant Lisa Kourtalis 

• Communications Officer Karina Pronska 

The presentation included information on the role and mandate of the Inspectorate, as well as their work, the role of data and analytics, the challenges that can be faced in community policing and their role in ensuring adequate and effective policing for the community. 

“I would like to thank Inspector General Ken Weatherill and his team for speaking to the Board today,” said Chair Oliver. “We very much look forward to working with the Inspector General’s office when the Community Safety and Policing Act, 2019 comes into force to ensure we continue to deliver adequate and effective policing for our community.” 

Update on the Digital Management System/Body Worn Camera Implementation 

The Board received an update on the Digital Evidence Management System/ Body Worn Camera (DEMS/BWC) Project. This project has been integrated and is now part of regular business with the Service. The video footage has allowed TBPS to provide news footage to the community and to also be more transparent in the work that is being undertaken daily. 

These cameras are also used to provide video footage for Police Service’s “Our Call” video series. The Board was presented with the third episode which highlights the interesting work being undertaken in rural Oliver Paipoonge, where an officer ensured the safety of children, motorists and livestock on a rural road. 

“I am pleased that the Digital Management System/Body Worn Camera project has been implemented,” said Chair Oliver. “Not only does it equip our officers to do their jobs more effectively, it helps provide valuable insight to the work our Service undertakes everyday.” 

OIPRD Systemic Review Recommendations – Annual Update 

Chief Hauth presented the Board with summary of the status/progress of the OIPRD Recommendations, for the Board’s information. 

Key highlights include: 

1. The majority of recommendations are complete, which include: a. The Missing Person’s Act is now in force, and training by the Service has been completed to ensure full knowledge and compliance. 

b. Body cameras have been deployed and are being used by all officers. 

c. The creation of a Community Inclusion Team has been completed and staffed by two Indigenous Liaison Officers and a Civilian Coordinator. 

d. The Service’s Criminal Investigations Branch has been expanded and new secondment and training opportunities exist. 

2. The remainder of applicable recommendations are ongoing which include: a. All cases outlined in the recommendations have been reinvestigated, including one investigation which is in the report-writing stage with the OPP. 

b. Human Rights Training for the Service; training for Senior Management and Board Members is complete. 

c. Redefining the role of the Executive Committee on Indigenous and Diversity Issues to fit with the Community Inclusion team. 

d. An internal review of the Missing Person Policy in progress with recommendations for amendments to be proposed. 

e. Enhanced training for the Service regarding investigations. 

f. HR succession planning underway and ongoing. 

“Addressing the recommendations of the OIPRD report are paramount to the Board and the Service, and something we take very seriously,” said Chair Kristen Oliver. “Having the majority of recommendations complete, with many in progress shows our commitment to this process and to providing adequate and effective policing in the community.” 

Board Discussion Regarding Sponsorship: Funding Request – Thunder Bay & Area Victim Services 

The Board received a presentation on its Special Account, with recommendations on sponsorship. This included recommendations to fund Thunder Bay & Area Victim Services (TBAVS). This valuable organization’s costs and levels of service have increased of late, with no enhanced funding from the Government of Ontario. 

As TBAVS provides valuable work in supporting victims of crime, and they work closely with the Thunder Bay Police Service, OPP Thunder Bay and Nipigon, Anishinabek Police Services and other community agencies, the Board has approved the funding request for the organization. 

The Board also approved annual funding for the Thunder Bay Police Youth Corp and will be receiving a report from Administration on further funding opportunities 

“We would like to thank Thunder Bay & Area Victim Services for their valuable work in the community to support victims of crime, as well as the Thunder Bay Police Youth Corp for their contributions,” said Chair Oliver. “The Board is pleased to sponsor organizations which service the public interest in the community.” 

Other Matters 

• Mayor Mauro tabled a motion regarding bail reform which was carried, which includes this matter being referred to the City of Thunder Bay’s Government Relations Committee for its support and advocacy and that copies of the resolution are sent to local MPs and MPPs. 

• The Board received an overview from Chief Hauth of the activities from the Joint Health and Safety Committee. 

• The Board received an update on the policing agreement with Oliver Paipoonge. 

On Tuesday, Thunder Bay Police also released a video outlining some of the more unusual parts of the service’s role in the community.

“Not all calls for service involving our Uniform Patrol officers are what you might expect. In this episode, Cst. Tim Lampi recalls a very unusual incident that required a very differant approach!”