Police Services Board to Establish Expert Panel to Advise Them

Thunder Bay Police Unit

THUNDER BAY – The Thunder Bay Police Services Board is looking at the establishment of an Expert Panel of high level people to advise the Board on the next steps forward.

Board Chair Kristen Oliver tells the board, “As all Board members will know, this Board and the Thunder Bay Police Service have faced a number of challenges, not just recently but over the past 5 years and more. Both the Board and the Service continue to work to respond to, and comply with, the recommendations from the Broken Trust Report and the Thunder Bay Police Services Board Investigation – Final Report (the Sinclair Report). We know that there are many concerns, issues and challenges that have been raised by the members of the Service, many reflected in surveys of the members and in some cases manifested in formal complaints. And now external investigations are underway.

“The Board for its part has sought to set a new course for policing in our community through the adoption of an aggressive strategic plan – Many Voices One Vision 20/30 – that has a key focus on the health and wellbeing of the Service’s sworn officers and civilians; with 3 of the 4 overriding strategic goals addressing a healthy & supported workforce, community relations and transforming the Service to meet community and workforce needs.

“We have a lot of work to do. And we need all the help we can find to succeed in that work.

“In seeking that help, I am pleased to present to the Board a proposal outlined in Mr. Hannam’s accompanying memo to bring together subject matter experts, recognized provincially and nationally, on to an expert panel to not only advise the Board but to work with the Board in meeting the challenges before it, and the objectives of our Strategic Plan. Attached here is both an outline of that proposal, including the identification of those that have already agreed to join the panel, should the Board approve its establishment, and a work plan that the panel would undertake. I for one am very gratified that these individuals are prepared to share with us their experience, expertise, and no small investment of their time to support our Service, its members and this Board. And they do so with no small amount of enthusiasm for the task.

“So, I recommend to you that this Expert Panel be established, and that we welcome the offer of support and guidance that its members are eager to offer. I ask that the Board consider and support the following motion:

“With respect to the proposal to establish an Expert Panel, to support and advise the Thunder Bay Police Services Board as outlined, we recommend that Board approve the panel’s establishment;

“AND THAT the panel be comprised of those individuals named in the proposal, with Mr. Alok Mukherjee as the Chair of the panel, along with such others as may be named;

“AND THAT the Board Chair write to the Expert Panel welcoming and thanking them, and undertake to set the work plan in motion.”

The Expert Panel if established by the Board will have broad reaching scope in their mandate.

The panel will review policies, examine procedures and training with regards to human rights and mental health issues, review recommendations from previous reports by the Ontario Civilian Police Commissioner (OCPC) and the Office of the Independent Police Review Director (OIPRD),and also be looking toward examining the goals that the Board has proposed in its 2021-23 strategic plan.

Additionally the Expert Panel will be able to present their own recommendations.

The Police Services Board will be meeting at 9:00 AM this morning in session to vote on this proposal.

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