Expert Panel Will Continue Work Under Malcolm Mercer’s Watch

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Thunder Bay Police Unit

THUNDER BAY – NEWS – The Expert Panel established by the Thunder Bay Police Services Board is working to continue the mandate that they were given this with the support of the TBPSB’s new Administrator.

The Ontario Civilian Police Commission has appointed a new administrator to the Board a move taken earlier this week.

Alok Mukherjee, Chair of the Expert Panel, states on Thursday, April 21, “The panel will continue its work as planned”.

“Earlier today, I had a very good conversation with Administrator Malcolm Mercer, at his request. Mr. Mercer expressed his strong support for our work as important and timely. He believes the insights and advice from the Panel will assist him in his role,” continued Mukherjee.

Uncertainty about the future of the Panel arose following the April 19 appointment of the Administrator by the Ontario Civilian Police Commission to address issues raised regarding the effectiveness of police governance in the city.

The Thunder Bay Police Services Board ( established the Expert Panel in March with the mandate to review the numerous concerns presented by the community and members of the police service The Panel will identify gaps and barriers and provide recommendations for specific and immediate action, and systemic and cultural change

The Expert Panel includes:

  • Alok Mukherjee (Former Chair Toronto Police Services Board and former President of the Canadian Association of Police Boards (now called Canadian Association for Police Governance)
  • Kimberly Murray Executive Lead, Survivors’ Secretariat Mohawk Institute former Executive Director of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission
  • Mark Baxter President, Ontario Police Association
  • Paul Cook, Former Chief, North Bay Police Service; former President, Ontario Association of Chiefs of Police
  • Keith Forde Former Deputy Chief, Toronto Police Service
  • Dilnaz Garda President, Beyond The Blue
  • Laura Kloosterman Executive Director, Badge of Life Canada
  • Sandy Smallwood Former Vice Chair, Ottawa Police Services Board former Director, Canadian Association for Police Governance

In March, when the Panel was given final approval by TBPSB, Chair Mukherjee stated, “We understand that many in Thunder Bay, especially members of the Indigenous community, are tired of reports, and are looking for action. As an independent group, our job is to apply a critical lens to any progress made in implementing past recommendations, identify gaps and barriers, and propose tangible additional steps to assist the Board in its efforts to rebuild trust with the community and transform the Thunder Bay Police Service.”

“Today, I re-state our commitment to meaningful community engagement, to listening carefully and respectfully in developing solutions to the issues and challenges that continue to persist,” Mukherjee added.

Since its establishment, the Panel has been gathering information from the TBPSB and the Thunder Bay Police Service related to the past and recent reviews and investigations, Coroner’s Inquests, Public Inquiries, human rights complaints and settlements as well as any implementation plans, policies, procedures, training and programs resulting from them.

Conclusions drawn from the review and analysis of information collected during this phase of the Panel’s work will provide the basis for community outreach and engagement leading to recommendations for action.

Further updates on the progress of the Expert Panel’s work will be provided on a regular basis.