THUNDER BAY – NEWS – Thunder Bay has invested in more cameras to keep watch on more parts of the city in an effort to promote increased public safety.
In June 2021, City Council approved the expansion of the Eye on the Street program, including installing new cameras in strategic locations, upgrading the hardware and network, and increasing the number and locations of cameras.
Originally launched in 2005, the program is led by the City of Thunder Bay and Thunder Bay Police Service (TBPS), in partnership with tbaytel, and with financial support from the Ministry of the Solicitor General’s Guns and Gangs Program. The program is a community public safety initiative that provides closed-circuit video monitoring for safety and security purposes.
“The program is designed to help promote public safety, foster and maintain a safe environment in the downtown core areas, deter unlawful and anti-social behavior, contribute to the revitalization of the downtowns, aid emergency responders and provide support for police investigations,” said Mathew Pearson, Manager of Central Support with the City of Thunder Bay. “Monitoring is solely for safety and security purposes.”
He added that information gathered through the video monitoring is released in accordance with the standards of the Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act.
The program was previously comprised of 13 camera locations in the downtown cores and Business Improvement Areas. New locations were selected in consultation with the TBPS Criminal Investigations Branch and the Intelligence Unit, as well as the former Thunder Bay Crime Prevention Council. Outdated cameras and control systems have been replaced to leverage advanced imaging and analytics to support gang-related investigations and other serious crimes.
The new camera locations include:
- City Hall and surrounding area
- Syndicate Avenue and Donald Street East intersection
- Victoria Avenue East and Archibald Street South intersection
- May Street South and Victoria Avenue Eeast intersection
- Harbour Expressway and Golf Links Road intersection
- Arthur Street and Mountdale Avenue intersection
- Neebing McIntyre Floodway -Memorial Bridge
- Neebing McIntyre Floodway – Fort William Bridge
- Red River Road and Junot Street S intersection
- Bay Street and Algoma Street S intersection
- Park Avenue – Casino walkway
- Red River Road and Court Street South intersection
- Red River Road and Cumberland Street South intersection
- Cumberland Street North and Camelot Street intersection
- Water Street Transit Terminal inside and surrounding area
- Landmark Inn, 1010 Dawson Road
“The renewal and expansion of the Eye on the Street program is a critical step forward for public safety,” said TBPS Chief Sylvie Hauth. “These new cameras and analytics will greatly aid emergency responders, and provide support for police investigations. The program is a smart approach that leverages technology to better safeguard the community, and allow the Thunder Bay Police Service to better respond to and investigate serious incidents.”
Cameras have been placed where they are expected to be most effective to support law enforcement efforts, and will be installed only in public spaces. Special attention was also taken to ensure placement of cameras occurs at two sections of the Neebing McIntyre Floodway and adjacent trails, which have long been a concern for public safety.
“The original camera placements focused on the north and south cores of the city,” added Pearson. “The expansion reflects the changing scope and needs associated with public safety, beyond the two urban cores.”
An Advisory Committee will be established to provide an additional layer of oversight for the program, and to ensure the program is meeting all privacy regulations. An annual evaluation of the program and report will be presented to the Advisory Committee and to City Council. Administration will report back to Council if future funding becomes available to expand the Program to include Phase 2 locations.