THUNDER BAY – News — The Thunder Bay Police Services Board (TBPSB) convened for its regular session on June 28th. Late on Tuesday the Board announced that Thunder Bay Police Chief Hauth has been suspended based on what the Board states are serious allegations brought forward by the Ontario Civilian Police Commission (OCPC), pending the outcome of that process.
Following is a summary of notable items:
New Board Member
The Board welcomed Councillor Shelby Ch’ng as a municipal appointee by Thunder Bay City Council. The Affirmation of Office was read aloud, signed and filed by Councillor Ch’ng. Her term is in effect until November 30, 2022.
Chief of Police – Recruitment Services Report
Secretary John Hannam provided an overview of the purchase of recruitment services for a new Chief of Police, given the retirement of Chief Hauth, including a proposal from Odgers-Berndtson, Executive Search Services. He recommended that they be hired to assist the Board in this search. The board approved that Odgers-Berndtson be hired to assist the Board with recruitment.
Artificial Intelligence Policy
At the May 24, 2022 Regular Session of the Board, the Police Service provided an overview of the use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in their investigations, and requested that the Board develop a policy on the use of AI software and a monitoring guideline.
It was recommended by Secretary Hannam that a policy be developed for the Board, that is written with the current product (Briefcam) in mind while capturing the key principles and areas of concern that have been raised by, for example, the Information and Privacy Commission of Ontario and other agencies. This policy will be developed and brought to the Board at a later date.
OIPRD Recommendation #R29
At the May 24, 2022 Regular Session of the Board, Mayor Mauro asked the Chief to provide an overview of the major case investigations – particularly the cost, staffing and resources implications when pathology services are conducted in Toronto. Mayor Mauro noted that the cost implications for OCPC and OIPRD recommendations need to be considered at the time recommendations are being made, as there are significant costs involved in order to implement their recommendations. He asked that these considerations be included in the Administrator’s Final Report (when his tenure with this Board is completed). Administrator Mercer asked Chief Hauth for a regional assessment of costs for major case investigations.
An overview of this information was provided to the Board by the Service, including a cost of $31,095.74 for ten examinations conducted in Toronto in 2021.
Mayor Mauro requested that advocacy be undertaken at the provincial level to assist with fulfilling this recommendation. Administrator Mercer will be reviewing this information in greater detail to determine next steps in regards to advocacy.
OIPRD Report Recommendations
The Board was presented with a summary of the status/progress of the OIPRD Recommendations since last presented on May 24, 2022, for the Board’s information. An overview of progress was provided.
• Truth and reconciliation training is underway for all TBPS members
• Training manuals specific to Major Crimes have been created
• OPTIC, a major case management system is scheduled to be operational the week of July 18, 2022.
New Expert Panel Members
Ms. Kimberley Murray, who brought a vital Indigenous justice lens to the expert panel, has recently been appointed by the Federal Government as its special interlocutor related to unmarked graves at former residential schools in Canada. As a result, Ms. Murray has had to step away from her work with the Panel.
To continue ensuring an Indigenous justice lens and voice on the Expert Panel two individuals have been proposed:
Candice Metallic – Founder and Lead Counsel for Metallic Law, Former in-house legal counsel to the Assembly of First Nations, Former counsel to Hon. Iacobucci in the “Independent Review of First Nations on Juries in Ontario,” Former legal counsel to the Hon. Sen. Sinclair in the investigation into the Thunder Bay Police Services Board in 2018
Janine Seymour – Wauzhushk Onigum Nation lawyer focused on Indigenous law and child protection. Board member of Sunset Country Family Health Team and Waasegiizhig Nanaandawe’iyewigamig, Founding board member of Ahzeminogahbewewin/Reconciliation Kenora. Fmr. political advisor for Ogichidaa Francis Kavanaugh, the Grand Chief of Treaty No. 3
Both proposed panel members were accepted by the Board.
Expert Panel Consultations
The Thunder Bay Police Services Board Independent Expert Panel will be in Thunder Bay from July 11 to July 15, 2022 to undertake community consultations.
As an independent group, the Expert Panel’s job is to provide recommendations to assist the Board in its efforts to rebuild trust with the community and transform the Thunder Bay Police Service. The Expert Panel’s mandate includes reviewing concerns raised, identifying gaps and barriers in the service, and providing recommendations for systemic and cultural change within TBPS, including specific actions that can be undertaken by the police services board and the police service.
The information gathered by the board at consultations will be used as a part of the panel’s recommendations to the Board.
• The 7th episode of “Our Call” video series was presented to the Board on the topic of trespassing.
• The Board received an update of policy changes the Services has undertaken as a result of the Dakaj Inquest.
• The Board received an update on the Service’s Strategic Plan and has requested more information on metrics and measurement tools by the Service to review progress.
• An updated chart was presented to the Board on the summary of recommendations from the OCPC.
• The Board approved the lease for their office space at 317 E. Victoria Avenue.
• A request was received by the Canadian Association of Police Governance for support for their 33rd Annual Conference. The Board has approved the request.