Statement from Thunder Bay Police Chief Darcy Fleury

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Darcy Fleury - TBPS Chief
Darcy Fleury - TBPS Chief

By Thunder Bay Police Service Chief Darcy Fleury

THUNDER BAY – NEWS – In the ten months since I joined the Thunder Bay Police Service (TBPS), I have met with and learned from many people with a passion for our community. This new monthly message is part of my commitment to ongoing engagement and transparency.

Please reach out to news@thunderbaypolice.ca with questions and feedback that will shape future reports as well as our social media content.

Like every month, the past one was busy for TBPS. As you can see from the following examples, demand for service is increasing.

February 2023 February 2024
Total Calls 3,764 4,095
Intimate Partner Violence 173 212
Assault 87 102
Attempt or Threat Suicide 81 108
Warrants Executed 29 45

In addition to the increase in calls, a few February highlights include:

  • TBPS’s largest-ever seizure of cocaine, as well as property and cash through Project Marble, a major investigation led by the Intelligence Unit.
  • The launch of an exciting partnership that aims to strengthen the bond between TBPS, OPP and Kitchenuhmaykoosib Inninuwug (KI) First Nation. TBPS officers will have the opportunity to work in a Northern Community and bring that experience back to Thunder Bay policing.
  • Members participated in several meaningful community initiatives, including Black History Month, Annual Walk in honour of Sandra Johnson and all Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls, Donut Day for Special Olympics, Pink Shirt Day to bring awareness to the issue of bullying, 2024 Ontario Winter Games, Family Day Pow Wow.

More recently, I reported to the Board of Directors that the 2023 budget was overspent by $2.8 million mainly due to staffing costs.

There are ever-increasing calls related to mental health, addictions and living unhoused. Although these aren’t necessarily crimes, they still need a police response. In addition, we are all impacted by the criminal element that preys on marginalized people in our community. The rise in drug-, gun- and gang-related crimes pulls police resources away from other calls for service.

I am constantly concerned about the toll this takes on our members. Responding to calls of this nature can cause injury, and as a result there are several officers on leave. There is a human cost as well as financial.

Another impact is the public’s feeling of safety. All calls are important to us, and TBPS will always prioritize emergency calls where there is an imminent threat to life or of serious injury. This means it may take several days before an officer is available to investigate crimes such as when a person discovers that their shed has been broken into.

I am very proud of all TBPS members for their professionalism and commitment. In the face of these challenges, they continue to make a difference in our community. Others can too, through a career in policing. Recruitment is ongoing. Visit www.thunderbaypolice.ca to apply.

Chief Darcy Fleury

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