Former Thunder Bay Police Official Charged by OPP in Ongoing Misconduct Investigation

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Thunder Bay Police Service

THUNDER BAY – NEWS – The Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) have announced the arrest and charging of Holly Walbourne, a 37-year-old former member of the Thunder Bay Police Service (TBPS), in a continuing investigation into alleged police misconduct.

Holly Walbourne was the lawyer for the Thunder Bay Police Service.

This case underscores ongoing concerns over police behaviour and accountability in the region.

This is a significant development stemming from a 2021 request by the Ministry of the Attorney General, the OPP’s Criminal Investigation Branch (CIB) has been probing into misconduct allegations within the TBPS.

This inquiry has resulted in five criminal charges being laid against Walbourne, highlighting the severity of the accusations involved.

Detailed Charges and Legal Proceedings

Walbourne faces serious accusations under the Criminal Code, including:

  • Obstruction of a public or peace officer (Section 129(a))
  • Breach of trust by a public officer (Section 122)
  • Three counts of obstructing justice (Section 139(2))

Following her arrest on April 9, 2024, Walbourne was released from custody with a scheduled court appearance at the Ontario Court of Justice in Thunder Bay on May 10, 2024.

This case has attracted significant attention, raising questions about the internal culture and accountability mechanisms within the TBPS.

The following is a joint statement from the Thunder Bay Police Service and the Thunder Bay Police Service Board:

“Since the OPP launched its investigation in 2022, members of the Thunder Bay Police Service have continued day in and day out serving our community.

The Thunder Bay Police Service Board, through the guidance of Administrator Malcolm Mercer and with the appointment of Chief Fleury, has been focused on building trust with the community as well as reviewing governance practices in ensuring the highest of standards are in place.

Ms. Walbourne resigned her employment at the Thunder Bay Police Service nearly one year ago. Since then, there has been a retainer arrangement for her services, with the work largely consisting of transitional support following the appointment of Chief Fleury.

Ms. Walbourne is no longer providing services in any capacity.

As the matter is now before the courts and the investigation is ongoing, there will be no further comment at this time.

We thank the OPP for its ongoing work in this matter”.

Ongoing Investigation and Community Impact

The OPP CIB’s investigation remains active, with the potential for further developments as the case progresses. The Thunder Bay Police Service has been approached for comments regarding Walbourne’s employment status and any internal actions taken in response to these charges.

This incident not only impacts the individuals involved but also resonates with the wider Thunder Bay community, highlighting the importance of integrity and trust in local law enforcement. As the legal process unfolds, the community’s focus on justice and accountability will be crucial in maintaining public confidence in the police service.

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