(THUNDER BAY, ON) – Earlier this morning, the Thunder Bay Police Association released this statement.
Recently, members of the Thunder Bay Police have become the target of negativepublic comments, such as the graffiti found in two locations around the Citysuggesting that “police stop throwing people in the river“. In addition, there are defamatory allegations circulating that two Thunder Bay Police officers recentlyattempted to drown an Indigenous girl. These are just two examples of theuninformed, falsified rumours that currently exist about our local police.
It is no secret that our City is experiencing a challenging time. The Thunder BayPolice Association (TBPA), which represents all uniform police officers and civilianpolice service employees below the rank of Inspector, supports all of our policeservice members who are dedicated to protecting the entire
Thunder Bay community. Given that the Police Services Board and the Police Servicehave chosen to stay silent about the public trust issues our local police continue toexperience, the Assoc iat ion feels it is necessary – on behalf of our members – to speak out and encourage awareness about the positive work being done to uphold public safety while dispelling the rumours being circulated by select groups and the media.
For Instance, Project Floodway, which was implemented two years ago, includes theImplementa tion of police patrols in key areas and collaboration with social servicespartners so that authorities can help vulnerable people avoid injury near waterways.The project was developed In response to Recommendation 115 of the SevenStudent Inquest. Though it has only been in place for three years, the project’sannual reports from 2017 and 2018 show a significant drop in Incidents between thetwo years – 451were recorded In 2017 and 305 were reported In 2018,a decrease of32%. As noted in the 2018 annual report,47 of the 305 Incidents were classified as“possible life-savi ng interventions“ and eight were documented water rescuesdeemed “definitely life-saving.“Advertisement
As the numbers show, Thunder Bay Police personnel have jumped into localwaterways – an action that put them at risk – on numerous occasions to saveindividuals who appeared to be in distress, suicidal or intoxicated. Though thenumber of incidents has gone down markedly year over year, the underlying issuesthat result in these incidents continue to exist.
Instead of drawing public attention to the positive impacts the police are making on the Thunder Baycommunity, the media seems to be focused on reporting the negative police interactions that sometimes occurin the City – as they do in every city. However, this unbalanced perspective has the potential to further erodethe public‘s trust in our members’ ability to protect the community and further encourage public comments likethe graffiti message, which results in creating a more challenging landscape for police to maintain public safety.
Why are Thunder Bay‘s Police personnel seemingly the sole target of this attention? What has the municipalgovernment or other organizations done to improve the social and economic issues that are plaguing thisCity? The TBPA will continue to push for assistance from all levels of government to ensure our membershave the proper tools and resources needed to keep Thunder Bay and a ll of its citizens safe.
We ask the community to please remember that the men and women of our Police Service are also membersof the Thunder Bay community, with families that are impacted by their chosen career to serve and protect.The TBPA Is hopeful that the majority of the public is supportive of the efforts being made by their local policeofficers and civilian police service employees – they are committed to ensuring that Thunder Bay continues tobe a safe place to live, work and visit.
About the Thunder Bay Police Association
The Thunder Bay Police Association is the official representative body and bargaining agent for ThunderBay’s 325 sworn and civilian police personnel with the Thunder Bay Police Service below the rank of Inspector. The TBPA is committed to providing our members with leadership to protect and advance theircollective rights and interests.Advertisement
Citizen journalist born and raised in Thunder Bay, Ontario. I like pizza and reporting on concerning events that are in my home region, or that impact it. You can read more by clicking here.