Coun. Brian McKinnon is the newest member of the Thunder Bay Police Services Board.
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Coun. Brian McKinnon said he plans to keep a close eye on the Thunder Bay Police Service budget now that he's a member of the Police Services Board.
City council on Monday made it official and named the Red River Ward councillor to replace Mayor Keith Hobbs on the board.
Hobbs, a former police association president, stepped down last week saying he could be a more effective anti-crime advocate from outside the board, where he said he found himself in conflict on too many issues to do a proper job.
"Police services is a very important organization in our city. It's one of our most expensive, to be quite blunt, and people are very concerned about safety. So I have always had those issues at heart, the taxpayer on one hand and the safety of the taxpayer on the other. So that's one of my key motivators," McKinnon said.
He's not promising too much, too fast.
"I've got to get my feet wet and find out what are some of the main issues. But again, I'm going to be really concerned about the budget. In the past I was a chief negotiator at one point and I'm going to keep a close eye on the dollars and cents. That's important for the taxpayer. But perhaps even more importantly, I really want to see police be as effective as they possibly can. And if I can help existing committee achieve those kind of goals, I'm absolutely onside with that."
It's a post he's wanted for some time, he added.
"It's a committee that I've been looking at closely the last couple of years. I've been in close contact with Coun. (Joe) Virdiramo, who has kept me up to date with what's going on."
Virdiramo, chairman of the Police Services Board, said McKinnon is a welcome addition.
"I'm pleased that Coun. McKinnon was elected to be on the Police Services Board. As I mentioned before, I would work with any of the councillors on council right now on the board. Coun. McKinnon brings a lot of expertise to the board, negotiating expertise, HR expertise," Virdiramo said. "I'm pleased that he's appointed and we'll have a full board member with the police service."
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