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2014-03-18 at NOON

Complaints against city's police force down

By Matt Vis, tbnewswatch.com
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Public complaints against the city's police force are down.

That's the news the Thunder Bay Police Service shared at force's Tuesday morning board meeting. 

In 2013, there were 29 official complaints filed. That's down drastically from the 51 complaints received two years ago.

Of those 29 complaints, 13 were deemed to require no further action, while nine were not accepted. Two complaints were withdrawn while another five are still being investigated.

Staff Sgt. Derek West said that any complaint that is sent through to the Office of the Independent Police Review Director is subject to a standard investigative process.

West added that the complaint review process begins with 45 days and must be completed before 120 days.

The most common complaint the force receives deals with accusations of unprofessional conduct by officers. For example, when a member of the public feels an officer was rude to them while assessing a traffic ticket.

“Incivility is probably the most common one,” Thunder Bay Police Service chief J.P. Levesque said.

“We try to curtail that through training and at times if we have to use discipline we’ll use discipline.”

The drop in reports from this past year compared to 2012 can be at least partially attributed to how a complaint is initially handled.

In the past, the shift’s watch commander would just supply paperwork to a concerned individual and tell them to send it to the OIPRD.

But now the watch commanders are encouraged to try to resolve the complaint immediately.

“We’ve trained our watch commanders to invite (the complainant) in and sit down and see what’s going on and in some cases if it just happened we’ve called the officer off the road to explain it to the individual,” Levesque said.

The force presented the fourth quarter variance report from the 2013 operational budget, which finished with a year-end variance of two per cent. Levesque primarily attributed the overrun to higher than anticipated overtime expenses and WSIB costs.

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Tbnewswatch.com(21)

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Comments

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Arch Stanton says:
Although that could be a good sign, it might just mean people have given up..... I wonder.
3/18/2014 1:12:01 PM
MD says:
If tbnewswatch has taught us anything, it's that complainers never give up.
3/18/2014 2:07:47 PM
TBDR says:
You sir, have won the internet today.
3/18/2014 2:27:32 PM
chezhank says:
I have emailed the "chef de police" asking if officers attending traffic court get an automatic six hours pay if on their day off.
He has not had the courtesy to reply!
I am assisting a friend at the POA court fight a ticket.
We asked for disclosure only to find out before the trial that not all of it was not made available.
I requested the jp throw the case out,but he rescheduled it instead.
My question is did that officer get six hours pay for an at most 1/2 hour appearance.
Now this officer will be back in traffic court and another x hours of pay for maybe 1 hr of work.
Nice to see our tax dollars at work!

henry wojak
mayor in waiting
3/18/2014 2:17:44 PM
Baor says:
"I have emailed the 'chef de police'... "
No way?! You did what? How many times?
3/18/2014 10:00:39 PM
Shane Caker says:
How would you like to be treated on your day off if you had to wait around to perhaps be in court that day? You wouldn't be planning a family picnic. You wouldn't be checking your trapline for dead animals to make more of those hats that your family likes to wear. A day off is a day off. If there's a commitment or possible commitment that day, that should cancel the family checking the trapline for dead animals, then yes, they should be compensated. And if you are the "mayor in waiting", then I'm the next lotto max 50 million dollar winner. Don't hold your breath Hank.
3/19/2014 12:02:14 AM
unionbay880 says:
Probably because the "disclosure" asked for was some obscure un related wild goose chase you wanted to send the cops on so the charge would be withdrawn when it wasn't produced. Too bad the judge saw through your smoke and mirrors and set a new trial date. Thanks to YOU for costing us another 6 hours.
3/19/2014 8:18:58 AM
minstrel says:
it is not "smoke and mirrors" to request disclosure, it is common practice. one needs it to prepare/present a defence.
3/19/2014 9:08:58 PM
unionbay880 says:
If he is asking for maps of solar radiation to prove the sun did not interfere with the radars that day? Then it is an obscure un related wild goose chase attempting to fool with "smoke and mirrors" tactics. Given the fact that people can get off charges for the smallest technicality I find it hard to believe that the police withheld key evidence and the judge just put the case over to another date.
3/20/2014 11:36:22 AM
fastball says:
How is the officer's pay status germane to your friend's case?
If I was to bet, I'm pretty sure the Chief of Police isn't compelled to answer you - regardless of your self-proclaimed title of Mayor in Waiting.
Just between you and me, Hank - after the next municipal elections, I don't think you're gonna have to worry about changing your letterhead.
3/19/2014 10:11:27 AM
North18 says:
Well no wonder Henry why you don't get a response form the chief. You always add these little sarcastic comments about the police so why would they respect you back if you don't respect them? And if you want to see you tax dollars better used, then tell your friend to just pay the ticket and that officer will not have to go to court.
3/18/2014 4:40:49 PM
outsider9 says:
That officer has to waste his/her day off because some bozo "didn't do it". Of course they are going to get paid (not sure on the 6hr thing)You want them to attend court for free? They weren't in the wrong and court testimony is part of the job. Issue with that? Don't do anything to go to court for. Simple.
3/18/2014 4:56:58 PM
trips says:
I would like to know if either hobbs or wojack have a criminal past and if so was there a conviction and what it was for?..this I think will clarify many things..transparency at its best
3/18/2014 7:53:54 PM
Molly says:
Chez Hank
Totally ridiculous comments regarding overtime.
You expect officers to work a 12 hour shift than go to court for free on days off.

I think any association to you and your friend as more likely made them more likely to face further court appearances.

Remember the song " I fought the law and the Law won"
3/18/2014 9:08:28 PM
chezhank says:
Remember what Mr.Bumble said...?
3/18/2014 11:28:51 PM
fastball says:
"Remember what Mr.Bumble said..."
A condition which you are intimately familiar with, no doubt.
3/20/2014 2:52:16 PM
realist says:
I applaud JP for the job he has done. He took over a department with numerous issues and quickly and quietly turned it around, proving he was the right choice for the top job.
3/18/2014 10:16:37 PM
trevor99 says:
I am defending Henry not my favourite thing to do

The suggestion don't do anything wrong and you won't have to go to court shows a high level of ignorance. . I suppose folks forgot the adage, innocent until proven guilty. Because you are charged, does not mean you are guilty or are the police infallible.

I do think cops get at least 6 hours but despite Henry's sarcasm, why wouldn't he just get an answer. It is not a complicated question.

As for Henry or Hobbs having a criminal record, I haven't a clue what the point of that is.

How about asking if any cops have a criminal record because there are cops who have committed crimes. It would be nice to know if they are still working.
3/18/2014 11:24:58 PM
caesarjbasquitti says:
Sent an email to this thread.

I do not see it.

Would you please advise why it was not posted, or did you not receive it ?

Thanks

Caesar
3/19/2014 7:34:10 PM
trips says:
@trevor 99....transparency..you need to know a politicians background...wojack and hobbs have opened the door...let them explain the actions that they have done if any....maybe then the citizens can get a better perspective as to why there is an obvious hatred of the police force in comments made on this site
3/19/2014 8:23:49 PM
hotchoc says:
yes, these people telling us there are less complaints. And we are supposed to take their word on it. Maybe they have put up more roadblocks and have made it harder to complain. Add a layer to the process. Get the front line to try and resolve things. It is a two way street. Yes sometimes it is probably a good thing and some are cleared, but I am willing to bet some people walk away thinking they cannot win and don't want to have to go through the ordeal.

It is not that I do not trust the police but I really do not trust these guys.
3/19/2014 9:50:44 PM
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