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Hauth asking council to add $1 million to 2019 police operating budget

The additional money on top of the $41.8 million operating budget is to address eight areas of the 44 recommendations handed down in the OIPRD report.
Sylvie Hauth Police Board
Thunder Bay Police Service Chief, Sylvie Hauth, asked for additional funding requests as part of the Police Services 2019 operating budget during the Thunder Bay Police Services Board meeting on Tuesday. (Photo by Doug Diaczuk -

THUNDER BAY - The Thunder Bay Police Service will be asking the city of Thunder Bay to add more than $1 million to its 2019 operating budget to address recommendations presented in the report by the Office of the Independent Police Review Director.  

Independent Police Review Director, Gerry McNeilly, provided the Police Service with 44 recommendations in his report released last month that found systemic racism exists in the service at the instituational level. During a presentation to the Thunder Bay Police Services Board on Tuesday, chief Sylvie Hauth said eight areas of the recommendations have been examined for the upcoming budget and she will be asking city council for an additional $1,082,500 on top of the $41.8 million 2019 Police Service operating budget.

Hauth said this is only a preliminary overview of some of the recommendations in the OIPRD report for budget consideration, while calls for service continue to increase, including more violent crimes related to drugs and gangs.

“Further discussions and analysis of current resources need to occur in order to ensure that we are an effective and efficient service and that we have the trust of the community we serve and protect,” Hauth said.

The eight areas reviewed relate primarily to adding more staff, such as the creation of a multi-discipline investigative team over the next three years for the reinvestigation of cases as recommended by McNeilly, additional training, including the implementation of Indigenous cultural competency and anti-racism training for all TBPS officers and employees, the creation of a Major Case Unit, expanding the Aboriginal Liaison Unit, and the implementation of in car and body worn cameras.  

“I’ve looked at eight areas. The first one is addressing the areas of multidiscipline investigation team, the peer review process, and really adding a cost to that in terms of someone joining the team, in terms of someone reviewing the cases,” Hauth said.  

“The second area, which I think is very important is in terms of sufficient staffing,” Hauth continued. “The report speaks highly of immediate need for proper resources within our Criminal Investigation Branch, but also the creation of a Major Crime Unit.”

Some of the costs being added include $46,600 in 2019 and yearly for an external investigator for multi-discipline team and peer review process; $350,000 in 2019 for five officers in the Criminal Investigation Branch Major Case Unit; $49,500 for training in courses; and $2,500 for name tags of officers and an initial cost of $361,900 in year one for in car cameras and body worn cameras.  

An additional $200,000 has been added to migrate the Police Service database from a Niche Records Management System to the Ontario Police Technology Information Co-operative.

Hauth said when she began budget considerations last summer, she did so with fiscal responsibility in mind, for example, when calculating costs for the Major Case Unit and asking for the addition of three officers. Now, she is asking five more officers be added.   

“I was being fiscally responsible to say this is what I need as a first step,” she said. “I think right now with the recommendation and the urgency of those next steps, it’s highlighting to the board and council this evening that the plus five (officers) really gives us eight to really beef up that unit and have that unit in place and properly funded moving forward.”

The Police Services Board, through the appointed administrator, Thomas Lockwood, approved the request for additional funding. But Lockwood said Hauth should have asked for more.

“I think that Sylvie Hauth gave a very good presentation on the budget,” Lockwood said. “To be perfectly blunt, I think she was a little minimalist. I think she could have asked for more. I think her job is to come before the board and ask for everything. She presented a very moderate request.”

But Lockwood, who has final say on all board decisions until board members regain voting rights following the completion of cultural competency and governance training, added that he had no problem supporting the request.

“There is a need in this community and yes there is going to be a cost attached to that and yes somebody is going to have to find the money somewhere,” he said.

However, Lockwood said he supported Mayor Bill Mauro’s resolution brought forward during a previous Police Services Board meeting to lobby the provincial and federal government for funding.

“The last time the mayor asked for a resolution from the board that other levels of government step up to the plate, we supported that,” Lockwood said. “I am hoping the mayor has or will go the federal and provincial government to see if there is money in those coffers. It can’t all be put on the city.”

Hauth will present the 2019 police service operating budget to city council Tuesday night.

Doug Diaczuk

About the Author: Doug Diaczuk

Doug Diaczuk is a reporter and award-winning author from Thunder Bay. He has a master’s degree in English from Lakehead University
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