THUNDER BAY – The Thunder Bay Police Service has appointed Dan Taddeo as acting police chief while police chief Sylvie Hauth is suspended and under investigation.
Taddeo, who has been with the police service since 1988, says that the majority of his career has been in operational perspectives.
“Namely uniform patrol and the criminal investigation branch. I’ve had the honour and privilege of working with many great people, very interesting cases both locally and internationally, including the, it’s a bit dated now, but the homicide investigation in Mexico that involved two local residents,” he said.
“When I was promoted to the senior command team, most of my tasks were administrative in nature and involved in a lot of really great projects of breaking down some barriers that we had here including recruitment and, as of late, the body-worn camera project.”
As acting police chief, Taddeo says that his main concern will be about the service’s operational viability and the wellness of both sworn and civilian personnel.
“I think it’s no secret that the Thunder Bay Police Service has one of the highest rates of violent crime in the country and I think we’ve seen that this year already with our unacceptably high rate of homicide investigations,” he said.
“Having said that, my pride in the men and women of this police service in solving all of these crimes, including arrests as of just recently on one of our homicides, I think speaks volumes to the dedication and professionalism of this police service in being able to bring extremely complex investigations to successful conclusions.”
There has been some distrust in the community of the Thunder Bay Police Service and Taddeo says that that trust can only be rebuilt through communication both internally and externally.
“The whole purpose of the body-worn camera project was to ensure that there was absolute police transparency and accountability with all of our interactions with anybody in our community,” said Taddeo.
“That’s number one, number two is the outreach I just spoke about, we are open to discussing any topic at any time with any group, difficult topics, or assisting others with grant applications on social issues. The wellness of this police service to be quite frank, with the oversight investigations that are ongoing, definitely has an effect on the members here and I believe that’s one of my primary duties is to ensure that people feel that coming to work is a good thing.”
Taddeo also says that he will not be putting his name into consideration to become the new chief of the Thunder Bay Police Service.
“My goal and my commitment to the board is to ensure the viability of this police service going forward,” he said. “I’ve had a long career in terms of policing and a good career, but only because I work with great people.”
Taddeo wants to be clear that the police will continue to serve the community during this transition with police leadership.
“When you call 911, we will be there all of the time. We will continue to investigate successfully. We will continue to have successful outreach to the community which we need to do,” he said.
“That’s probably one of the more important things I think needs to happen with our community outreach to assist.”