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Police board receives updates on OIPRD recommendations

Over 20 of the recommendations from the police overview board had updates out of the total 44.

THUNDER BAY — The city police service continues to make progress on implementing a series of recommendations from the Office of the Independent Police Review Director, the Thunder Bay Police Services Board hearing during their monthly meeting held earlier this week.

At their Tuesday meeting, Thunder Bay police legal counsel Holly Walbourne provided an update on the status of the recommendations.

The most recent update had previously been provided in January.

A recommendation to implement in-car and body-worn cameras has been completed, with all frontline officers equipped with body cameras and in-car cameras have received upgrades, including automated licence plate recording technology.

Meanwhile, police continue to be involved in discussions with the province's chief coroner and chief forensic pathologist, along with the Solicitor General's office, about having a forensic pathology unit established in Thunder Bay, which had been another OIPRD recommendation.

Last year, police held 16 scenes for autopsies that were conducted in Toronto. Of those 16 scenes, 14 involved an officer from the forensic identification unit following the body to Toronto, which along with the cost of continuing to hold the scene, resulted in a cost of just over $300,000. 

Earlier this year, the Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre informed the Office of the Chief Coroner that it would no longer conduct autopsies connected to police investigations, which would require those to be done in Toronto. One Thunder Bay police investigator has said will have a "profound impact" on the police service.

The police service also identified Recommendation 32, which is eliminating system racism, including removing systemic barriers and the root causes of racial inequities in the service, as "ongoing." All sworn and civilian members are expected to have received a four-day training by the middle of the year, and the update also stated education will be continuous and more comprehensive planning is being pursued for further education. 

All of the recommendations and their updates can be located here

Katie Nicholls

About the Author: Katie Nicholls

Originally from central Ontario, Katie has moved here to further her career in the media industry.
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