The Thunder Bay Police Service has launched Breaking Barriers, a web page containing information about its efforts to improve its relations with Indigenous people. (thunderbaypolice.ca)
The Thunder Bay Police Service has launched a new web page aimed at updating people on its efforts to build relations with Indigenous people.
The Breaking Barriers page features updates on the force’s responses to recommendations from an inquest into the deaths of seven Indigenous students in the city. It also includes updates on its Organizational Change Project and its efforts to address systemic racism amid an investigation by the Office of the Independent Police Review Director.
"I’m big on transparency and showcasing both internally and externally what we’re all about and what we do as a service," acting chief Sylvie Hauth told CBC.
"We’ve done a lot of good work so far. I think it’s a good idea in terms of informing the public as to what progress has been made and where we stand and were we need to go." Organizational change
Thunder Bay police launched the Organizational Change Project, titled Shaping Our Future, late last year, with the goal of repairing its relationship with Indigenous people.
Its stated goals include revamping the Aboriginal Liaison Unit to enhance community policing, attracting members of under-represented communities to the force, training staff to interact with people from a range of cultural backgrounds and improving communications with the public and within the force.
For nearly two years now, the force has also been working to implement recommendations from a coroner’s inquest into the deaths of seven First Nations students in Thunder Bay; it earned a B+ for its efforts from Aboriginal Legal Services, which represents the families of the victims.
In addition, Thunder Bay police are currently facing a review by the OIPRD based on complaints of systemic racism.
The office has already issued a report finding "neglect of duty" in the force’s investigation of the death of Stacy DeBungee.
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