OIPRD to Hold Public Meeting in Thunder Bay

by pmnationtalk on September 11, 2017361 Views

September 11, 2017

TORONTO – The Office of the Independent Police Review Director (OIPRD) will hold a public meeting in Thunder Bay on September 25, 2017, as part of the consultations for its systemic review of the policies, practices and attitudes of the Thunder Bay Police Service as they relate to Indigenous death and missing person investigations.

“I am inviting perspectives, suggestions and guidance from the public to help me better understand community relations and policing in Thunder Bay, as I examine allegations of systemic discrimination and deficient investigations by the Thunder Bay Police Service.”

— Gerry McNeilly, Independent Police Review Director

Topics for discussion will include:

  • Police – Indigenous – Community relations: perceptions, realities and recommendations
  • Racism and bias in policing: reflections of the community
  • Effective policing: successes, barriers and recommendations

Since the systemic review began in November 2016, Director McNeilly and the review team have collectively visited Thunder Bay almost two dozen times and have met with over 100 individuals, First Nations leaders and communities, Indigenous organizations, community and service organizations, as well as members of the police service and the police services board.

“Our meetings have provided valuable information and insight from a range of perspectives. I invite the residents of Thunder Bay to provide input that will add to our understanding and our ability to provide meaningful recommendations for improvement.”

— Gerry McNeilly, Independent Police Review Director

Monday, September 25, 2017 7:00 – 9:00 p.m.

Da Vinci Centre, Marco Polo Room

340 Waterloo Street South, Thunder Bay


The OIPRD’s review of the Thunder Bay Police Service is examining the following:

  • Existing policies, practices and attitudes of the Thunder Bay Police Service as they relate specifically to Indigenous missing persons and death investigations, and more generally, to issues around racism-free policing, such as “over-policing” and “under-policing”
  • Whether missing persons and death investigations involving Indigenous Peoples are conducted in discriminatory ways
  • The adequacy and effectiveness of existing policies and identified best practices relating to the above issues
  • The adequacy of training and education provided to supervisors and front-line officers relating to the above issues
  • The extent to which compliance with existing policies or identified best practices is monitored and supported
  • The extent to which officers are held accountable for non-compliance
  • The extent to which the service communicates with Indigenous family members, communities and their leaders, engages in community outreach or has specialized liaison units
  • The extent to which complaints about the service’s interactions with Indigenous Peoples are inhibited by reprisals or fear of reprisals
  • Whether policies, practices, training, education, oversight and accountability mechanisms, and community outreach should be created, modified or enhanced to prevent discriminatory and ineffective policing, particularly in the context of investigations into the disappearances and deaths of Indigenous Peoples

The systemic review will also be informed by the findings and recommendations of the coroner’s jury arising out of the deaths of seven Indigenous youths, Thunder Bay Police Service investigations of Indigenous deaths, investigations of officer misconduct and OIPRD complaints.


  • The OIPRD receives, manages and oversees all public complaints about Ontario’s municipal, regional and provincial police.
  • The OIPRD is an independent arm’s length agency of the Ontario Ministry of the

Attorney General.

  • The Police Services Act gives the Independent Police Review Director the power to conduct systemic reviews. A systemic review examines systems, including policies, procedures and practices, and root causes that promote or perpetuate systemic issues within a police service. The purpose of a systemic review is to determine whether systemic failings have occurred rather than to assign individual fault, and to identify issues to be addressed in order to make recommendations to enhance public confidence in policing.


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