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Police Are Asking For A 7% Increase

By Katie Nicholls Jan 17, 2023 | 12:21 PM

Thunder Bay Police Service is asking City Council for an increase of 7.2 per cent or $3.5M for the 2023 budget.

Acting Chief Dan Taddeo told Acadia News that most of this is for the operational budget, versus the capital needs.

The increase would include cash to hire more officers and civilian staff; that makes up 2 per cent of the increase. The remaining 5.5% is for operating costs to counteract inflationary pressures, Taddeo calling it the “cost of business”.

Taddeo called out the elephant in the room when it relates to the city’s rampant drug problem. He cited statistics that Thunder Bay has a five times higher mortality rate related to opioids than other cities. The Violent Crimes Severity Index from Statistics Canada is two to four times higher than the rest of the province.

…a lot of people talk about getting police out of the business of responding to social issues. this police service is willing to participate any discussion that leads to these solutions. however there are no viable solutions that operationalize these high-level ideas…;

…so until that happens the police service has to respond to these calls for service because we do infact remain bottom of the social safety net, especially in this city.

In the meantime, TBPS is looking to bring on more cadets to the service. Taddeo told Acadia News that there are fewer cadet applications than they want, so instead, they are reaching further west into Manitoba and Saskatchewan looking for applicants. He notes that the Service intends to direct hire in certain occupations that would almost immediately go to Police College instead of being a cadet. The applicant would get credit for their own life/work-related experience.

Regarding where everyone will work, Taddeo says the Service has “absolutely outgrown the (current) building”. TBPS has its headquarters on Balmoral Street, as well as three additional buildings in other locations including sharing OPP’s forensic identification space. The Chief says that OPP has told them they require more space for their own operations, and eventually there won’t be space for TBPS. IDENT officers should be with the Detectives working on cases.

He also spoke about training, and the lack of recertification training space (currently a board room), there are various evidence and exhibit storage lockups around HQ.

In total, the Thunder Bay Police Service is asking City Council for a $52.2M budget for 2023 which would allow them a full upgrade to the city’s police headquarters and staff.


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