Panel to release roadmap for Thunder Bay, Ont., police reform

Thunder Bay

Thunder Bay police are again on the hot seat after being accused of not responding to a 911 call where a woman died. Photo: APTN News

An independent expert panel is set to release recommendations Thursday to reform the Thunder Bay Police Service and the board overseeing it, following calls for more Indigenous representation in top positions.

The panel appointed by the Thunder Bay Police Services Board last year to assess the culture of both the force and board will release its final report today after consultations with community and police service members.

The report will be the latest in a series of reviews that scrutinized policing in the northern Ontario city, including some that have found evidence of systemic racism in how it handles cases involving Indigenous people.

The panel has called for more Indigenous leadership within the police and board in an interim report that was released in September.

It has said urgent measures are needed in the areas of chief selection, police board appointments and labour relations, and suggested the next chief should be Indigenous or another person of colour with police leadership experience.

Veteran RCMP officer Darcy Fleury, a member of the Red River Métis, was appointed last month as the city’s new chief of police after Thunder Bay’s former police chief retired in January while under suspension.

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