Chief’s Welcome

On behalf of the men and women of the North Bay Police Service and the communities we have proudly served since 1882, it is with great pleasure that I welcome you to our website. I trust you will enjoy viewing the various sections, which have been designed to provide you with current, comprehensive information and invaluable insight into our organization and the services we provide. I also welcome you to follow us on Twitter @NorthBayPolice and to subscribe to our YouTube channel.

As Chief of Police, I feel privileged to lead and work with the dedicated and professional members of our police service, who are committed to making a difference in our community every day.

Our ability to facilitate feedback, communicate and inform our community is of the utmost importance to us and we welcome your comments, suggestions and questions.

We are committed to working with each of you individually, as well as our countless community partners to ensure that we successfully meet the many new challenges and opportunities that lay ahead.

Thank you for visiting our site. I encourage you to return to it often as we will be updating the information it contains on a regular basis.

Chief Paul Cook
Twitter @ChiefPDCook

The future of policing in Ontario

In April 2014, the Ontario Association of Chiefs of Police issued an informational video on the efforts by Ontario’s police leaders, other policing partners, and the Government of Ontario to address important issues shaping the future of policing in Ontario.

 

Use of police force

In April 2014, Ontario's police leaders also issued an informational video  on use of force issues, which addresses public concerns over police use of force and provides viewers with the basic facts about this important area of policing.

letterhead

Letter to the Editor, North Bay Nugget

Monday 13 July 2015

Although I don't normally respond to columns, letters to the editor or editorials I feel obligated to do so in relation to Dave Dale's column, "Peeling back the policing poll onion" and the Nugget's editorial, "Police can't solve society's drug problems."

Let me begin by stating that the North Bay Police Service has a long history of being open, transparent and accountable to the communities we serve. In fact, community engagement through surveys and town hall meetings are integral to our business and strategic planning as they provide opportunities for us to receive invaluable feedback from our citizens in relation to their thoughts on our service delivery, community safety and our policing priorities.

The Nugget's op-ed headline is right on. Police can't solve society's drug problems.

That's why the North Bay Police Service is committed to working with 17 local community partners in health, education and social, probation and justice services as a member of the Gateway Hub. This team of professionals addresses the needs of people in our community who have been identified as being in acutely-elevated high risk situations. Our goal, as police, is to reach out to these individuals, together with our community partners, to get them the help they require before they commit a crime.

At first glance it looks like a time-consuming, resources-taxing, and costly initiative because of its group-to-one approach. However, the early numbers show the approach is proving to make a significantly positive impact not only on the life of individuals, but on the well-being of their families and on the safety of our neighbourhoods.

In fact, the Hub is proving to be a cost-effective initiative because it helps to reduce violent crime, reduce emergency room visits, reduce calls for service, decrease truancy and reduce public prosecutions. It's also more humane than the handcuff, charge, send to court and jail them approach.

Thanks to the outstanding efforts of the partners involved in the Hub, North Bay is seen as a leader in the province specific to community safety and well-being, winning both the Ontario Association of Chiefs of Police 2014 Community Safety and Crime Prevention Award and another provincial award from the Ontario Municipal Social Services Association for leadership and collaboration.

The North Bay Police Service is also working with the North Bay Regional Health Centre as a member of the Mobile Crisis Team. This team of two registered nurses and one police officer responds to calls for service involving individuals identified as having mental health or addiction issues and needs. Preliminary data collected over the first three months since its launch late last year shows a 30% reduction in the number of individuals being brought to Emergency under Mental Health Act apprehension, a 30% reduction in police apprehensions, a 50% reduction in time spent by police at Emergency, 42 new linkages connecting individuals to community services before their situation escalates to acute psychiatric or emergency service requirements and 279 hours spent serving patients in the community rather than in hospital. As important as the increased effectiveness and efficiency in our service delivery in this area is the fact that we are dealing with people in crisis or suffering from mental health in a much more compassionate and caring manner.

In December 2013, in response to the alarming number of deaths and crimes related to Fentanyl misuse and abuse in our community, the North Bay Police Service, as a member of the North Bay Drug Strategy Committee, tackled the problem head on. By working with local physicians and pharmacists, the Committee launched the Patch-4-Patch program, a practice whereby clients must exchange their used Fentanyl patches in order to get a new prescription.

The results of the Patch 4 Patch program in North Bay indicate that Fentanyl-related crime is significantly down. As well, there were 14 Fentanyl-related deaths in North Bay from 2007 to 2013. Since the program launched in December 2013, there were two people who died as a result of Fentanyl abuse, one of whom obtained the drug from outside North Bay. Since June 2014, preliminary records show there have been no Fentanyl-related deaths in our community.

Thanks in part to our local success many police services across the province are introducing the Patch-4-Patch program in their own communities. The Ontario Association of Chiefs of Police's Substance Abuse Committee recently published a document recommending that the program be implemented across Ontario. As well, our local MPP has introduced a private member's bill that, if passed, will make the program mandatory across the province. Most recently the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police through their Substance Abuse Committee has also recommended this program as a best practice nationally.

We agree with the Nugget's opinion that we should "take the pulse" of the residents we serve "at regular intervals" and that is what we did in 2013 and again in June of this year. We invite members of the public to read the entire results of the public opinion surveys of both North Bay and Callander residents on our website (click here to read survey results). While drugs were identified as a top concern, others such as traffic safety concerns were also identified. Again this feedback from our community is used to assist us in setting our policing priorities as we move forward.

In the fall, the North Bay Police Service will be hosting town hall meetings in North Bay and Callander to discuss the results of these two surveys and to provide opportunities for additional feedback from our community. For those who did not have an opportunity to express your comments and concerns in the telephone polls conducted in June or for those who have questions about the direction of the Service, we welcome you to attend. Details on dates, times and locations will be announced soon and communicated to the media, on our website and on our Twitter account @northbaypolice.

Finally, it is worthy of note that the Nugget column and editorial make reference to "new officers", "a bigger police service" and the police through the board using this feedback to bolster our ranks is not accurate. These opinions may make for interesting reading, but there is no evidence to support them. In fact, our sworn strength of 94 officers has been in place since 2010 and there has never been any discussion with our Board to increase these numbers.

Sincerely,

Paul D. Cook, O.O.M.
Chief of Police