Members of the North Bay Police Service stood under the gateway to the north arch on Memorial Drive this morning to unveil their strategic business plan for next three years. The plan is built around four strategic priorities including supporting members, providing responsive service, maintaining public trust and collaborating with community partners. The pillar of great collaboration includes continued participation with programs like the Gateway Hub and Mobile Crisis Team, as well as building new partnerships. Working with local groups like Amelia Rising to combat sexual abuse, and reviewing investigative policies and to help ensure public trust and confidence is just one way police are looking to move forward.

Police Chief Shawn Devine gave dealing with drugs as one big example that requires collaboration in the community. Devine says they can arrest people for drugs for the next 10 years, but that’s not going to solve the problem. He says the police need to sit down with health officials and those who work in addiction and education to help develop a shared approach to tackling the issue. Devine cited maintaining public trust as a big key as well. Devine says they’re in a battle everyday facing a lot of negative stuff that comes from the United States with regards to police engagement with the public. He says the police have always been well-supported in this community, and they want to keep it that way moving forward.

Devine says the pillar of supporting members of the force is also a high priority. The plan calls for the implementation of a post-traumatic stress disorder prevention plan. Earlier this week at the police services board meeting, Devine announced the service was in deficit due to an insurance claim from an employee suffering from PTSD. He says police need to be proactive and support each other. Devine says they don’t make widgets, they have 160 employees and that’s their strength. He says there focusing on development and leadership and mental health and wellness for their employees. Devine finished by saying he’s very proud of the work that went into this plan, and added this road map is something he’s been working on with members inside the force since he took over as chief.

Anyone interesting in reading the document can pick up a copy at police headquarters on Princess Street, or head to www.northbaypolice.ca to view it online.