North Bay Police Chief Shawn Devine is answering claims made by Councillor Mark King that the 911 services in North Bay are falling behind the technological curve.
Devine says he not only disagrees with King’s viewpoint, he also calls attention to the lack of involvement by City Council when invited to participate in the NBPS’s formulation of its 2017-2020 Strategic Business Plan last March. Devine says that only Mayor Al McDonald (who sits on the police board) attended after invitations had been extended to councillors and the North Bay Taxpayers’ Association.
Last week, West Nipissing’s municipal government put in motion a plan to switch to policing by the OPP and there have been rumblings over the years that North Bay might begin the process to at least cost such a move.
In a statement sent to media outlets, Devine addressed King’s assertion that the 911 system has shortcomings, and touches on the inevitable question of the OPP taking over North Bay’s policing:
Mayor and Council have every right to explore savings and efficiencies with respect to taxpayer funds, but to willingly put forth inaccurate and incorrect information into the public domain is disconcerting.
As city councillors and the general public prepare for a debate on an alternative service delivery model with respect to policing, I would like to set the record straight on the erroneous statement that was recently expressed by Councillor King. It is not often that I find myself compelled to respond to media reports especially when they cross into the political arena.
The North Bay Police Service Communications Centre is a state-of-the-art, fully functioning, Next Generation 911 capable section of our progressive police service. In terms of its technology and preparedness, we are ahead of the curve (Text to 911 ready) and not behind in our capacity to respond to emergency calls for service in any way, shape or form. Our service delivery model is as efficient and professional as any in the province. For example, our Electronic Crown Brief (eBrief) capacity has put us at the forefront of emerging trends while the province moves toward compatibility on this front.
The North Bay Police Service provides a flexible and responsive policing service to its communities. It has consistently demonstrated its leadership abilities locally and at the provincial level through innovative programs that address issues related to mental health, addictions, Fentanyl abuse, and people in crisis. The citizens of North Bay and Callander are well served in every aspect of policing. We are committed to community safety and wellbeing and go far beyond our core functions as a professional organization.