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Deputy Mayor addresses community safety concerns

'I believe the police are doing the best they can with the resources they have and the challenges that they are facing'
20181003 tanya vrebosch
Tanya Vrebosch

North Bay's Deputy Mayor has been speaking with local residents about the community safety concerns within the city of North Bay. 

She has been listening and has decided to bring her message, as a resident and the Deputy Mayor, to the North Bay Police Board.

"I believe the police are doing the best they can with the resources they have and the challenges that they are facing," said Vrebosch during Tuesday's Board Meeting which was conducted online via Zoom. 

Vrebosch referenced an Association of Ontario Municipalities (AMO) conference five years ago where the Mayor of Bracebridge stated "if you haven't experienced the Opioid Crisis yet, it is coming." 

"People still ask me if it is safe in North Bay and nowhere is it as safe as it was five years ago, but it does not mean you have to be housebound," she said. 

"You just need to be mindful of your surroundings and follow sound safety tips."  

While it is a concern, Vrebosch insists the problem is the same in many other communities and not just here in North Bay.  

Vrebosch's main request was to ask the North Bay Police Service to get more community input for its upcoming Strategic Plan.  

"I know you use Town Hall in your correspondence however any forum allowing for any interactive information sharing that will engage our citizens now on proposed solutions and a path forward to a safer community and it may provide a degree of comfort by helping us understand your challenges, your opportunities, and your plan," she stated.  

"It will also identify what your community partners need and where we can help. You don't have to do this alone.

"Again the message from today is North Bay residents are not alone in the changing landscape of their community and we just want to hear from the police in a different way to provide some knowledge, understanding, and comfort."

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Scott Tod, North Bay's Police Chief replied to Vrebosch stating that meeting with the public has been a challenge due to COVID-19. 

"You started on the Opioid Crisis and ended up on policing and I'm sure you understand the Opioid Crisis is complex in the solutions with 21 local community groups working together on this through the Gateway Hub, " stated Tod during the Board Meeting.   

The North Bay Police Services' most recent Strategic Plan expired in 2020.