Saturday’s 12-hour shift is one Marcus Tignanelli won’t soon forget.
The North Bay City Councillor was invited on a ride-along with the North Bay Police Service and there was no holding back.
“It was pretty busy. We observed a vehicle swerving and we did a traffic stop and it resulted in a roadside suspension due to impaired driving. There was a mental health patient who was experiencing some troubles and they were able to help.”
Tignanelli got a first-hand look at the operation, from front desk to dispatch to being on scene.
“You never know what is going to happen. What turned out to be a simple traffic stop for us turned into the arrest of someone wanted on an arrest warrant. A routine traffic stop can turn into a much bigger deal.”
Based on his observations, Tignanelli says the police service needs to recruit more officers.
“I think the biggest thing they could use from my point of view, is potentially more officers on the road, more patrol and they need more back up. I think we need to see that improved.”
The newly elected city councillor says he wanted to get a better understanding of what the job entails.
“It was suggested to me that the best way for politicians to get to know their city, was to go on a ride along. As a big proponent of emergency services in North Bay, I thought it was a fantastic opportunity,” said Tignanelli.
“The expectation going into the evening was to get a good sense of the way the North Bay Police Service operates, from patrol to the office. So, my goal going into it with the officer I was paired with, was to see the entire process from pulling people over for speeding tickets to impaired driving to bar checks, and a big part of it was also the mental health aspect, and advocating for those people, especially in such cold temperatures.”
Moving forward, Tignanelli wants to build stronger ties between law enforcement and the city.
“From here I would like to build a better partnership between the community and the police. It has been extremely inspiring, almost to the point I would consider being a police officer at some point because just the level of respect they have from citizens and they show citizens, that is what community really is.”
He is already planning a ride along with police in the summer.
“They’ve expressed that it is an extremely different environment. I think all politicians should do it before they consult with budgets and staffing and policies. I think you have to work the front lines to know the back lines. So I’ve committed to doing two ride-alongs per year for the entire term.”
Tignanelli also has a keen interest in hitting the road with the District of Nipissing Paramedic Services.