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How Sudbury police measure up when it comes to cases of intimate partner violence

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The Greater Sudbury Police Services Board got an update on how well it is meeting recommendations from a 2022 inquest which focused on intimate partner violence (IPV).

Two years ago, a coroner’s inquest in Renfrew County in Eastern Ontario focusing on IPV following a triple femicide. That inquest made 86 recommendations, including declaring IPV an epidemic.

On Wednesday, the Sudbury police services board reviewed information on how they measure up locally and where improvements are still needed.

“I hope that the board takes away from this the need to continue with our collaborative efforts with community partners to increase our education both within our high schools and elementary schools, but also within our workplaces and our community as a whole,” said Det. Sgt. Lee Rinaldi, who made the presentation.

The recommendations include ensuring the safety of victims and their families, collaboration with community and media partners, intervention, perpetrators of IPV, accountability/oversight and education and training.

Education includes public awareness of red flags to look for, along with enhanced training for police officers focusing on a trauma-based approach.

“This is a really proactive step in bringing this type of coursework to Sudbury and our officers. That’s in line with, obviously, our member development,” said Deputy-chief Natalie Hiltz.

“Our officers are the most informed -- with the most current and innovative training -- in providing that quality service to the community members that are seriously impacted by gender-based violence, sexual violence and intimate partner violence.”

Rinaldi said victims don’t need to be afraid to come forward.

“Police don’t have to be the only phone call you make,” he said.

“You can reach out to family members, you can reach out to friends. Greater Sudbury Police Service will take reports of intimate partner violence through third parties.”

Rinaldi said Sudbury police are operating within the framework of the recommendations, but said there are still challenges ahead.

“No calls for service under the IPV spectrum goes unanswered or at no time will be cancelled,” he said.

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