North Bay's police chief starting new advisory council to help heal racial divide
NORTH BAY -- North Bay Police Chief Scott Tod is starting a new chief's advisory council in the next few months with committee members from different racial and religious backgrounds from the city.
The council would meet to discuss how police officers can work toward healing the divide with minority communities.
"Over my 36 plus years of my policing career, you can certainly see systemic racism and the effects of systemic racism," said Tod.
The community portion of the council would be made up of between 6-10 different leaders from a variety of races and religious backgrounds.
They would gather for meetings a couple times a year to discuss how officers can provide appropriate service for everyone.
"And they would look at preventing the past reactions where police haven't been listening to these communities and reacting to their communities," said Tod.
This type of committee has never existed in the North Bay Police. It's a move Nipissing First Nation Chief Scott McLeod applauds.
"That's a start," said McLeod in a Skype interview. "There are a lot of things that I think need to be done to start to change how the systems work in Canada."
Protests for police reform and against police brutality have been a hot topic for the past several weeks since George Floyd's murder in Minneapolis. There have been many other examples of Black and Indigenous people who end up dying or injured during police encounters.
Regis Kochinski-Paquet was a 29-year-old Indigenous-Black woman who died in Toronto at the end of May during an encounter with Toronto Police officers.
A CTV News analysis shows Indigenous people in Canada are more than 10 times more likely to be shot and killed by an officer since 2017 than a white person.
"Keep being vocal and be aware of what's going on in this country and keep pressing," said McLeod. "The real change is going to come from them."
Tod is hoping to form the new advisory council by the fall.