Hamilton Police Services Board Meeting - October 15, 2013 [4pm]

Meeting and livestream start at 4 p.m. on Tuesday.

Councillor Terry Whitehead returns, Mayor Bob Bratina’s no longer a member, and Councillor Lloyd Ferguson is the Mayor’s replacement as the Hamilton Police Services Board holds its October meeting. This is the first regular meeting at City Hall. The Board voted to move to City Hall as it provides better public access and seating capacity than the police headquarters boardroom.

The aftermath of the Steve Mesic shooting will be on the agenda today with The Hamilton Spectator’s Bill Dunphy presenting a delegation asking for Hamilton Police reports on shooting for the past decade, and Mesic family and friends planning to attend the meeting.


Livestream and Live Coverage | Agenda | Item-by-Item Summaries
Of Note: Board Membership Changes | *Mesic Shooting AftermathHamilton 350 Committee Policy Complaint | Online Criminal Reference Background Checks*


Livestream

Join the live discussion above by clicking comment on updates


Agenda

Election

2.1   Election of Chair

Presentations / Delegations

  • Bill Dunphy, Hamilton Spectator (brief) (full story)
  • Members of the Month
    award given monthly to a member (civilian or swore). Usually for handling an emergency situation and saving lives with quick action or bravery.
  • 25-Year Fitness Award
  • On-Line Police Screening Checks (also discussion item 6.3) (summary)

Consent Agenda

  • Minutes from September 16, 2013
  • Hamilton Police Service Monthly Report (summary)
  • Letters of Note- Hamilton 350 Committee to Police Services Board regarding Hamilton Police investigation of complaint from 350 of the Hamilton Police Services Board accepting a donation from Enbridge Inc. (summary) (Full CATCH story)
  • Jamaica Foundation of Hamilton thanking Chief De Caire, and his wife, for attending their Dinner & Dance celebrating Jamaica’s Independence.
  • Marilyn and Darvin Dolynuik stating opposition to police being issued tasers. (summary)
  • Harriet and John Hamilton thanking Hamilton Police for sponsoring and being involved with the Community Youth Day at the Turner Park skatepark. The letter also suggests police and public health ensure all skateboard participants wear helmets next year.
  • Reverend Canon Marni Nancekivell, of the Anglican faith, who is the mother of a 21-year-old young woman with Rapid Cycling Bi-Polar Disorder expressing concern about the Steve Mesic and Sammy Yatim shootings. To the Police Services Board “I ask you as a Mother, and as a priest to take seriously this episode” (full letter)
  • Shekar Chandrashekar asking for public documents – the police budget, specifically, actual payments for Police Retirees for the year 2012 and 2011. They denied access and instructed him to attempt getting public information through freedom to information. (summary)

Discussion Agenda

New Business

Following the public agenda, the Police Services Board will meet in closed session.


Board Membership Changes

New Chair

The Police Services Board is without a Chair at present, following the resignation of Mayor Bob Bratina from the Board.

The meeting will start with the election of a new Chair.

Bratina resigned from the Police Services Board on September 18, 2013 claiming a conflict of roles between being the Mayor and a member of the Police Services Board following the Steve Mesic shooting.

The Mayor’s vacancy was quickly filled by Council appointing Councillor Lloyd Ferguson to the seat. Ferguson had been a temporary appointment to fill the role of Councillor Terry Whitehead who was suspended from the Board during an investigation by the  Ontario Civilian Police Commission into five allegated violations of the Police Services Act.

OCPC ended their investigation with no penalty against Whitehead, ending the suspension Whitehead is seeking exoneration. This is Whitehead’s first meeting since May.

The resignation of the Mayor tipped the balance of power on the Board from a 4-3 voting bloc consisting of the Mayor and the three provincial appointees with the three Council appointees in opposition to four Council appointees in the majority.

Morelli or Ferguson will be the candidate for Chair from the Council appointees. Morelli has served as Chair previously.

Last Meeting of Madeleine Levy’s present term

This could be the last meeting for provincial appointee Madeleine Levy. The respect CFO of Grand River Industries is a fixture of numerous community boards. Her current term expires on November 2nd.

The province has not announced if she will receive a second-term or be replaced. Levy has not stated if she wishes a second term, except to say she considers it a privilege to sit on the Board.

Mesic Shooting Aftermath

The Hamilton Spectator covered the aftermath of the shooting extensively, sparking a public debate about how quickly Hamilton Chief of Police Glenn De Caire should extend condolenses to the grieving family of someone killed in a police shooting. The Sammy Yatim shooting occurred July 26. There is a video posted to YouTube of the shooting. The video sparked public outrage.

This shooting resulted in the SIU charging a Toronto Police Constable with second-degree murder and Toronto Chief of Police Bill Blair quickly extending condolences to the family. Hundreds protested in Toronto and pressure mounted in *The Spectator *as Blair’s actions differed from De Caire’s interpretation of the law that he could not extend condolenses.

Mayor Bratina states he would’ve immediately contact the family, as Mayor, had it not been for him being on the Police Services Board. This is why he states he resigned from the Police Services Board on September 18.

The Mesic family, and friends, plan to attend the meeting.

Their attendance at the September Police Services Board meeting directly led to the moving of meetings to City Hall.

Bill Dunphy Delegation

The Spectator’s Bill Dunphy will speak to the Police Services Board requesting the release of reports prepared by the Chief of Police for the Board after police shooting incidents for the past ten years. (Request Letter)

The reports are produced under Section 11 of the Police Services Act, paragraph 4 [emphasis mine]:

The chief of police of a municipal police force shall report his or her findings and any action taken or recommended to be taken to the board within 30 days after the SIU director advises the chief of police that he or she has reported the results of the SIU’s investigation to the Attorney General, and the board may make the chief of police’s report available to the public.

Dunphy’s delegation is only the second time a member of the public has address the Board under its new delegation policy. The first delegation was myself on open data.

Dunphy’s public lobbying for freedom of information is consistent with a new journalistic practice of transparent engagement on freedom of information and freedom of press issues.

Hamilton 350 Committee Policy Complaint

The Hamilton 350 committee is disappointed in how the Hamilton Police Services Board responded to their policy complaint about the Board accepting a $45,000 donation from Enbridge Inc. to purchase all-terrain vehicles for police patrols.

Full CATCH Coverage here

The 350 committee wrote a complaint to the Hamilton Police Services Board that the acceptance of a $45,000 donation from a major corporation to purchase equipment that could potentially be used to patrol the interests of that corporation – the Line 9 pipeline that is currently subject to a flow reversal application at the National Energy Board -and creates the appearance of conflict of interest.

Hamilton Police were instructed to investigate the complaint by the Ontario Civilian Police Commission. The investigation is complete and makes reference to statements that were never made by the Hamilton 350 committee.

CATCH has full coverage, including police documents that were not included in the public agenda.

Online Criminal Reference Background Checks

Hamilton Police plan to be first to launch the option of completing an online background check for employment or volunteering online. The cost will be $9.95 in addition to the current $15 to $50 fee for checks. (Full Story)

Dolyniuks Letter Opposing Police Tasers

Marilyn and Darvin Dolyniuk wrote a letter to both the Police Services Board and City Council. It states:

Given the experiences of the past few years with tasers, especially the incident
involving the tasering of an 80-year-old woman in Halton, resulting in her breaking
a hip, we feel that all police officers should NOT be authorized to carry tasers.
My son is a police officer with the Calgary police.

The letter to Council includes a hand written postscript:

Take a moral stand!

Don’t just cop out by saying that the police can pay for them!

Public Access to Budget Information Frustrated

Shekar Chandrashekar is an engaged citizen who attends Police Services Board meetings and the budget sessions. He is a retired civil servant.

He asked the Hamilton Police Service to provide public information: “the actual payments made for Police Retirees for the year 2012 and 2011.” He was told to use the costly and time delaying Freedom of Information process to try getting this public information.

Chandrashekar is asking the Police Services Board to give the information. Last month, in an op-ed, Chandrashekar wrote about the cost of retirement payouts and post-retirement benefits. “The time is right to discontinue payouts for post-retirement benefits and accumulated sick leave,” he stated.

Chief’s Monthly Report

Each month, Chief De Caire presents a monthly summary of highlights to the public session of the Board:

  • Hamilton Police won the International Association of Chiefs of Police and Cisco Systems Community Policing Award.
  • Police went with youth from the Roma and Iraqi community to Circle Square Ranch in Brantford to “participate in horseback riding, archery, high ropes, rock and wall climbing” during a day of relationship building for the youth and between the youth and police.
  • The annual Chief’s Gala raised $42,000 for Crimestoppers this year.

Hamilton Police to take over Hostage Rescue in Hamilton

The Hamilton Police Emergency Response Unit is now trained for hostage rescue. The Board’s required to pass a motion changing responsibility for hostage rescue from the OPP to the ERU. Full Story

Dundas Community Policing Centre

The Hamilton Police Service is renewing their lease on space in Downtown Dundas that’s used as a police sub-station (officially a Community Policing Centre) at 2 King Street West, Dundas.

The new lease will expire on November 30, 2018. There is a clause for police to end the lease, without penalty, on six months notice. This will only be done if Police need to move the sub-station closer to or into Waterdown. Police say there is not an expectation this will happen during this lease.

Retaining Videos from Custody Holding Areas

The Chief is asking the Board to approving keeping video from the holding areas for six (6) months. At present it is only kept for 30 days, frustrating defence attorneys who wish the videos to defend their clients.

2014 Police Budget

City Council is instructing the Hamilton Police Service to present their 2014 budget to Council on November 26, 2013.

This is earlier than previous years when the police budget was brought to Council in February and reflects last year’s budget showdown that occurred between the Police Services Board and Council.

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