Kashechewan Inquest recommendations partially acted on
Although some of the Kashechewan Inquest recommendations relating to Nishnawbe-Aski Police Service (NAPS) have been completed, others have yet to be acted on.
The 2009 inquest into the deaths of two men while in custody in Kashechewan came up with 86 recommendations, which included a number targeted at NAPS.
Acting police chief Bob Herman said that a number of detachments still need work.
“The provincial and federal governments have injected capital funding into building new detachments, however we still have five more detachments that need to be replaced,” said Herman. “We (also) have detachments that really don’t meet standards if you look at provincial legislation, which doesn’t apply to us but it should.”
The former Thunder Bay Police Service chief of police said a number of other issues from the Kashechewan Inquest have yet to be addressed.
“The recommendations talk about a legislative framework, that basically allows the Nishnawbe-Aski Police Service to be held to the same standards as other police services in Ontario when it comes to adequacy standards,” Herman said. “That would be buildings, that would be cell blocks, that would be radio communications and the governments haven’t moved on those recommendations.”
Herman said NAPS has seen some progress from the provincial government on the
recommendations, but the federal government continues to stall.
NAPS has not had an increase in funding for about five years, since the last tripartite agreement was signed in 2009.
“Other police services are properly funded and each year can actually get their funding increased to meet their needs,” Herman said. “For almost five years we haven’t had that opportunity.”
The Kashechewan Inquest was held from March to May 2009, after James Goodwin and Ricardo Wesley died in a January 2006 jail fire at the Kashechewan NAPS detachment.
The inquest resulte in 86 recommendations related to NAPS and its policing delivery area, including that First Nations, Canada and Ontario should work together to ensure that policing standards and service levels in First Nation communities are equivalent to those in non-First Nation communities.
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