Board Meeting Highlights - November 7, 2022
Recognition of Outgoing Board Chair Maurizio Bevilacqua
The Board Vice Chair acknowledged and thanked Chair Maurizio Bevilacqua for his service on the Board over the last five year. Mayor Bevilacqua has served as the Board Chair since June 2021 and as Vice Chair prior to that period. His strong direction, commitment and extensive contributions will have a long-lasting effect on community safety and the residents of this Region.
Mayor Bevilacqua has been an integral part of approval processes for police budgets, business plans and the recruitment and appointment of six Deputy Chiefs and the current Chief of Police. Chair Bevilacqua's impact on police oversight, governance and community safety can be felt throughout the Region and within the Service. His dedication to diversity, equity and inclusion was evident in his support for advancing board education on this important issue. As a member of the Board, Chair Bevilacqua has supported engagement with our many community partners and strongly supported the development of strong relationships with our many diverse communities and within the Service.
Chair Bevilacqua thanked the Board for its support and work throughout his tenure. He was also thankful to be given the opportunity to serve in this capacity as a public servant and stated that it has been very rewarding and meaningful experience.
New Board Member
The Board welcomed Mr. Mario Cortellucci to the Board, who was appointed for a three-year term on October 20, 2022. Mr. Cortellucci is the President and Founder of Cortel Group and is dedicated to the health, safety and well-being of communities in York Region. In addition, Mario Cortellucci is the Founder and Chairman of the Universal Youth Foundation, a Canadian registered charity whose vision and goals are to provide educational assistance to children and youth in need throughout the world. Because of his many generous efforts, Mario has been honoured with the Merit of Brotherhood award at the 2nd annual “Spirit of the Community” event. He is also the recipient of the first CIIM Entrepreneurial Award of Excellence. Mr. Cortellucci thanked the Board and looks forward to the hard work ahead.
Badge Presentation to Retired Deputy Chief Brian Bigras
After 32 years of service, Deputy Chief Brian Bigras is retiring. Deputy Bigras joined York Regional Police in 1990 and has worked in #2 and #4 Districts, Uniform Patrol, Criminal Investigations, Drugs and Vice, Hold Up, Training and Education and the Real Time Operations Centre. His accomplishments and ongoing commitment to combatting organized crime have made an immense difference in this service and a remarkable difference in our community. His professionalism and dedication have helped strengthen community partnerships by working closely with numerous community organizations, including the Southlake Foundation, Addiction Services Central Ontario, the YRP Integrated Strategic Community Advisory Council and the B’nai Brith Advisory Council to the League for Human Rights. Deputy Chief Bigras has also dedicated his time volunteering with St. John Ambulance. His contributions to community safety and citizen engagement have been extensive through innovative programs and crime prevention initiatives and have increased trust with the many communities in this Region.
A Path Forward: Report of the York Regional Police Services boar Anti-Black Racism and Building Community Trust Committee
Professor Akwasi Owusu-Bempah presented the report of the Anti-Black Racism and Building Community Trust Committee (“the Committee”) to the Board. The report addressed recommendations brought forward after the consultations with members of the Black communities in York Region. A total of fifty-one recommendations were proposed for change, and eight recommendations were specifically directed to the Board and reviewed by this Committee. The Committee was formed in the spring of 2021 and comprised two members of the Board and the Executive Director, two members of York Regional Police and two members of the community. The Committee relied on a collaboration with York Regional Police in acquiring data, resources and documentation with information which supported the Committee’s mandate in meeting its goals and objectives. The key areas addressed are anti-racism and the governance role of the Board, accountability, transparency, race-based data, consultation, training, evaluation and measurement and budget. Work has been done by both the Service and the Board to address diversity broadly and to work to meet the needs of York Region’s racialized communities. The overarching goal of the report is that the Board must play a key role in advancing anti-racism and equitable policing at the Service level through a comprehensive anti-racism strategy that is data-driven and which guides the Service and incorporates changes to policy and the business plan.
Guns, Gangs and Violence Reduction
The Board received a presentation on Guns, Gangs and Violence Reduction. The four pillars of reduction strategies are gaining intelligence, suppression, enforcement and community mobilization. Prevention and intervention are crucial to combating gang involvement. There was a significant increase in the use of firearms and front-line seizures between 2016 and 2021. Bill C-21 puts a national freeze on the purchase and transfer of handguns by individuals within Canada and freezes the ability to bring newly acquired handguns into Canada. The Bill also limits firearms access by people engaged in intimate partner violence or self-harm, enhancements to anti-gun smuggling measures, new firearms-related offences, penalties and wiretapping. Most of the handguns traced in Canada were found to be coming illegally from the United States. York Regional Police is committed to enhancing public safety and keeping our communities safe with the implementation of the reduction strategies as noted above.
Amended Service Fees and Charges
The Board received the report on amended service fees and charges, which revises the proposed fees and charges set out in Schedule “A” and are adjusted on January 1 of each year in accordance with the annual Consumer Price Index. The service fees and charges are used for cost recovery associated with the delivery of specific services through user fees and are directed to the individuals or group which utilize the service and is reflective of a tiered pricing model implemented in 2019. The proposed rates will be effective January 1, 2023.
Next Regular Meeting of the Police Services Board
Date: Wednesday, December 14, 2021, at 9:15 a.m. and will be live-streamed on YouTube. Further instructions on the broadcast will be posted on the Board website. All meetings will be held virtually until further notice.
Contact: Mafalda Avellino, Executive Director, email@example.com.
The Regional Municipality of York Police Services Board is a seven-member civilian Board that oversees and governs the York Regional Police and is comprised of one member as Head of Municipal Council; three members are appointed by resolution of Regional Council and three by the Lieutenant Governor of Ontario.
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