Thunder Bay, ON - September 29, 2010 ------ While a new initiative was launched by the City of Thunder Bay, Mayoralty candidate Keith Hobbs is accusing incumbent Lynn Peterson of playing politics with victims of crime.
Hobbs indicated that the concerns raised for over a decade by the Thunder Bay Police Association concerning substance abuse and crime levels fell on deaf ears including Mrs. Peterson who he accuses of sitting quietly on the sidelines while these problems continued to grow. Hobbs stated: “at one minute before midnight and after denying publicly that crime was even an issue, she is asking voters to give her four more years to solve our crime problems. Mrs. Peterson, this community that you ignored for seven years deserves an apology”.
Hobbs stated this type of politicking gives people a jaded opinion of political leaders. He accused Peterson of failing to take the necessary steps to protect the community. “She can pretend that it is the Police Department alone who is responsible, but the Police Chief answers to the Mayor and the Board. They are responsible for this decade of inaction” said Hobbs.
Last September, while still President of the Thunder Bay Police Association, Hobbs went public stating there were insufficient officers on patrol and that levels of crime were unacceptable. Those assertions were initially met with denial by both the Chief of Police and the Police Services Board. It was only after the public began supporting the Association did the Police Services Board acknowledge that crime is a problem in Thunder Bay.
Hobbs stated: “after a year Mrs. Peterson parades a new committee to deal with a problem that she herself denied. Is this really the best she can do?
As President, Hobbs presented a multi-faceted approach to making real reductions in crime that included, dealing effectively with the many substance abuse issues that exist in our community, utilizing the resources of the police force more effectively, creating a partnership between the front line officers and management to strategically deal with community problems and to work with various stakeholders to combat the core causes of crime. Hobbs stated: “I respect the opinion of Mr. Waller and people like him have much to offer in dealing with the many challenges we face. But my question to Mrs Peterson is simply this, why did this take a decade to begin. Our community deserved better. Countless victims of crime deserved better”.