Treaty Three police force to shut down

Staff

Local Treaty Three police officers received word Friday that the Treaty Three Police Service board will be shutting down its force and laying off all of their officers within 45 days.
The board informed the union in a letter dated July 4 that their actions had left them with “no choice” but to direct the Chief of Police “to begin engaging the governments and the Ontario Provincial Police to begin assuming policing responsibilities for [their] communities.
Letters of correspondence between the groups indicate financial difficulties as a reason for the shut down.
While the Public Service Alliance of Canada, which represents the Treaty Three police officers, claims that chronic under-funding by the federal government continues to be the primary issue facing First Nations program, such as policing, it seemed talks between the two groups focused on wages and benefits.
However, the union is adamant that officer salaries were not the cause of the shortfall.
The board noted they are beginning to develop an exit strategy and the management team will ensure all the employees are notified of the impending layoffs and closure of the police service.
But the union still hopes that the decision to close the police service will be reversed.
“The correction that must be made to save the police service is increased funding through political lobbying, not laying off workers who provide the direct service to your communities,” voiced Sharon DeSousa, the union’s regional executive vice-president.