First Nations police service likely to disband
Letters from Treaty Three Police Service Board to union members indicate closure is imminent
A First Nations police service in Northwestern Ontario is set to to disband, according to the union representing police officers.
Treaty Three Police serves more than two dozen First Nations near Kenora, Fort Frances and Dryden.
A letter from the Treaty Three Police Services Board stating the force would be disbanded this summer came as a complete surprise, said Sharon DeSouza, the regional executive vice-president with the Public Service Alliance of Canada, representing about 75 officers.
The police service has a growing debt and the board blamed officers for its financial difficulty, DeSouza said, noting the money troubles are because of a lack of government money.
"You can't sustain the work that needs to be done based on the lack of funding dollars," she said. "If you ask me, truly, I believe that they've been setup for failure."
DeSouza said she wants to sit down — again — with the board to try and find solutions. Officers had one raise in 2013 and DeSouza said they can't be blamed for all of the debt in previous years.
"It's really difficult to ascertain what and where this situation is coming from," she added. "But one of the main sources is the lack of funding from the federal government."
The Treaty Three Police did not return a CBC News request for comment.