Winnipeg, Man. (October 6, 2022) - Community Safety is my #1 Platform Priority. Aligned with my commitment to transparency and public participation in the election process, below you will find my commitments to safety and my stance on policing. I have also posted copies of much of my previous work on the topic below.
Community safety is extremely important to my campaign. A City can’t be sustainable or healthy if it’s unsafe.
There are many aspects to a safe community. This includes crime reduction initiatives, effective policing, poverty reduction and support efforts led by community groups and social enterprises, mental health supports allied to provincial and federal funding and programs, transit system safety, workplace safety (especially for transit/fire/police/paramedic staff), by-law enforcement of unsafe practices, participation and buy-in of residents and City staff, road/active transportation safety, emergency preparedness, effective emergency response (available fire/paramedic/policing units), and proactive maintenance of infrastructure – proactively preventing structural failures, sink holes, etc...
Over the past four years, I have taken large steps to improve community safety, many which have been voted down or ignored by Council. As Mayor, I will continue to advocate for such initiatives and work with Council to direct the administration to prioritize and modernize community safety practices.
The following is a list of links to various community safety efforts, motions, and videos which cover some of the community safety work I have completed over the past 4 years:
The video below is one of several community town halls which I hosted on policing and community safety, and related policy stances:
The video below contains my opinions on the Winnipeg Police Helicopter. Drones cannot be used to replace the helicopter as aviation laws require drones to be seen by the operators on the ground at all times, and therefore the drones cannot search large areas for missing people or follow moving crime scenes/vehicles. Drones cannot quickly move from one area of the City to another to aid multiple scenarios occurring at the same time.
This summer, the helicopter assisted in multiple river rescues of children who had fallen in and drifted away. The helicopter aided in rapid response to locate the children and guide river rescue teams to quickly remove them from the river. The lives saved are invaluable and prove that this technology is worth the investment by the City and province.
I have also passed many motions, and called for Special Meetings of Council to work to reduce violence in the community and tackle the safety issues in the transit system, as well as poverty support motions:
The link below is a frank conversation I had on this early in 2021 with Jamil Mahood - Executive Director of the Main Street Project - on overall poverty reduction strategies:
Here is another recent media release on Community Safety:
Community Safety in the Media:
The Police Budget and Policing
This is a complex issue. There have been many who have said the police are over-funded, or need to be completely defunded, or need large funding increases. These are all over-simplifications which do not consider the details of current policing capabilities, areas of expertise, and program funding details.
The City of Winnipeg has grown significantly in land area and population over the past several decades, and policing resources have not expanded accordingly. The City Council needs to conduct more analysis on how the Police are funded and where that funding is spent. Detailed fiscal analysis in combination with goal setting and alignment of public expectations will guide the City Council how to set the police budget. As well as establishing fiscal coordination with other levels of government.
On the topic of an inquiry into the police headquarters:
Below is another video with my opinions on police force budgeting:
This video celebrates members of our police force: