WINNIPEG, MB. - Former Winnipeg Police Board (WPB) Chair, Councillor Kevin Klein (Charleswood-Tuxedo-Westwood), supports the Manitoba Justice Departments' proposal to remove City Councillors from the WPB.
"I resigned from my position because of City of Winnipeg political and administrative interference with the service," said Klein. The Winnipeg Police Service (WPS) must be free of politics to operate efficiently, effectively, and accountable to all citizens. The Police Chief should report to the Minister of Justice, not to the Mayor and his Executive Policy Councillors.
At present, the Mayor of Winnipeg appoints the Chair, Vice-Chair, up to four resident appointees at the Mayor's will, and the council selects one board member. The Mayor provides the Chair with a mandate letter detailing what the Mayor wants the Chair to achieve. Manitoba Justice appoints two board members.
The current system is not working. The evidence is right before our eyes. Six years of increases in violent crime, 87 murders in 24 months, the continuous political spin statements claiming record investment in the WPS budget, while the number of actual officers continues to drop.
Klein said, "the status quo at City Hall has to go. The leadership and administration have not proven residents' safety are better served under the current governance model. It's time for an overhaul.