Treaty 1 Territory, Homeland of the Red River Métis, Winnipeg, Manitoba –
If elected mayor, candidate Rick Shone would call on Winnipeg Police Service (WPS) and the new Chief of Police to seek out new innovations to handle their workload, stating that more funding is not the answer.In addition to promising not to renew Police Chief Danny Smyth’s contract, Shone pledges to change the culture at the WPS and expects the service to find ways to work within the existing budget.
“We need to make sure funds are allocated to solutions that work and that make sense,” said Shone. “The answer is not to spend more on policing but to help WPS to better manage the workload.
Turnover at the WPS call center is currently 45%, with 30% of new hires quitting within the first year, so we need to be providing smarter, more cost-effective policing strategies in our city. This means collaborating with the province to better address health-related calls, like wellness checks.”
Shone’s plan would:
1. Conduct a full audit of 911 call dispatching, with the goal of ensuring that call taker are trained and experienced enough to continue do their job as opposed to facing abnormally high rates of employee turnover.
2. Work with the Province of Manitoba to expand the Mobile Crisis Service and Active Response to Citizens in Crisis (ARCC) to increase the number of wellness checks attended by mental health professionals, not just police.
3. Invest in building stronger partnerships and programs with Provincial and Federal governments, including harm reduction strategies to address addictions and mental health services at the source.
4. Commit to not increasing the police budget, while continuing to invest in improving community centers, access to the arts, more 24/7 safe spaces, and expanding recreational services to build trust amongst neighbours and help to keep at-risk youth off the streets.
5. Commit to increasing funding to community patrol groups and other community-oriented organizations.
6. Use more effective data analysis methods that would lead to smarter decision-making, putting police resources where they can be best deployed to reduce crime and keep our streets safe.
7. Expand community policing and bike patrol initiatives in central Winnipeg.
8. Expand the Cadet program in order to better serve functions of traffic control, guarding detainees in hospitals and transporting individuals under the Intoxicated Persons Detention Act.
“I have already stated that new leadership is required to begin the process of deep cultural changes at WPS,” said Shone.
“The reforms I propose can take place within the first year of my term and would have an immediate impact on how we use police resources, and I remain committed to finding new leadership that is aligned with the vision of policing we need for the future.”