Part of how the Winnipeg Police Service ended up in its current dismal state

Oct 5 2016 – Kevin Yaworski – WiseUpWinnipeg –

Older news story I stumbled on that shows part of the reasons WPS ended up in its current dismal state with being the most inefficient and overstaffed force in Canada and facing the second highest serious crime rate in Canada (as per 64 page report from the Fraser Institute).  Mainly brain drain of analytical thinkers that didn’t agree with how the new Chief McCaskill was allowing things to run.

OT was a known issue even then and nothing done about it since.

This story gives some insight on what needs to change. Based on this one thing is to not promote from within as outgoing Chief Clunis suggested to the Police Board and it’s Chair Counc. Scott Gillingham. The Board said it was on target to hire by November.

They could use someone like Ottawa’s Police Chief who is not afraid to say no to requests from Council for more traffic duty when serious crime needed more attention.

If you want to contact the Winnipeg Police Board and it’s Chair.

It looks like this brain drain issue is not true for some Senior Officers.

It says Sgt. John Burchill, (LLB) went to U of M.

Loosing Burchill was not a brain drain as he came back and recent FIPPA results show him saying the MPIC funding of WPS with at least $500k was to counter the City reducing their budget (by increasing by 6.5% instead of the xx% they asked for again).

Retired with pension?  Now consultant?

A legacy he didn’t want to leave behind

Story archived below.
To Serve and Protect not Selfserve and Collect

Part of how the Winnipeg Police Service ended up in its current dismal state

MPIC diverting Millions to Police for $afety initiatives most of which are a waste and actually putting the public at risk

A legacy he didn’t want to leave behind

By: Gordon Sinclair Jr.
Posted: 03/3/2012 1:00 AM

Last Halloween, just hours before darkness fell, reporters were summoned to a news conference at the Public Safety Building.

Winnipeg’s Chief of Police Keith McCaskill was about to unveil his strategic plan to deal with crime in a city whose downtown Air Canada had recently declared was too dangerous for their flight crews to overnight in. It had only taken McCaskill four years into his five-year term to produce in writing a plan that he should have walked through the door carrying in outline form his first day on the job.

What the delay suggested about McCaskill’s management style should have been obvious to everyone by then.

Especially Mayor Sam Katz.

As the news conference ended I approached the always approachable McCaskill.

With a year left on his contract, I asked if he planned on renewing it.

McCaskill was noncommittal.

Then on Friday, just over four months later, that changed.

After a morning spent flipping pancakes at a Robert H. Smith School fundraiser for Winnipeg Harvest, McCaskill addressed reporters again to say he would be leaving at year’s end.

What we’re left to wonder now is what he will leave behind.

Someone who should know says it’s all good.

Manitoba Police Commission member and University of Manitoba sociology professor Rick Linden gives McCaskill high marks for all the relationships he’s built flipping pancakes and generally being present in the community.

“He was kind of brought in to mend and heal relations with parts of the community,” Linden said.

Linden, who has worked beside McCaskill in the impressively successful Auto Theft Reduction Task Force, says his perception is morale in the service is good, too. Which is also what one constable recently told me.

But some retired senior officers, who are still tapped in to the inside, have a different perspective on that.

They see a police service being run by the rank and file, instead of the chief. Someone who wants to be liked by everyone.

And acts that way.

Particularly when it comes to managing overtime that, even the mayor — while doing the required post-announcement eulogy — suggested has become a problem that’s out of control.

Little wonder they like their chief, given the ballooning membership of constables in the $100,000-plus club.

Whatever the view of McCaskill’s critics, Linden remains a fan of the man with the trademark big hair and big smile.

“He has certainly moved the force ahead.”

But has he really?

How about the little matter of succession? There is no obvious internal heir apparent, which can’t please the politically powerful police union — the Winnipeg Police Association. Back in 2007, the hiring of McCaskill — which is said to have been influenced by the union — went against a trend across Canada of hiring police chiefs with university and even post-graduate degrees.

Neither of which McCaskill has.

The hiring of a chief who graduated high school even went against an internal police policy that encouraged leadership advancement through university degrees. So perhaps it was no accident that when the man with the big hair arrived, the big brain drain began. The highly educated senior cops — people with law degrees and masters in public administration or business — weren’t comfortable.

To put it gently, McCaskill hadn’t embraced the police service’s intelligentsia. In part that was because three of them were former chief Jack Ewatski loyalists, and competed against McCaskill for the job. But it was probably just as much about McCaskill also not feeling comfortable with the better-educated cops and their more analytical approaches to policing.

So in a policing era when hiring a chief with a post-graduate degree should be a given, what’s largely left behind is an internal void at the top.

A big blue hole.

But there’s something else McCaskill has left behind, according to one of those senior cops who left after he arrived. A budget mess and a sense of overtime entitlement that whoever succeeds McCaskill will have to work overtime to correct.

“He’s done a lot of damage for the next guy,” the former senior cop said of McCaskill. “It’s too bad he’s not a better manager, because the guy who inherits it is going to be seen as a bad guy.”

Maybe that’s what the police service needs though.

We’ve had the nice guy.

And, for better or worse, you can see how that’s worked out.



Some of the university-educated senior officers who have departed the Winnipeg Police Service since Keith McCaskill became police chief:

Deputy Chief Menno Zacharias (MPA), left in 2008; now teaching at the University of Winnipeg

Supt. Gord Schumacher, (LLB), left in 2009; now director of criminal property forfeiture section with Province of Manitoba

Supt. Corrine Scott (MBA), left this year; now director of regulatory services with the Manitoba Liquor Control Commission

Insp. Alan Scott (MBA) left in 2010; now University of Manitoba, director of risk management

Insp. Brian Cyncora, (MBA), left in 2011; now executive director, Manitoba Police Commission

Sgt. John Burchill, (LLB) left in 2011; now University of Manitoba risk management section

Loosing Burchill was not a brain drain as he came back and recent FIPPA results show him saying the MPIC funding of WPS with at least $500k was to counter the City reducing their budget (by giving them less of the huge increase they asked for again).

Retired with pension?  Now consultant?

Related story:

Hanging up the badge

He spent more than three decades tackling crime, rising to the top of his field and taking on on of the toughest …

About Kevin Yaworski

I use my blog to write about things that I think are a matter of public interest or that I think others will be interested in
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1 Response to Part of how the Winnipeg Police Service ended up in its current dismal state

  1. Pingback: ‘It’s quadrupled;’ Food Fare owner says brazen thefts not limited to Manitoba Liquor Marts | Whats Up

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