What can the Winnipeg Police Service learn from better performing and more efficient Police Services



Oct 10 2016 – Kevin Yaworski – WiseUpWinnipeg – http://wp.me/p1fJaD-C8

The above photos are funny but it is more than sad that this is the reality for many people with lower income or missing loved ones.

At least two detailed reports from well respected institutions show the Winnipeg Police Service and Manitoba’s Justice System is in much need of reforms. One said WPS the most overstaffed and inefficient police service in Canada and the other rated MB Justice second last in Canada before the Yukon. Even WPS’s own annual reports have been listing serious crime rates (violent and property) in Winnipeg well above the Canadian average even though it is not near the highest for criminal code violations per capita.


The Winnipeg Police Service, Winnipeg Police Board and Winnipeg City Council need to learn from better performing and more efficient Police Services.

They have been given many suggested reforms but have for the most part ignored or stalled.

New Zealand has a national police service and so does the UK and several other countries.  They proven to have lower cost then separate police services. If a plan to reform the WPS over the next 4 years is not well on its way after two years the plan should be replaced with one that involves transitioning to the RCMP with Winnipeg funding it’s fair share. The RCMP have room to improve but are already doing several things properly that the WPS does not do or only sometimes.

In at least NZ they have a civilian commissioner who balances the focus of police. Most officers don’t carry firearms except airport and diplomatic protection units.  Some have a rifle and or handgun in lock boxes in their high security vehicle and must radio in when they get retrieved .  If an officer suspects firearms may be involved when attending a call they call for backup if they are not armed. They have less shooting of police and the public than Winnipeg.

NZ Police have 8,459 sworn officers for 4.7 Million people or 1 per 558.  Our WPS has over 1442 for 2/3 of a million people or 1 for every 457.  This is the biggest reason why the WPS is the second most overstaffed and inefficient police service in Canada even though it not near the worst for criminal code violations per capita.  With 300 more high paid and trained officers than it needs.  Especially if they used more efficiently and effectively.  Is the WPS similar over staffed for admin staff? The reports talk about this as well.



Suggested reforms for WPS, The City of Winnipeg and Government of Manitoba that would address many of the serious issues facing the City and Province here.

Here is a great post from a NZ Police Sergeant with reply after a comment about them harassing the public.

Absolutely love his reply and the WPS could learn several things from this Sergeant and in general about how to operate a police service that is mandated to serve and protect the public.

A North Island police station received this question from a resident through the feedback section of a local Police website:

“I would like to know how it is possible for police officers to continually harass people and get away with it?”

In response, a sergeant posted this reply:

First of all, let me tell you this … it’s not easy. In the Palmerston North and rural area we average one cop for every 505 people. Only about 60 per cent of those cops are on general duty (or what you might refer to as “general patrols”) where we do most of our harassing.

The rest are in non-harassing units that do not allow them contact with the day to day innocents. At any given moment, only one-fifth of the 60 per cent of general patrols are on duty and available for harassing people while the rest are off duty. So, roughly, one cop is responsible for harassing about 6000 residents.

When you toss in the commercial business and tourist locations that attract people from other areas, sometimes you have a situation where a single cop is responsible for harassing 15,000 or more people a day.

Now, your average eight-hour shift runs 28,800 seconds long. This gives a cop two-thirds of a second to harass a person, and then only another third of a second to drink a Massey iced coffee AND then find a new person to harass. This is not an easy task. To be honest, most cops are not up to the challenge day in and day out. It is just too tiring. What we do is utilise some tools to help us narrow down those people we can realistically harass.

PHONE: People will call us up and point out things that cause us to focus on a person for special harassment. “My neighbour is beating his wife” is a code phrase used often. This means we’ll come out and give somebody some special harassment. Another popular one is, “There’s a guy breaking into a house.” The harassment team is then put into action.

CARS: We have special cops assigned to harass people who drive. They like to harass the drivers of fast cars, cars with no insurance or drivers with no licences and the like. It’s lots of fun when you pick them out of traffic for nothing more obvious than running a red light.  Sometimes you get to really heap the harassment on when you find they have drugs in the car, they are drunk, or have an outstanding warrant on file.

LAWS: When we don’t have phone or cars, and have nothing better to do, there are actually books that give us ideas for reasons to harass folks. They are called “statutes”. These include the Crimes Act, Summary Offences Act, Land Transport Act and a whole bunch of others… They spell out all sorts of things for which you can really mess with people. After you read the law, you can just drive around for a while until you find someone violating one of these listed offences and harass them. Just last week I saw a guy trying to steal a car. Well, the book says that’s not allowed. That meant I had permission to harass this guy.

It is a really cool system that we have set up, and it works pretty well. We seem to have a never-ending supply of folks to harass. And we get away with it. Why? Because, for the good citizens who pay the tab, we try to keep the streets safe for them, and they pay us to “harass” some people.

Next time you are in Palmerston North, give me the old “single finger wave”. That’s another one of those codes. It means, “You can harass me.” It’s one of our favourites.


To see the original post and comments


WPS budget needs to be reined in and a detailed analysis of Fraser Institute study “Police and Crime Rates in Canada” and related facts
Manitoba’s Justice System Worst in Canada: Report

Report card on the criminal justice system:
Evaluating Canada’s Justice Deficit
By Benjamin Perrin and Richard Audas

More info

Manitobans need to demand they get more in return for some of the highest rates of taxes, fees and fines in Canada

Enough is enough with the out of control spending and abuse of the public and public funds by WPS and MPIC while some senior people at the City of Winnipeg and Province of Manitoba ignore or turn a blind eye

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

Public Safety and Proper use of Public Funds at City of Winnipeg

Suggested reforms for WPS, The City of Winnipeg and Government of Manitoba that would address many of the serious issues facing the City and Province.


Why is the public having to do the job of Politicians, Social Services, Police and now the Media?

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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