This story involes Edmonton but shows some of what is lacking in Winnipeg and its police chief plus what can be done about it.
In the CBC article below Edmonton police chief Rod Knecht calls for increased speed limit on road with “speed limit wrong” after many complaints about the City run photo radar program agressively targeting the lower limit. He based this decision on modern vehicle standards, well built road etc… (i.e safety and engineering standards).
Does this have anything to do with Chief Knecht coming from the RCMP in 2011 rather than hiring within EPS?
Similar common sense has been heard from Ottawa’s police chief who was not afraid to stand up to pressure from the mayor and city council in Ottawa to hire or divert more officers to traffic duty when they were needed to prevent and solve serious crimes.
We have not heard anything about the many artifically lowered and agressively targeted limits in Winnipeg from WPS Chief Danny Smyth since he was promoted from within this year after serving over 30 years with WPS.
WPS under his leadership did respond to the fact serious crime rate in Winnipeg being steadily high for years while the rest of Canada dropping but with lets wait and check stats next year.
When WPS Chief Clunis resigned last year it was suggested to the Winnipeg Policeboard that they seek and recommend to City Council a new Chief from outside WPS due to years of poor performance overall especially after the 64 page detailed report in 2014 found WPS the most overstaffed and inefficient service in Canada.
This and many concerns about out of control OT and other spending, inadequate investigation of police officers accused of serious crimes and a culture of harassing officers (bullying, denying promotions etc…) for speaking out about wrong doing.
There is many honest hardworking officers that are wanting to do more to help improve the trust, respect and confidence they get from the public but they are fearful of the consequences of speaking out.
Even Robert Taman resigned from the MB Police Commission (Civilian oversight) as a protest after an active WPS officer appointed to the commission). This and much more ignored and the 30 year WPS vetran Smyth hired.
Many serious issues with WPS raised during recent public consultations during Accreditation review and the report is due sometime after Nov. The public need to put pressure on WPS and City Council if they do not make this report public. The accessors forwarded on the concerns and suggested WPS review them. They included the contact info for those that agreed to this but none of them have been contacted that we are aware of.
Things can change and lets not wait for it to get worse. An overhaul of Montreal Police including change in leadership, policies including some targting a change in culture has started. This after corruption in Police and government exposed when officers caught spying on journalists who were doing the uncovering.
If you agree that WPS needs a major overhaul and new leardership to improve performance, efficiency and confidence contact the Winnipeg Police Board, Mayor Bowman, Justice Minister Stefanson, your Councillor and MLA. They have a responsibility to respond and have influence in this or related decisions.