EDITORIALS

The Police Budget – Putting Some Meat on those Bones

Screen Shot 2016-03-18 at 10.34.10 PM
Winnipeg Metro – Screenshot

Threats of layoffs in the Winnipeg Police Service are nothing new.

There were times during my career when I heard the same kind of rhetoric coming from City Hall.

What is new this time around is the impact social media is having on the discussion.  Social media really wasn’t “a thing” the last time I heard talk of Police layoffs.

Back in the day you didn’t have the Mayor or certain City Councillors using social media to influence minds and shape the opinions of Winnipeg residents.

Enter Twitter…

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Mayor Brian Bowman – Twitter

Mr. Bowman, who I supported in the last election, put out a tweet showing a graph indicating the WPS budget has increased 80% since 2006.

The number undoubtedly alarmed and outraged many tax paying citizens.

Not long after Mr. Bowman’s tweet crossed my feed my smart phone buzzed with a tweet from City Councillor Marty Morantz. (Charleswood-Tuxedo-Whyte Ridge Ward)

Marty Morantz - Twitter
Marty Morantz – Twitter

The tweet from Mr. Morantz was similar to Mayor Bowman’s save for the bold print stressing the significance of the increase in the Police budget.

How interesting, I thought.

I wondered why the Mayor and Mr. Morantz would be engaging in this kind of anti Police Service rhetoric.

It seems somewhat irresponsible to put out these kind of inflammatory tweets without bothering to put the reality of the demands on the Police Service into context.

I didn’t think it was an outrageous request to ask for some clarification…

Twitter
Twitter

Crickets…

Maybe I’d have better luck with the Councillor who was recently elected in my ward.  Surely he would be more inclined to answer a query from one of his constituents…

Twitter
Twitter

More crickets…

I admit, I was a bit miffed my tweets were ignored.

I was keenly interested to see what kind of insight these men have into the increasing police budget.

Is that not information they should share with us?

I recall the words “openness”, “transparency” and “accountability” being bantered about not all that long ago.  I also recall promises regarding the new age of communication and freedom of information.

Crickets.

Nonetheless, as a former police officer in the City of Winnipeg with almost 3 decades of experience I do have some insight to offer the tax paying citizens of our City.

What you didn’t see in any tweets was fact based information describing the evolution of Law Enforcement. You didn’t see tweets illustrating how Policing continues to become more cumbersome and more complex each year.

That evolution comes in many forms and often at great costs in the form of staffing, resources and equipment.

The changes are many and include, but are not limited to;

  • Disclosure
  • Video Taped Interrogation
  • Organized Crime
  • Street Gangs
  • Complex Warrant Applications
  • Forensic Imaging
  • Mental Health Crisis
  • Child Welfare Crisis
  • Social Media
  • Violent Crime Severity

A few thoughts on these issues…

Disclosure;

When I started my career in policing there was no such thing as disclosure.

Police are now required to provide Defence counsel with full and complete disclosure of all relevant evidence secured during a criminal investigation. That disclosure includes police officer notes, all police reports, all written and videotaped statements and many other forms of evidence.

In major cases, the disclosure requirements can be extremely time-consuming and onerous.

Time = $

Video Taped Interrogation

When I started my career police officers recorded suspect interrogations in notebooks.  The courts subsequently mandated the use of video recordings for all significant suspect interrogations.

The requirement to videotape suspect interrogations meant considerable expense and the creation of a new position for video monitoring. The video monitor is responsible for creating documents associated to the interrogation and is required to burn four copies of every interrogation.

(1 copy for Crown, 1 copy for Defense, 1 Master Copy and 1 Investigator Copy)

The requirement to videotape suspect interrogations created expense regarding the purchase and maintenance of electronic equipment, compact discs, cataloguing and storage.

The requirement to video record has also evolved to include the recording of witness statements.

Video taped recording of witness or suspect interviews is a time-consuming aspect of Law Enforcement.

Time = $

Organized Crime

Organized crime continues to evolve and adapt to law-enforcement investigative techniques.

In order to combat organized crime, police are required to continually advance, adapt and improvise.  Organized crime investigations have become incredibly complex and require advanced technical equipment, highly trained personnel and a commitment to work around the clock, often at great costs attributed to overtime.

Police have an obligation and responsibility to fight this type of crime.

Time = $

Street Gangs

When I started policing in 1987 Aboriginal and youth street gangs did not exist on the streets of Winnipeg.

In 2013, Winnipeg Sun columnist Tom Brodbeck wrote an article quoting WPS statistics indicating there were 1,400 – 1,500 active street gang members in as many as 35 gangs in Winnipeg.  Gang experts will tell you every active gang member may have as many as 10-15 criminal associates doing “business” for the gang.

Gang related crime is extremely difficult and time-consuming to investigate.  People who live in the gang-subculture do not cooperate with the efforts of Law Enforcement.  A significant number of unsolved homicide cases in Winnipeg are gang related.

Time = $

Complex Warrant Applications

Warrant applications for police have become extremely complex.

What was once accomplished in 45 minutes on a single page document now requires dozens of typewritten pages and many hours of technical research and report writing.  Warrant applications have become so complex many Police Units have created “affiant” positions, (specially trained warrant writers), to deal with the complexities.

Complex warrant applications can stop a criminal investigation dead in its tracks.

Time = $

Forensic Imaging

When I started my career in policing there was no such thing as a Forensic Imaging Unit.

The prevalence of video recordings on transit busses, in businesses, in taxis and in residential neighbourhoods has had a significant impact on Law Enforcement.

Crimes are caught more on tape now than ever in our history.

Video recordings have become prevalent in many homicide cases.

In April 2015, WPS Homicide Investigators charged John Paul Ostamas (40) with three (3) unrelated homicides of vulnerable homeless men.  One of the killings was recorded on APTN surveillance cameras.

In February 2011, Homicide Investigators scanned hours of car wash video recordings looking for the smoking gun that would seal the fate of the man who killed Elizabeth Lafantaisie (73).  Those efforts paid off when investigators found the needle in the haystack – a short video clip of the accused killer driving the victim’s vehicle when evidence indicated her body was in the trunk of the car.

Thomas Anthony Brine was subsequently convicted of 1st degree murder in the killing.

These are but a few cases.

The need to review, process and secure video evidence has become an incredibly taxing, labour intensive aspect of criminal investigation.

The increase in crimes caught on tape forced the Police to create and staff the Forensic Imaging Unit.

Time = $

Mental Health Crisis

It’s difficult to find statistics to quantify the impact people in mental health crisis have on policing.

Suffice it to say, Police Officers spend an inordinate amount of time in hospitals dealing with people who have significant mental health issues.

The problem only seems to get worse.

Time = $

Child Welfare Crisis

Conservative estimates indicate there are 10,000 young people in care in the Province of Manitoba.

The majority of these young people come from Winnipeg.

In 2015, Winnipeg Police reported an all time high of 8,894 people were reported missing in Winnipeg in 2015, a rise of 29% from the previous year.

The problem is clearly getting worse.

Police spend a significant amount of time investigating and looking for missing persons.

Time = $

Social Media

Social media did not exist when I started my career in policing in 1987.

Police have been forced to evolve and adapt and put significant resources into investigating crimes associated with social media. These investigations are difficult and require highly trained investigators with technically advanced skills.

Investigations into social media can be time-consuming, laborious undertakings.

Time = $

Violent Crime Severity

If you have any social awareness you will know the City of Winnipeg has led or been at the top of the nationwide violent crime index for many years running.

Winnipeg often leads the Country in homicide, robbery, sex assault, gang crime, youth crime and other crime categories.

No one can put lipstick on that pig.

Nonetheless, people will still try to talk about declining crime rates as part of the discussion.

Declining crime rates or not, calls for service steadily increase the demands we place on men and women working the front lines of the Winnipeg Police Service.

2014 WPS Statistical Report
2014 WPS Statistical Report

On a side note, did you know that at any given time there may be upwards of 30,000 arrest warrants on file in the WPS Bureau of Police Records.

The Evolution Continues

In 2015, the WPS commenced a pilot project for police body cameras.

The requirement to wear body cameras is another example of external pressure and the evolution of Law Enforcement.

The project, if adopted, will require the creation of a specialized unit to administer the body camera program.  The Police Service is sure to experience significant costs regarding staffing, resources, equipment, storage and disclosure.

It all equates to $$$.

Fiscal Responsibility

After working over eighteen (18) years in WPS Investigative Units I can assure you concerns over fiscal responsibility have always been at the forefront.

As a rookie Detective I was often stunned by supervisory decisions to thwart overtime in the face of serious public safety concerns.  These are not easy decisions.

Do you continue to run an expensive operation on overtime or do you stop surveilling a serial rapist and hope he doesn’t do this thing after you pull the plug?

As a supervisor, I always erred on the side of public safety, but not everyone did.

From my experience, WPS operations have always been run in a fiscally responsible manner.

In 2011, the Police Service conducted one of the most thorough audits ever completed on WPS Homicide Unit operations.

I participated in the study.

The findings…

The WPS Homicide Unit solved murders at approximately 50% of the cost of their western comparators.  The Unit operated with approximately half the investigators of comparators and had no civilian support staff.

The WPS Homicide Unit has had a 90% solvency rate for over 15 years.

Final Analysis

It seems much attention is also being focused on the fact 85% of the Police budget goes to salary and benefits for WPS officers.  Well guess what;

Policing is a robust, highly competitive market.

(Fact – police recruiters come to Winnipeg from all over the Country.)

Policing has become an extremely technical profession.

Policing has become an extremely difficult job.

If you want to attract people with integrity, intelligence and sound decision-making ability you have to pay them a competitive salary.

Police Officers need not apologize nor feel guilty when they cash their pay cheques.

That said, Police Agencies should be aware of the rising costs of Policing and must do everything within their power to be fiscally responsible.

I don’t care to make excuses for $1,000,000 expenditures on helicopters or $350,000 back door purchases of armoured personnel vehicles.  Police must be held accountable for the bottom line.

Mayors and City Councillors must build bridges with Police Executives and not wage propaganda wars on social media or in the press to score points with tax paying citizens.

Mayors and City Councillors who opt to use social media platforms should be responsive to their constituents when they are engaged with legitimate questions.

This should not be about division.

Lines should not be drawn in the sand.

Leaders find solutions, and do so with minimum noise.

Ultimately, if the City decides to lay off 40 cadets and 20 new police recruits to comply with budget restrictions they may very well end up deeper in the red.

“They may save that 2.5 million on the front end, but I’m telling you on the back-end, they’re going to be paying overtime out the yin-yang,” says WPA president Maurice “Moe” Sabourin. (Winnipeg Free Press)

The costs associated to that overtime come in many forms.

26 Comments

  1. I see Mayor Bowman is blaming the Winnipeg Police Association for electing to go to arbitration. From what I understand proposals were exchanged sometime in October 2016, a couple of months BEFORE the current contract expired. The contract expired 3 months ago and it appears they are no closer to an agreement. I did 31 years and can tell you that very few contracts were settled without arbitration. Many times we went nearly a year or more waiting for a settlement. It seems that the City wants to help offset any salary increase with interest earned on the money they realize they will eventually have to pay.

  2. And to add to this what about the rent we have to pay out of the wps budget for our police stations and cruiser car parking stalls????

  3. James,you are getting crickets from the mayor and Marty Morantz .Well get used to that because silence comes next lol. I hope people realize most of the councillors and the mayor used to answer all questions and concerns prior to getting elected . Would listen to anyone who had something to say . But now citizens of this city are not worthy it seems. I can tell you I’ve experienced it first hand and so many times I’ve simply lost count. I know we kept hearing how things would change and the old ways were a thing of the past. Well as the saying goes ,the more things change they more they remain the same. Oh the sound of crickets , I just love that sound .

  4. Mr Huffam…

    Thank you for reading and commenting…

    A few pointers.

    I’m sorry you interpreted my article as “a great deal of justification and rationalization” and that I was “bitterly complaining about the impositions placed by the various courts.”

    I didn’t intend to justify or rationalize anything and I wasn’t bitterly complaining.

    I was simply trying to offer information to our readers to add some context to the discussion.

    In reality, I benefitted financially from many of the issues I addressed in my article.

    The Milgaard and Taman cases have little to do with many of these issues despite your assertion they do. For the record, the AJI and Sophonow cases are much more relevant in the discussion.

    Having said that, you want to blame me and “my generation” of police for inventing “excessive use of force, violations of fundamental human rights, starlight tours, the suppression of exculpatory evidence and other vile behaviour.”

    Can you clarify for me how my generation of Police created Organized Crime, Street Gangs, Forensic Imaging, Mental Health Crisis, Child Welfare issues, Social Media and Violent Crime severity….

    You prefer to avoid the impact of all of these issues and choose to focus on Disclosure and Video Taped Interrogation.

    In reality, disclosure issues were created more by the Prosecutions Branch than the Police.

    When it comes to video taped interrogation, I agree, the degradation of the credibility of Police Officers had much to do with the mandate to videotape interrogation. Police Officers sworn evidence in a court of law carries much less weight today than it once did and yes, the Police can take some responsibility for that.

    Further, I’m not aware of any Winnipeg Police Officer that was charged or convicted of participating in a “star light tour” but I am aware of a case where false allegations were made and an apology offered.

    Additionally, I was never charged or convicted of using excessive force in my entire 26 year career.

    You make a lot of broad generalizations in your comments that simply are not true.

    I do agree, sustainability is a serious issue.

    Thanks again for joining the discussion.

  5. Interesting perspective shared in this story. I see a great deal of justification and rationalization for the costs incurred in Policing the City of Winnipeg. The author goes to great lengths to bitterly complain about the impositions placed by the various Courts, on conduct of Police Investigations. I can counter all these arguments with two short phrases, that are the basis for the present complex demands placed on Police conduct. 1.) David Milguard, and 2.) The Tamman Inquirey.

    Take a good, long, HARD look at yourself, before you lay blame at the feet of anyone else, Mr Jewell. It was YOUR generation of Police that created an permissive atmosphere that not only tolerated but actually expected officers to use excessive force, violations of fundamental human rights, “Starlight tours”, suppression of exculpatory evidence and other vile behaviour. The Laws that were passed by Canada’s Supreme Court, were put in place to protect Canadians from people who think that they are above the law……people who sound an awful lot like you. I, for one, am a very seriously pissed-off Tax Payer, here in this beautiful city. When I see $280,000,000 spent on a Police Service that doesn’t even bother to show up at break and enter calls, that declares a budgetary shortage of $2,800,000 then two weeks later drops $200,000 on Assault rifles….I seriously question the judgement of the Police Service Board and the senior managers of this Service. I have had dealings from time to time over the years with a handful of mostly young Constables, and they have been totally professional and quite pleasant to deal with, even under unpleasant circumstances. These men and women deserve better support from their lawfully appointed superiors, and the citizens of Winnipeg deserve VASTLY better accountability and service from the VERY EXPENSIVE Police Service that WE are stuck paying for.

  6. Brian…

    Appreciate the points you make.

    Having said that, when it comes to two officer patrol cars the issue should not be about money. The WPS has not lost a Police Officer in the line of duty since 1970. There is a very good reason for that….

    I’ve worked both one officer units and two officer patrol cars and can tell you from experience there is no comparison when it comes to Officer safety.

    This issue is not about money, its about Police Officer safety.

    People can quote studies, stats or whatever they want. I have personally experienced the increased danger a one Officer unit is exposed to. Suspects are far more inclined to fight in a flight vs fight scenario if they are only faced with taking on one Police Officer – I know this from my own personal experience.

    (You may have inspired the next Police Insider story – thank you.)

    I’m not sure how you arrive at the conclusion there are no shortage of qualified applicants for WPS jobs when the opposite is true. In the case of the WPS, they may receive several hundred applications but struggle to find even twenty (20) qualified individuals to fill a recruit class. I was one out of over 1,200 people who applied for the Police in 1987 for a competition that resulted in the hire of only 23 new recruits.

    The difficulty finding new applicants is still a reality for the WPS and many other Police Organizations.

    Calgary Police Service recruiters recently came to Winnipeg on a recruitment drive because they simply can’t find enough qualified applicants in their own jurisdiction.

    Your point on issue #2 is well taken.

    Thank you for reading and for sharing your thoughts.

  7. As usual you make very good points, however you ignore some key points:

    1) What is a “call for service”? It can range from “there’s someone on the loose with a gun” to “I see someone suspicious”. There’s a big severity distinction, however the response is the same: WPS constables in multiples of two (as they’ve collectively bargained they must work in pairs between certain hours). You talk about market economics driving salaries, however you ignore the lack of market efficiencies when it comes to dispatching resources. You can’t have it both ways. You can’t ask for market compensation and refuse market demands for efficient use of resources.

    And finally, given there is no shortage of qualified applicants for WPS jobs, that shows compensation is out of whack with the market.

    2) Equipment. To your credit, it’s mentioned in your article, but it’s more than telling when Clunis would rather by a tank than keep officers on the payroll. That’s pure disrespect for Winnipeg taxpayers and the Winnipeg Police Service. No wonder he “retired”.

  8. Nicely done Jim… Just need to get this in to Free Press and the Sun… Would open some eyes…

    FYI… the comment from Bellow regarding the Airport Unit and 30 Cops… not sure what was meant by that… there were only 25 after the expansion to the new terminal… and the City of Winnipeg made money from that enterprise… that was given up/lost… but that would be a whole different column.

    We all remember the pressure to minimize our OT. That’s what the public doesn’t seem to get.
    Sgt.’s standing over our shoulders wondering how long we would be…

    Well done.

  9. Sarah…

    When we look at the salary compensation disclosure report you have be cognizant of the fact many salaries for Constable may include severance or retirement incentives which may confuse the issue of “actual” police salary compensation.

    You make a great point regarding shifting 24/7 and staffing hours.

    Thank you for joining the conversation.

  10. While this doesn’t clarify the level of starting salary and increases to wage as certain years of service milestones are hit, it will give you a good idea as to the range of salaries police were paid in 2014 (must scroll down to Police Service section).

    http://www.winnipeg.ca/corp/document_library/cityofwinnipegcompensationdisclosure.pdf

    I think it is often overlooked that most city departments operate on a Monday to Friday – while most police units and fire/paramedics operate 24/7. Media and council like to say that police take up the biggest chunk of the city’s operational budget, and this is going to be the case regardless of what police are paid. To get a baseline, one must multiply any department staffing budget by 4 to get the same amount of staffing hours of the police department, outside of any of the additional complexities you outlines here.

  11. Lisa;

    Great question.

    I don’t have the most recent data but in 2008 a starting Constable with the WPS earned a base salary of $38,002.27.

    After four years the officers salary increased to $58,465.04.

    After sixteen years the salary jumped to $79,658.61 – this was the top wage for Constable.

    Concerns regarding the issue of overtime are valid.

    I went to Homicide as a Constable in the year 2000 and expected to earn an average of around $80,000 per year for my anticipated 5 year assignment.

    I made $84,838 in my first year but by year five I was making $126,956.

    What changed?

    In the year 2000 the WPS Homicide Unit investigated a total of 17 murders.

    In the year 2004 the WPS Homicide Unit investigated a record 34 homicides.

    The prevalence of street gangs and organized crime in Winnipeg homicides substantially increased during this time frame. These types of crimes are extremely labor intensive and require a significant investment in terms of manpower and dedication. The term the “first 48” is a real thing. Homicide cases must be front loaded with all the resources brought to bear if you want to solve the crime.

    The change in the nature of crime in the City of Winnipeg clearly had a ripple effect that was felt throughout the entire Police Organization.

    Its a complex issue and requires temperate thoughtful consideration.

    That’s why I was disappointed our Mayor and Mr. Morantz responded to the situation by tweeting out graphs without quantifying the data. Their use of social media came across as irresponsible and “anti police” in my opinion.

    Your are right to be concerned about Constables making over $100,000, as a tax paying citizen I am also concerned.

    The question we have to ask is – are these wages sustainable?

    Overtime in the WPS is a serious issue.

    There have been recent efforts to curtail Court overtime.

    The ironic thing is, as WPS President Maurice Sabourin pointed out, cuts to staffing will only increase overtime costs.

    The WPS has to constantly monitor their operations with a view to cut overtime where and when possible. Those decisions have to be made with the public interest being the first consideration.

    (A number of studies have been conducted on WPS operations in recent years and the findings indicated the Organization has been run in a fiscally responsible manner. (Matrix Review – 2013) (CPA Review – 2013) (WPS Homicide Unit Review 2010-2011))

    It’s a difficult balancing act.

    Thats how I see it.

    Thanks for your question.

  12. Hi James! Very interesting read. As a tax payer I have no problem paying for quality policing in my city and I feel these men and women need the best tools to do so. However, I was shocked to find out how much a young police officer makes. A salary close to $100,000 seems very high to me. A wage like that in health care comes with years of experience and most of the time more professional designations to their name. Nursing wages are at an al the time high and because of this other professions struggle to get a fair wage – the money is all focused toward that one group. Can this issue of very high wages also play a major part in the need for cuts and layoffs? What about wasted money in overtime wages?
    I would love to hear your thoughts.
    Lisa

  13. Safety First..Thank-you to all the Fireman, Police Officers, Military and Paramedics who care about all Canadian Communities..you are worth every dollar and more!!

  14. What ever happened with the MHA?! Chief Cassels had approached the Province to have changes made in the Act that would alleviate a lot of the time ( two) Officers have to spend in er’s. I gathered it was MB Justice and the government in power at the time that were the sticking point. Around that time Ontario had changed their MHA to allow hospital staff take over from police. I am not speaking about Special Constables whose numbers MB Justice is trying to reduce. I am talking about HCA’s, U.A’s, Support Workers or non special constable security staff. All Police departments waste an incredible amount of time in er’s because of the MHA wording. Of course police would obviously stay with known violent patients.
    20 years later and we are still wasting police time because of little interest or motivation from the government.

  15. Rory…

    Not sure where you heard disclosure is not done by the cops.

    As Homicide Sergeant I spent a ridiculous amount of time putting together packages for disclosure.

    When we ran projects in Organized Crime we had a full time position designated for the Disclosure Officer. Those duties keep the officer busy for the entire duration of the project. That could mean weeks or even months tied up on disclosure responsibilities.

    Did you know that every time a Police Officer makes an arrest they have to scan every page of their notes for disclosure. Major Crime notebooks have a total of 100 pages – each one must be copied for disclosure. If you happen to have used three notebooks that means a lot of time standing at the photo copier.

    Suffice it to say, Police and Police civilian staff spend a great deal of time dealing with daily disclosure related obligations.

    Not sure where you heard police officers get two hours for lunch, the suggestion is ridiculous.

    You are right about one thing, Police have a union with a contract that dictates officers get paid overtime if they’re called in to work on their day off, but like I said in my article, cops don’t have to apologize or feel guilty regarding the compensation they receive for the work they do.

    Sorry if you feel differently.

    I understand not everyone supports or likes the Police.

    Thats okay.

    I wrote the story to offer some insight into the controversy surrounding the Police budget.

    I appreciate the fact you took the time to read it.

    Thank you.

  16. K….

    Disclosure, court documents and packs are not done by cops.

    Street Crime is a waste and the 40 of them can walk a beat. How about this overlap where two shifts are on. No cars and two hours on lunch and, not even getting in uniform???

    Everything u mentioned is a specialized section that can get called out on a day off and get 13 hours of time and a half…… Even if it only takes 4 hours. And don’t say that doesn’t happen.

    Airport gave almost 30 extra cops that, we’ll say are eating up space.

    Fiscal responsibility???? Overtime is considered a right when people use it to pad pensions.. And they do.

    I wager no one will miss any of the layoffs but, the WPS will make sure things don’t get done. Reports they have enough or, too many cops. Self entitled and brag about making 100k a year to anyone.

    Sorry. Waiting until 2017 when the budget is worse.

  17. This article is very well written and certainly an eye opener for many . It should be printed in the newspaper as well as sent to every councillor !!

  18. This is very well documented and written, thank you James. So often in todays culture people make decisions merely on headlines and not content or substance. While there are a number of areas the Winnipeg police could save monies, by far, the greatest demands affecting budgets are external to police control. i.e.: court decisions, technology, advancements, media and freedom of information requests really affect the budget. Overtime is a hotly debated topic in the media yet police are not going to give up their free time for nothing. And, as those of us know, if you only have officers attend court when they are working, guess what: no one on the street. None of these expenses go down and demand on the police is always increasing.

  19. I’d love to see a line-by-line of the proposed budget. I’m, curious as to what the COW has dumped onto the police budget as a result of their own failings – perhaps “borrowed pension funds”; perhaps capital expenses incurred at the new HQ as a result of COW oversight (or lack thereof); perhaps fleet management costs????? Maybe we’ll find out one day.

  20. This is an excellent column and was certainly well researched by the author. It should be circulated to every elected official in the City of Winnipeg

  21. Mayor Bowman ought to be ashamed of himself for the underhanded social media tactics/propaganda aimed at uninformed tax payers. His pledge of open, transparent and accountable “leadership” is anything but.

    This was a great read, and all Winnipegers should have access to it. It shines light on administrative issues few have any knowledge of, and puts into context the realities of policing in our time.

    This should be published in the WFP.

  22. These politicians don’t seem to realize crime is not a 9 to 5 business. Officers can’t stop just because their shift is over if they are in the middle of an interview, arrest, statement etc. There is no “Hold on and we’ll pick this up tomorrow”. The public and media cry for the details and results now. Officers and the city don’t control when they are subpoenaed to court, but it comes out of the policing budget.

  23. Excellent point of view that all tax payers should be forced to read!

    Cutting cadet spots sounds like a great idea until you have dispatchable cruiser cars manning intersections because the lights are out, or working traffic outside Jets games and not responding to calls for service. Having cars tied up at the drunk tank on a Friday night, instead of responding to a shooting or stabbing. Sitting at HSC with someone in mental crisis, instead of stopping a domestic assault in progress. Maybe the mayor and councillors can attend the media conference the next day and answer reporters questions on response times or a lack of resources.

    Thanks for the read, good sir!

  24. Great job explaining much of the REAL STORY behind escalating police costs. Can’t blame City Leaders for alarm at cost increases. But they seem unaware of some simple realities. Layer upon layer of Supreme Court decisions make policing harder and costlier as you’ve indicated. Rampant activism, warmly welcomed by politicians results in micro-management that adds enormous costs as police spend ever increasing man hours trying just to prove that they do care & they do “play nice”! We could go on and on but you’ve gone a long way here in putting to rest, that myth about pay & benefits as the culprit!

  25. Where is all the provincial monies showing ? The force needs six months to prepare a new Constable, for those retiring ! Who forgot about the cadets taking over for higher priced police work so crime could have a smaller quois ?

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