WINNIPEG, MB – AUGUST 22, 2017: Community support units are being redeployed as the members of the Winnipeg Police Association (WPA) continue to grapple with rising crime in Winnipeg. This sustained pressure on frontline members continues trends seen last year and sustained throughout 2017, said WPA President Maurice (Moe) Sabourin.
"As we said when we saw the 20 per-cent increase in the violent crime index revealed in July, we knew the pressure on our members would continue to build throughout the summer,” said Sabourin. “Criminals do not plan their activity based on the rate of inflation, and the budget currently in place for the Winnipeg Police Service is one that will increasingly allow only for reactive policing and long waits for citizens who call police."
The latest operational impacts, announced today by Winnipeg Police Service leadership, come on the heels of a weekend which saw over 450 calls waiting in service queues and an official notice issued yesterday telling the public to expect “lengthy delays” in police service.
"The redirection of the community support units is a particular concern, as these are the members who are working to support the sort of proactive efforts in the community which are important to reduce crime in the long term. Instead, our members now are almost totally reactive," said Sabourin. "Our members are dedicated to protecting the community and they are working hard to address the current crime issues facing Winnipeg. But this kind of deployment will have a negative effect on our members over time, leading to fatigue and burn-out, and we are concerned about that."
Sabourin once again called on Mayor Bowman and City Councillors to consider these crime trends as the planning for the 2018 operating budget continues behind closed doors. "It is quiet at city hall in August, but often it is during these quiet periods when very significant and critical budget decisions get made behind closed doors. We hope City Councillors will listen to their constituents, and when the 2018 budget is presented this Fall, work to ensure the Winnipeg Police Service has the resources required to ensure our members can protect Winnipeg families."
Maurice (Moe) Sabourin
Winnipeg Police Association
T: (204) 957-1579
M: (204) 228-4301