Manitoba Liberals announce justice policy: Manitoba provincial police service

Manitoba Liberals announce justice policy: Manitoba provincial police service

Winnipeg – Manitoba Liberal Leader Dougald Lamont says that a Manitoba Liberal Government will address the gaps in police services in rural and northern Manitoba with the creation of a provincially-run police service, a Manitoba Police Service.

“For too long, Manitoba has had some of the highest crime rates in Canada. Under the PCs cuts and inaction, it is only getting worse,” said Lamont. “There are too many gaps in policing in Manitoba due to years of budget cuts and it is time to invest in a solution that will work province-wide.”

Lamont said a Manitoba Liberal Government would create the Manitoba Police Service by working in partnership with First Nations, the AMM and other stakeholders.

In addition to local community police offices, the Manitoba Police Service will complement the work of the RCMP, Municipal Police Services, and First Nations Police Services with special units dedicated to:

  • Indigenous policing
  • Border security, to stem the flow of illicit drugs into Manitoba
  • Anti-gang & Organized Crime
  • White Collar and Commercial Crime
  • Human trafficking

Recruits will be trained and reflect the population in Manitoba.

The creation of the MPS also follows the recommendations of the recently released National report into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls, which calls for the creation of a specialized indigenous unit led and staffed by First Nations to complement and enhance the work being done by First Nations Police Forces.

“The goal of the Manitoba Police Service is to have policing delivered by people from the community so we can build long-term trust with law enforcement and people can feel safe in their communities,” said Lamont.

Manitoba Liberal Party policy backgrounder

Goals & benefits of a Manitoba provincial police service

For many years, Manitoba has faced challenges of elevated crime rates, not just in the City of Winnipeg, but in rural and northern Manitoba. Budget cuts have spread resources thin — creating challenges for police and communities alike.

When it comes to the RCMP, there are challenges as communities have lost their detachments. Under the current model, staffing is light as RCMP officers may work alone. Posts may be filled by relatively new recruits who come from outside the community for relatively short periods of time, who then move on and the process repeats itself. Because new officers are regularly being posted from outside the community, it creates challenges for police and community alike, especially where there are cultural barriers.

Because RCMP policy is set by Ottawa, communities and the Manitoba government have to appeal to Ottawa if changes or policy are required. Policing is also one of the major costs for municipalities across Manitoba.

A Manitoba Liberal Government will create a Manitoba Police Service to provide unified, province-wide police service to complement the work of the RCMP and municipal law enforcement.

The benefits of a Manitoba Police Service include 

  1. Greater community safety across Manitoba 
  • Guaranteeing that every Manitoba community has effective, more responsive locally-managed policing
  • Provincial Standardization of protocols and policy to ensure that all police services are using best practices
  • Enhancing specialized units can target and sophisticated criminal activity
  • Enhanced resources for general patrol and proactive policing will prevent and reduce crime
  • Longer term placements and community engagement will reduce barriers, develop trust and improve feelings of safety.
  • MPS can provide province-wide training modules and improved access to resources for all community safety organizations
  1. Community benefits: Taking back control 
  • Reducing reliance and control of Ottawa over Manitoba’s policing
  • Local Recruitment and staffing means local jobs
  • Provincial Standardization of protocols and policy to ensure that all police services are using best practices
  1. Building something together that works 
  • A collaborative and supportive approach to working with municipal and indigenous
    police forces
  • Triaging mental health, addictions and crime with improved access to services and justice diversion by having social workers on staff to reduce the workload on officers responding to mental health, addictions, and youth justice issues
  • Expand successful programs in community policing and improve information sharing among stakeholders
  • Working together with our Canadian Border Security Agency (CBSA), the RCMP, and municipal police forces to stem the flow of illicit drugs to Manitoba.   A Manitoba provincial police force can lead the charge in ensuring that meth is stopped at our borders and cannot get into the hands of our most vulnerable populations
  • Reverse the Pallister funding cuts to municipalities and share 25% of Cannabis revenues to help fund municipal police forces, especially for police community patrols, crime prevention programs to divert young people from crime
  1. Implementing recommendations of the MMIWG inquiry 
  • Creating a specialized indigenous unit, led and staffed by first nations to complement and enhance the work being done by First Nations Police Forces and first nations leadership in Manitoba to ensure self-governance and self-determination over policing
  • Funding  policing services within Indigenous communities in northern and remote areas in a way that ensures that those services meet the safety and justice needs of the communities and that the quality of policing services is equitable to that provided to non-Indigenous Canadians
  • Recruit Indigenous women, girls and 2SLGBTQQIA people, inclusive of diverse Indigenous cultural backgrounds
  • Screen all recruits for racial, gender, gender identity and sexual orientation bias. Include anti-racism and anti-bias training and culture and language training
  • Development of an enhanced, holistic approach for support to Indigenous victims of crime and families and friends of Indigenous murdered or missing persons
  • Establishment of Indigenous civilian police oversight committee, which must include representation of Indigenous women, girls and 2SLGBTQQIA people, inclusive of diverse Indigenous cultural backgrounds
  • Partner with front-line organizations that work in service delivery, safety, and harm reduction for Indigenous women, girls and 2SLGBTQQIA people to expand and strengthen police services delivery
  • Standardization of protocols for policies and practices that ensure that all cases of missing and murdered Indigenous women, girls and 2SLGBTQQIA people are thoroughly investigated
  1. Better data for better results 
  • By improving Data and Intelligence collection under Manitoba Justice, police forces could better collaborate and improve response times to reduce crime
  • Province-wide crime reporting education campaigns to increase data collection and incident reporting
  • Program outcome measurements can ensure that focus and funding are expanding and supporting programs that work

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