Manitoba

Mayoral candidate Motkaluk wants to free up front-line police officers

Mayoral candidate Jenny Motkaluk says if she's elected this fall, she would find ways to free up more police officers to respond to calls.

Police-related pledge 2nd by business development consultant seeking to unseat Brian Bowman

Mayoral candidate Jenny Motkaluk wants to create a committee to figure out ways to free up more frontline officers. (CBC)

Mayoral candidate Jenny Motkaluk says if she's elected this fall, she would find ways to free up more police officers are to respond to calls.

The business-development consultant pledged Wednesday to create a committee tasked with "the legal, resource and contractual barriers" that prevent the Winnipeg Police Service from deploying more officers to the front lines on any given day or shift.

Motkaluk's proposed "joint deployment barriers task force" would bring together the Winnipeg Police Service, Winnipeg Police Board, Winnipeg Police Association and the province to see how police can stage holiday time differently, hand over more duties to civilians and be freed up from some hospital commitments, she said in the courtyard at city hall.

"On Canada Day there were seven police cars parked in front of HSC emergency. So presumably, that's 14 officers parked at HSC who were not available on the streets of Winnipeg on a very busy holiday," she said.

Motkaluk says the committee could be struck without incurring any additional costs to the city. She says  she came up with the idea with the help of the Winnipeg Police Association, but added there are no guarantees the police union would alter its collective bargaining agreement with the city.

The task-force pledge was the second police-related campaign pledge made by Motkaluk, who has been the most active of the six candidates seeking to unseat Brian Bowman in October.

This image supplied by the Motkaluk campaign depicts seven police cruisers parked outside the Health Sciences Centre. (Jenny Motkaluk campaign)

In June, at a news conference attended by police- association president Moe Sabiurin and former Winnipeg police chief Devon Clunis, she pledged to double the number of school resource officers, at an annual cost of $2.7 million.

Asked about Motkaluk's latest pledge, Bowman said his campaign is free of influence from "special interest groups." He suggested those groups include the Winnipeg Police Association, but stopped shy of naming the union.

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