Police commission imminent: Swan
An announcement regarding the creation of a provincial police commission is imminent, Manitoba's justice minister says.
Andrew Swan said Wednesday the first order of business for the commission will be to set up an independent investigation unit to probe incidents like officer-involved shootings.
In early 2009, the province rewrote and updated the provincial Police Act to pave the way for the commission. Since then, there's been little made public about progress on the issue.
Swan said officials have been working to get things up and running properly.
"Manitobans want us to get it right and we want to make sure that we do that," he said.
"We've got one chance to get the police commission up and running in a way that's gonna give people confidence and we want to make sure we do it the right way," Swan said.
Since the start of 2010, there have been five police-involved shootings in Winnipeg — one of them earlier this week when police shot at a suspected teen car thief on Portage Avenue.
However, in Regina — admittedly smaller than Winnipeg — there have been just two over the last decade.
But contrasting Winnipeg's situation with those other cities may not be fair, the vice-president of the Winnipeg Police Association said.
"It's apples and oranges," Marc Pellerin said. "The fact of the matter is here in Winnipeg we have a unique dilemma with respect to crime and crime problems."
Pellerin said assaults against officers are climbing.
He also said public support for police officers and their work is also up.