Manitoba

Winnipeg councillor wants review of who gets police escorts

The Winnipeg Police Board (WPB) is going to be conducting a city policy review after the Ottawa Senators scored a police escort to the Jets game on Tuesday night.

Ottawa Senators hockey team received police escort from airport to MTS centre ahead of Winnipeg game

The Ottawa Senators pull up to the MTS Centre Tuesday night at 5:30 p.m. with a police escort. The team says its plane had mechanical issues that delayed its flight to Winnipeg. (TSN)

The Winnipeg Police Board (WPB) is going to be conducting a city policy review after the Ottawa Senators scored a police escort to the Jets game on Tuesday night.

The Senators's plane arrived late due to mechanical issues that delayed its flight, the team said. When they arrived in Winnipeg, the bus was whisked from the airport to the arena by several police cruisers, with lights flashing and sirens blaring.

The organization is being billed for the ride, but the entire affair has raised some questions for Coun. Scott Gillingham, the chair of the WPB.

"The most important thing to me with this is that I believe that the service should be reimbursed [to the city]," Gillingham said, adding he believes Ottawa intends to pay for the escort.

Assigning police escorts is an operational issue and therefore falls under the purview of the police service, not the board, Gillingham said. But that doesn't mean the issue will go altogether untouched by the board.
Winnipeg police escort the Senators' to the MTS Centre from the airport for Tuesday night's pre-season game against the Jets. (TSN)

"The Winnipeg Police Board is required, by provincial legislation, to establish policies for the effective management of police services, and so the board has begun a process of policy review with the service," Gillingham said.

Gillingham said he is curious about what kind of resources escorts might be pulling away from regular enforcement operations.

"Those are questions that we could be and should be asking of the service," Gillingham said. "Let's ask the service that question first, to find out where those officers came from."

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