Police Union Slams Service Review, Fears Job Cuts

A Winnipeg police cruiser sits in front of Tec Voc High School in this January 2012 file photo. (STAN MILOSEVIC / CHRISD.CA)
A Winnipeg police cruiser sits in front of Tec Voc High School in this January 2012 file photo. (STAN MILOSEVIC / CHRISD.CA)

The Winnipeg Police Association is strongly opposing an operational review of the Winnipeg Police Service at the hands of an American firm.

Matrix Consulting Group was chosen to lead the operational review last August without consultation with the WPA. On Monday, the Association said Matrix has a reputation for recommending budget cuts, which could result in wide-ranging layoffs within the police service, and therefore jeopardizing public safety.

“I feel strongly that this could have been a healthy exercise with a Canadian firm that would not guide itself by American safety standards,” said Mike Sutherland, president of the Winnipeg Police Association. “Including all stakeholders would have been a healthy approach and would give Winnipeggers the confidence that changes will only come if their safety is preserved.”

Sutherland said the review is premature given the WPS has a new chief, and that a new police board will soon be established.

City Councillor John Orlikow also raised concerns, saying the firm doesn’t have Canadian experience in undertaking such an audit of the WPS.

— Staff


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