Mayor Sam Katz kicked off his election campaign by promising to boost the police presence on Winnipeg streets if re-elected.
Speaking in Central Park — an area once known for being a hotbed of crime — Katz pledged to hire 77 more police positions to reduce crime, including 58 additional police officers. The added safety on the streets would come at a cost of $5 million annually.
Twenty officers would be dedicated to combating gangs, in a unit modeled after the highly successful auto theft strategy, 20 new officers for foot patrol in high risk areas, 18 officers to add another full shift to cruiser cars to provide for quicker response times, and an additional 19 positions to be added to the 911 call centre.
The announcement has earned the mayor the endorsement of the Winnipeg Police Association.
Katz is seeking his third term as mayor in the civic election. Voters head to the polls on October 27.