Winnipeg police Chief Danny Smyth has declared a state of emergency for the Winnipeg Police Service due to COVID-19 cases within its ranks.
Chief Smyth says there are 90 active cases within the service and 170 personnel have booked off on COVID-19 related leave.
“We have some real challenges ahead. The current COVID-19 situation has significantly impacted our staffing resources. It has become necessary to execute parts of our business continuity plan to ensure essential services — particularly in general patrol,” said Smyth.
The WPS has designated 80 more officers to be assigned to general patrol beginning January 10. Additional officers from other units will be redeployed from other areas of the service to backfill on short notice.
Should circumstances show additional pressure put on staffing levels, the police will consider redeploying additional personnel or restructuring the shift model currently deployed.