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City officials should ride along with firefighters, cops: councillor

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All members of city council, including Mayor Sam Katz, should go on police, fire and paramedic ride-alongs at least once a year, says city council’s protection chairwoman.

On Monday morning, council’s protection and community services committee moved a motion urging all members of council to spend at least one evening per year riding along with Winnipeg Police Service officers in a patrol cruiser and Winnipeg Fire Paramedic Service staff in both fire trucks and ambulances.

Committee chairwoman Paula Havixbeck (Charleswood-Tuxedo) moved the motion, stating she found the experience illuminating. She said an ambulance ride-along illustrated how often city staff are tied up at waiting at hospitals.

"There appears to be a lot of downloading of services," she said.

The committee also passed two other Havixbeck motions. The first calls for the Winnipeg Police Service to prepare a report about the deployment of police resource officers to city high schools.

The second called for the city to explore whether it could extend auxiliary cadet service to the University of Winnipeg campus on a cost-recovery basis. Havixbeck said U of W president and vice-chancellor Lloyd Axworthy is interested in the idea.

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