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Wasylycia-Leis pledges to launch two new crime-fighting programs

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WINNIPEG--Mayoral candidate Judy Wasylycia-Leis has pledged to prevent crime in Winnipeg by enlisting city workers and neighbourhood volunteers.

The former NDP MP for Winnipeg North, who's vying to unseat Sam Katz this fall, told reporters this morning she would launch two new crime-fighting programs within days of being elected mayor.

The first, PowerLine, would see one volunteer in each Winnipeg neighbourhood field calls about crime and vandalism and then co-ordinate with police and Manitoba Justice officials.

The second, City Watch, would see city workers aid police by reporting crimes.

Standing in a North Point Douglas Park, flanked by community activist Sel Burrows and Canadian Union of Public Employees Local 500 president Mike Davidson, Wasylycia-Leis said both programs would deter crime in Winnipeg.

Davidson said CUPE members would be willing to help, but need special training to aid police.

Burrows said neighbourhood volunteers can take on gangs with the help of united communities.

Wasylycia-Leis said the cost of both programs would be minimal, but had not costed them out precisely.

The volunteer co-ordinators would not be subject to police background checks, she said. She dismissed concerns that PowerLine could be infiltrated by organized crime.

Wasylycia-Leis also said Winnipeg needs more police officers but would not say whether she would raise property taxes to pay for additional salaries.

 

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