It is exciting to be a part of the announcement of the new South District Police Station at 2321 Grant Ave., which is an amalgamation of District 2 and District 4 Stations.
Since 1969, the District 2 Station, located at 210 Lyle St., has been a cornerstone in our community. It originally opened up after the amalgamation of the St. James Police and the 16-member Assiniboine Police Department.
The opening of this magnificent new police station is a tremendous step in the revitalization of public safety in St. James and Charleswood. The South District Station utilized the effective and efficient design from the East District Police Station, which results in operational familiarity between stations. Common design also results in equality among work environments and standards for all districts. This 33,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art facility will certainly help meet the goals of increasing public safety and making our communities as safe as possible for you, the residents.
Policing isn’t about the location of a police station. Patrol remains the backbone of police operations. It consumes most of the resources of police agencies. On patrol, a police officer makes regular circuits or passes through a specific area called a "beat."
Officers sometimes patrol on foot, but usually ride in cars. Patrol has three parts: answering calls, maintaining a police presence to deter crime, and probing suspicious circumstances. The advantage of patrol is that police cars cruising proactively through neighborhoods create the feeling that the police are everywhere. Communities then become less fearful of crime and it, in turn, improves the attitudes toward the police.
The Winnipeg Police Service’s six-district service model was based on a municipal structure that existed prior to 1971. Contemporary policing issues led the WPS to review this service delivery structure and recommend realignment from six to four districts in 2003.
The creation of combined police divisional units provides more community access to more police resources within a patrol area. In the past, the police service has worked out of small divisions with a limited number of members and equipment. The ability to deal with larger problems had, at times, left police under-resourced, and as a result our efforts have not been maximized.
Community residents and local police officials are very pleased with the new South District police station so far. The larger combined divisions will allow the WPS to have a greater impact within the community they serve.
I hope this new station is a symbol of just such a long-term commitment.