Judy Wasylycia-Leis would put more cops on the street but says she’d be a different mayor than opponent Gord Steeves.
Wasylycia-Leis outlined her crime prevention strategy today, promising more beat cops downtown and more crime analysts for the Winnipeg Police Service.
Speaking to reporters from inside Knox United Church, Wasylycia-Leis said she believes in crime prevention measures, supporting the moves by Winnipeg police chief Devon Clunis to work with a variety of social service agencies and non-profit groups to steer youth away from crime and gangs.
"I see my approach (to community safety) as dead opposite to Gord Steeves," Wasylycia-Leis said. "This is not about bringing in (police) units to grab the panhandlers and homeless off the streets and get them out of sight.
"This is about a community model that will ....help those individuals get the help they need."
Wasylycia-Leis said she would:
- Double the number of WPS foot patrols in the downtown area, adding five police officers every year for the next four years.
- Hire four new crime analysts for the WPS, expanding the use of intelligence-based policing to deploy officers where they are most needed.
- Expand the pilot Block-By-Block crime prevention initiative to every neighbourhood across Winnipeg.
- Work with Street Reach, an alliance of community agencies whose objective is to return runaways to safe environments.
"The Block By Block model of crime prevention is key to the entire issues we’re facing as a city," Wasylycia-Leis said, adding she would ensure that one of the new WPS crime analysts would be assigned to the pilot program.
Referring to the recent killing of teenage runaway Tina Fontaine, Wasylycia-Leis said she also supports a national inquiry into missing and murdered women and girls.
Wasylycia-Leis said hiring additional crime analysts would cost the city an additional $450,000 annually, adding the cost of additional foot patrol officers should be carried by the provincial government.
"No matter where we live, no matter where people go in Winnipeg, they have the right to feel safe and a right to be able to walk the streets without fear — that has to be our goal," she said.