Police chief backs HQ parking proposal for staff

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Winnipeg’s top cop says he supports the proposal to give police staff at the downtown headquarters secure parking at the Millennium Library across the street.

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Winnipeg’s top cop says he supports the proposal to give police staff at the downtown headquarters secure parking at the Millennium Library across the street.

The proposal would settle a grievance filed by the police union.

Police Chief Danny Smyth said avoiding an arbitration hearing is “always a good thing.”

On Wednesday, an executive policy committee vote on the plan to devote a floor of the library parkade to police staff hit a roadblock. Members cast a three-three vote, which means it will head to council without the recommendation of the mayor’s inner circle.

The Winnipeg Police Association claims the city and police service have failed to provide safe and secure parking for the personal vehicles of officers and civilian staff who work at HQ at 245 Smith St.

The union says staff have been subjected to attacks and vandalism since 2015.

Under the plan, the city would lose $95,600 in revenue annually, and pay $200,000 to modify the parkade floor to allow card access to WPS members only.

Mayor Brian Bowman said Wednesday he opposes taxpayers footing the bill, and that the police chief agreed.

Police union president Moe Sabourin said Smyth agreed with the parking proposal, under which officers would pay $275 a month for a space in the parkade.

On Friday, Smyth said both were right, technically.

“The mayor was correct in his statement, I didn’t support the union in its grievance, but technically, Mr. Sabourin is correct because I did support the mitigation, the settlement proposal to avoid arbitration,” Smyth said.

— Staff

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