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Coun. Kevin Klein has stepped down as chairman of the Winnipeg Police Board, saying he is being left out of critical conversations and feels unable to create needed change.
Klein (Charleswood-Tuxedo-Westwood) said Thursday civic leadership and administration rarely follow the legislation in the Police Act, another factor in his decision.
"In this most critical of times, with continued disregard for the legislative framework, I do not believe I can adequately guide the (Winnipeg Police) Service in addressing critical issues," Klein wrote in a letter to Mayor Brian Bowman.
"I, therefore, with respect, resign my position as chair of the Winnipeg Police Board."
Klein said in an interview he wasn't given the opportunity to succeed in the role he had held since November 2018.
The police board provides civilian governance and oversight of the WPS.
"I don’t think we’ve been able to make any positive change," said Klein. "I’m not there for the title or the money… I wanted to make positive change, and I don’t think I have the ability to do so."
Klein said his resignation is immediate — unless the mayor asks him back and promises there will be change.
That didn't happen.
"It is a challenging role to lead the Winnipeg Police Service board," Bowman said Thursday afternoon. "Right now, there’s no secret that board in particular requires strong leadership — so I accept his resignation."
Bowman said vice-chairman Coun. Markus Chambers (St Norbert-Seine River) will take over Klein’s responsibilities on the police board for the short-term.
"There’s an opportunity with renewed leadership to provide a more effective voice in that seat," the mayor said, pointing to the "Winnipeg Police Board Effectiveness Evaluation" report tabled at city hall earlier this week.
"The evaluation of the board chair, specifically, had received an unsatisfactory grade by the board itself," said Bowman. "So, I think that was noticed that the board itself was not satisfied with the leadership that was being provided."
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