November 18, 2019

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Meth detention centre high on mayoral candidate's list

Having a dedicated space to deal with people high on meth would free up police, says Mayoral candidate Jenny Motkaluk. (Mikaela MacKenzie / Winnipeg Free Press)</p>

Having a dedicated space to deal with people high on meth would free up police, says Mayoral candidate Jenny Motkaluk. (Mikaela MacKenzie / Winnipeg Free Press)

Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 4/10/2018 (409 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 4/10/2018 (409 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

As part of her "Protect Winnipeg" platform, the Main Street Project could add a detention centre for people high on crystal meth, freeing up police officers who often spend entire shifts at a hospital with drug addicts, mayoral candidate Jenny Motkaluk says.

Motkaluk said she got the idea from sitting down and listening to professionals who deal with people on methamphetamine: police officers, firefighters, paramedics, and staff at the Main Street Project shelter.

"All agree having such a facility will go a long way to freeing up resources," she said at a news conference Thursday.

A detention centre for meth addicts, in addition to the Main Street Project's existing facilities for alcoholics, would cost about $100,000, she said.

The Main Street Project already has security personnel in place; however, there would be some cost to have a health professional on site, she said.

Such a space would free up police, as a pair of officers will often spend entire shifts sitting at Health Sciences Centre while an addict is treated, she said.

"More boots on the ground mean more safety on our streets. We do have a drug crisis and we do have rising crime."

Motkaluk's "Protect Winnipeg" platform highlights her plans to free up police from administrative work so they can be on the streets where they're most needed, should she be elected mayor on Oct. 24.

Motkaluk said she would also set up a Winnipeg Police Service meth task force, charged with disrupting the drug distribution network. As mayor, she would appoint and deploy the task force made up of specialized police officers and investigators, in co-ordination with federal and provincial authorities.

"The flow of illegal drugs into this community is a top priority," she said. "We want the traffickers."

Other parts of the platform include doubling the number of school resource officers in Winnipeg schools to 34, and a crime prevention fund of $500,000 to support objectives such as citizen patrols.

Meanwhile, Motkaluk said she would not be releasing names of her campaign donors — as incumbent Mayor Brian Bowman did Thursday — out of respect for their privacy.

Motkaluk said she was surprised Bowman, who as a lawyer specialized in privacy issues, would make such a list public.

bill.redekop@freepress.mb.ca

Bill Redekop

Bill Redekop
Rural Reporter

Bill Redekop has been covering rural issues since 2001.

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