Mayoral candidate Mike Vogiatzakis vowed to overhaul the Winnipeg police service this morning.
Vogiatzakis said he would kill photo radar and red light cameras and transfer all traffic enforcement to cadets, which would become an apprenticeship program aimed to groom them as police officers.
Vogiatzakis, a funeral home operator, said freeing up police from traffic enforcement would allow them to concentrate on "fighting crime."
"This is a great program," Vogiatzakis said, adding that Winnipeg needs more police officers and cadets.
Vogiatzakis said he didn’t know how many police are involved in traffic enforcement now or how many cadets he would need to hire to make his program a reality, adding the cost didn’t matter so long as the goal was to put more police on the street.
All police officers are required to issue traffic violations but the WPS has a dedicated unit of about 40 officers at any one time assigned to traffic enforcement.
Vogiatzakis said he would also make cadets responsible for issuing parking tickets but did not explain how that would impact the operation of the Winnipeg Parking Authority.
Friday’s announcement was the second consecutive one in two days for Vogiatzakis, whose popularity has failed to register with voters. Three recent public opinion polls have placed him trailing the front-runners, lumping his supporters along with four others in numbers too small to count.
On Thursday, Vogiatzakis held a news event to herald a policy that he had announced several weeks ago – improving transit with a $20-million signal initialization system, which Transit already employs.
Aldo Santin is a veteran newspaper reporter who first carried a pen and notepad in 1978 and joined the Winnipeg Free Press in 1986, where he has covered a variety of beats and specialty areas including education, aboriginal issues, urban and downtown development. Santin has been covering city hall since 2013.
Updated on Friday, September 12, 2014 at 4:04 PM CDT: Updated picture.