New police boards won’t discipline cops

- May 25th, 2012

If anyone believes the new police boards the province is forcing municipalities to adopt this year will create some new type of  oversight body to deal with the behaviour of police officers, they’re sadly mistaken.

Provincial cabinet has set June 1 for the date municipalities will begin to set up police boards to run their police services.

The new boards are part of sweeping changes to the Provincial Police Act, which will be replaced by the Police Services Act.

Many cop critics had been calling for the boards believing — wrongly — that they would act as some kind of civilian watchdog over cops, including the ability to discipline police officers for any type of wrongdoing, perceived or otherwise.

Wrong.

Like most police boards across Canada, the new boards in Manitoba will have no jurisdiction to discipline cops in any way. In fact, the boards will have no powers at all to deal with individual police officers for any reason. The board’s job will be largely big-picture stuff, like setting policy and direction for the police service and controlling budgets. For example, in Winnipeg, the board — which would include some civilian members — would decide things like how community policing should be delivered or whether the WPS should get a second police helicopter.

The only police officers the boards will deal with directly will be the chiefs of police, who they will hire and fire if necessary.

The boards will monitor the performance of the top cop and work together with him or her to develop policing strategies.

But when it comes to complaints against individual cops, nothing will change with the new boards.

If anyone has a complaint against a cop, they would still take it to the professional standards unit within the police force or to the province’s Law Enforcement Review Agency.

Which is the way it should be.

Categories: Politics

Subscribe to the post

2 comments

  1. Chris Graboski says:

    “If anyone has a complaint against a cop, they would still take it to the professional standards unit within the police force or to the province’s Law Enforcement Review Agency.

    Which is the way it should be”.

    Police investigating police. Yes, that always ends well…. for the police that is.

  2. vic timm says:

    “The only police officers the boards will deal with directly will be the chiefs of police, who they will hire and fire if necessary.’

    Great, maybe they can hire a police chief that will have the ” jam /desire/ will” to discipline police officers.

Leave a comment

 characters available