Winnipeg's mayor Scott Gillingham is introducing a Community Safety Team in hopes of keeping the streets of Winnipeg and transit routes safer for its residents.
"The Community Safety Team will help ensure Winnipeg Transit buses and shelters are safe spaces for both drivers and riders," says Gillingham in a news release. "This is a significant step to enhance public safety and build confidence in the transit system as we look to completely redesign the route network in 2025."
The Province of Manitoba’s Police Service Amendment Act has recently changed and the Community Safety Team being developed is a part of that.
This initiative hopes to bring trauma-informed support to people who need it while at the same time improving public safety. With many crimes happening in and around bus shelters in 2023, these areas will be a focus for the team.
The training will start on Monday, January 15, and teach mediation and conflict resolution, non-violent crisis intervention, and community engagement.
"Beginning officer training is an exciting milestone in our journey to bring a safety model that focuses on improved public safety and responding compassionately to social problems while preserving the dignity and rights of all residents," says Bob Chrismas, the City of Winnipeg’s Community Safety Team Lead.
Officers are set to begin their patrols after the six-week training is finished.
On top of establishing this Community Safety Team, the City of Winnipeg is a founding member of the Downtown Community Safety Partnership.