Officers feeling stressed due to police abolishment movements: Winnipeg Police Chief
WINNIPEG -- Winnipeg Police Chief Danny Smyth says officers are dealing with hostility in the community related to the recent movements to abolish the police.
Smyth told the police board Thursday morning officers are being followed and videotaped while responding to calls.
He says it’s adding to the stress on the job for officers in the field.
The chief was clear he does not believe the hostility is related to any Black Lives Matter protests.
A number of advocates spoke at the meeting, calling on the board and the service to shift money from policing to mental health services, community programming, and recreation for crime prevention.
This included calls to end the School Resource Officer Program and officers riding transit downtown.
Others raised concerns about Winnipeg police indiscriminately pulling over and stopping people of colour.
Smyth says he does not support arbitrary stops and expects his officers to treat everyone with equity and dignity.
The chief says he is willing to partner with community groups to improve relationships but says some simply want to abolish the police.
“I don’t know how to approach that,” said Smyth.