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Winnipeg police file grievance over bus security guards

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The creation of the Winnipeg Transit's Community Safety Team was announced in 2023 and its members began training in early January. (Archive photo)


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The Winnipeg police union has filed a grievance related to security guards on Winnipeg Transit buses. The Winnipeg Police Association argues that these officers should not be able to detain people.

The creation of the&#x27 ;the community safety team these officers are part of was announced in 2023 and its members began training in early January.

These security guards will not have firearms and will use conflict management techniques, according to the City. However, they will have the right to detain people, which the Winnipeg Police Association denounces.

The president of the Association, Cory Wiles, claims that this is a violation of the collective agreement established between the police officers and the City.

In a statement sent to CBC/Radio-Canada on Friday, he indicates that the work of the security team agents community of Winnipeg Transit is undoubtedly part of the responsibilities of the Association's bargaining unit.

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We cannot tolerate employees who are not police arrest, detain or interact with violent criminals, writes Cory Wiles.

He claims that City puts security officers and the public in an unsafe situation.

[Security guards] have neither the training nor the tools required to do what anyone would recognize as police work.

A quote from Cory Wiles, President of the Winnipeg Police Association

For its part, the City of Winnipeg noted in a statement that it has received the grievance and is in the process of evaluating it. However, the Municipality indicates that this will not affect the entry into office of the community safety team.

[This team] represents a means of correcting systemic problems and providing support to people in need while improving safety in the public transportation network, assures the City.

There was never any question of replacing the police in their activities.

Local 1505 of the Amalgamated Transit Union, the union that represents Winnipeg Transit drivers, has previously reported an increase in bus incidents.

As of September 2023, the union reported that 201 incidents including assaults and threats had occurred so far. This is an increase from 130 such incidents in 2022 and 88 in 2021.

Cory Wiles says police have no problem with measures intended to improve security, unless those measures infringe on police responsibilities.

He adds that the Winnipeg Police Association has indicated to the City on several occasions that it wishes to discuss this issue but that the Municipality has done so. disregard this request from the union.

[The Association] would prefer to resolve this dispute through negotiation [ …], but it will not hesitate to take the necessary legal means to protect the rights of its members.

The City, for its part, says it is open to the idea of ​​discussing with the union the source of its concerns regarding the Winnipeg Transit community safety team .

The Municipality also indicates that it wants to collaborate with the police to develop this program.

With information from Arturo Chang

Teilor Stone

By Teilor Stone

Teilor Stone has been a reporter on the news desk since 2013. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining Thesaxon , Teilor Stone worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my teilor@nizhtimes.com 1-800-268-7116