The Winnipeg Police Board has published a draft policy on bias-free policing and is asking the public for feedback. It is one of two draft policies the board is developing for the effective management Winnipeg Police Service that have been published online with the agenda for the board’s meeting on Feb. 5, 2016, in order to give the public an opportunity to review the drafts and give feedback. The draft policy conveys the board’s commitment to ensuring police services in Winnipeg reflect the principles contained in the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms and the Human Rights Code.
“Policies are an important tool to ensure policing is done in a way that reflects the community’s values,” said Scott Gillingham, Chair of the Winnipeg Police Board. “By making a commitment to bias-free policing, we are committing to the values of equality, individual dignity, respect and fairness.”
The draft policy reflects the board’s understanding of community needs, values and expectations with regard to equitable treatment and respect of human rights in the delivery of police services. If adopted, the policy would direct the Chief of Police to use training, reporting and directives to members of the Police Service to provide bias-free policing.
The Winnipeg Police Board also seeks input on a draft policy that requires the Winnipeg Police Service to maintain accreditation with the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies (CALEA). The Winnipeg Police Service has been accredited by CALEA since 1992. The board’s draft policy on compliance with CALEA standards would ensure the Police Service continues to operate according to best practices.
Both policy proposals can be found online with the agenda for the Winnipeg Police Board’s Feb. 5 meeting. The board will be tabling the draft policies during that meeting and will be accepting delegations to its meeting on Friday, March 11, 2016. This will allow one month for the public to review the policies. Written submissions will be accepted by e-mail or through the board’s website. More information on the board’s mandate and policy role is available on its website.