Crime and Public Safety
Increases in crime rates often prompt residents to call for increasing the number of city police officers. This is not always the answer: it is the most expensive response to crime, and it does not guarantee greater public safety or reduced levels of crime. Instead, we need to look at root causes and develop appropriate measures to deal with these realities. Upon a review of best practices and proven strategies, solutions might include:
- Increased funding for gang diversion strategies
- Encourage pedestrian traffic and densification to get more people out into the community
- An effective Housing First homelessness strategy
- Easier access to alcohol and drug treatment
- A review of police staffing to ensure officers are on the street and civilian employees are doing non-policing work
- Assessing the effectiveness of foot and bicycle patrols
- Improved training for police and mental health workers to deal with what are health, not crime, issues
As city Councilor, I wish to see meaningful change in how policing is done in this city. A number of high-profile cases over the past few years (specifically the incidents involving Nadine Machiskinic, Simon Ash Moccasin, Eddy Stonechild) demonstrate a need for a review of policing and policing culture in our city.
I commit to helping to bring about such a change by listening to the concerns of residents and working closely with community and grassroots organizations that have been confronting these issues in real and meaningful ways in our city. It’s critical that we name the problems and work together to find solutions. This process must involve an engagement with the Regina Police Service.
As Councilor, I will support initiatives that increase public accountability, such as:
Implementing a Citizens’ Police Review Board in Regina
This involves the creation of a more accessible and independent complaint system than the current Public Complaints Commission. This Board would be arms-length from the Ministry of Justice and would necessarily commit to Indigenous representation and an agenda of reconciliation, in accordance with the Truth and Reconciliation Commission recommendations.
Reform of the Board of Police Commission
The Commission reports to Council and must approach its mandate in a spirit of critical engagement to be effective. Specifically, the monthly public meetings should be spaces for public engagement with police and policing.
Provincial efforts to amend the Police Act of 1990
We currently have a police officer on our police force convicted of assault. The Act needs to be revised to hold individual members of the police service accountable with appropriate sanctions.
An end to the Unwanted Guests Program
This is a project concerned with the geographic displacement of the poor. I am committed to making Regina more inclusive, not punishing people for being poor. Instead, Regina needs to invest in an effective affordable housing and homelessness strategy to confront what are clearly social problems.
A review of carding and street check practices
Experts and social justice advocates argue that carding and street check practices constitute a form of racialized policing. It is imperative that Council champion an independent review of these practices.