Manitoba Daily

Friday, January 28, 2022

COVID-19 cases have prompted Winnipeg police to declare an emergency

COVID-19 cases prompt Winnipeg police to declare a state of emergency

Key takeaways:

  • The city’s police chief has declared a state of emergency due to Covid-19 incidents across the Winnipeg Police Service.
  • Smyth stated that they have not yet reached the point where the shift model needs to be changed, but the situation is being closely monitored.

The city’s police chief has declared a state of emergency due to COVID- 19 incidents across the Winnipeg Police Service.

Police Chief Danny Smyth said in a news release sent Wednesday afternoon that the department has 90 active COVID-19 cases, and 170 personnel have scheduled time off for COVID-19-related leave.

“The current COVID-19 situation has severely impacted our staffing resources. “Parts of our Business Continuity Plan have had to be implemented to ensure essential services, particularly in General Patrol,” said Chief Smyth in a statement.

According to police, 80 officers will be assigned to general patrol beginning January 10, and additional officers from other units will be redeployed on short notice to backfill.

According to Smyth, 900 officers are scheduled to work on Wednesday, with 136 sick.

Also read: Manitoba will begin with remote learning instead of returning to school

The changes are being implemented to ensure that general patrol units are still available.

The Community Support Unit and the Guns and Gangs Unit, according to Smyth, will be redeployed first.

If circumstances change and increased pressure is placed on staffing levels, police said they will consider redeploying additional personnel or “restructuring the current shift model.”

Smyth stated that they have not yet reached the point where they need to change the shift model, but the situation is closely monitored.

“Days, evenings, and nights are the three reliefs in our three-shift model. We’d try to condense that and bolster resources, most likely in a two-shift model. That would be quite a distance away. We aren’t in that place right now, “At a press conference, Smyth stated.

COVID-19 cases prompt Winnipeg police to declare a state of emergency
COVID-19 cases prompt Winnipeg police to declare a state of emergency. Image from Winnipeg Free Press

He went on to say that there isn’t a shortage of officers on the streets right now and that redeployment has begun to ensure that the right resources are in place.

The commander also explained why the redeployment model will not begin until January 10.

canty to immediately tap into some of these resources. Some of the people we’re going to change, we’re going to change their lives, and they’re shifting. We needed to give them a few days’ notices so they could get their home lives in order before switching shifts.”

Smyth expressed concern about the number of officers absent due to illness, noting that the officers have had a difficult few years. However, he did state that he was pleased with the response of all officers during the pandemic.

COVID-19 CASES ARE ALSO TREATED BY THE WINNIPEG FIRE PARAMEDIC SERVICE.

COVID-19 has been confirmed in 5% of the Winnipeg Fire Paramedic Service (WFPS) workforce, according to a spokesperson for the WFPS.

“The department continues to closely observe the situation and has been able to cover most staffing shortfalls through overtime thus far,” the spokesperson said in an emailed statement.

They said the city’s Emergency Operations Centre is working with the WFPS to coordinate a response effort and ensure policies and procedures are in place to keep vital services running.

Source: CTV News

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