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Inaugural cohort of Safety Officers celebrated during graduation ceremony

February 16, 2024  By City of Winnipeg


Feb. 16, 2024, Winnipeg, Man. – The City of Winnipeg, along with the Province of Manitoba and community partners, congratulates the inaugural cohort of Safety Officers for their successful graduation from the Community Safety Team training program.

“I want to congratulate all of the graduates. I know that equipped with their training, they are ready to act with professionalism, integrity, and cultural sensitivity,” said Manitoba Justice Minister Matt Wiebe. “Our government is proud to provide the Community Safety Team with the legal authority they need to keep Transit operators and riders safe. By proclaiming Bill 34 and registering new regulations, we are giving Safety Officers the ability to respond to threats and help law enforcement in a variety of circumstances, which can free up police resources.”

Safety Officers are sworn Manitoba Peace Officers, whose role is to work alongside Winnipeg emergency services, safety patrols, and social agencies to protect public safety while supporting vulnerable residents in urgent need. Safety Officers will assist individuals experiencing homelessness, addictions, and mental health issues, providing on-scene support and/or connecting individuals to appropriate resources.

“This program has moved from concept to delivery in less than one year, so I want to recognize the City’s Public Service and the Province of Manitoba for their efforts to work together to respond quickly to a community priority,” said Mayor Scott Gillingham. “I’m confident our new Safety Officers will not only enhance safety in and around our Transit system, but they’ll have a positive impact on the lives of those who are struggling.”

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Safety Officers begin their patrols on February 20.

Patrols will initially take place on and around the Winnipeg Transit system during service hours, primarily on routes connected to the Downtown area. Safety Officers will be visible on buses, in marked Community Safety Team vehicles, and on-foot around Downtown Winnipeg Transit hubs, such as Graham Avenue.

“Since the start, I’ve heard resounding support for this initiative from Winnipeggers. Every person who is aware of community needs, as well as the existing strain our government and non-government service providers are under, has expressed that the Community Safety Team is a brilliant and needed addition to our layered service delivery network,” said Bob Chrismas, Community Safety Team Lead. “I want to thank our colleagues throughout the City, our provincial counterparts, and community partners for their support in helping us set up this important, additional element and resource for our city. The Community Safety Team will fill important systemic gaps, and our team has trained diligently, is equipped, determined, and ready to help serve Winnipeg residents.”

Safety Officers will use a proactive safety approach, primarily responding to issues as they encounter them on patrol. Data from the Winnipeg Transit Control Centre will allow the team to adjust patrol routes regularly, based on areas of need.


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