I read an article yesterday, on the CBC website Manitoba chief calls for native-run police force. Interesting concept, I thought. The article mentions that there are too few RCMP in Northern Manitoba. It also mentions that even when the Northern Reserves contact the RCMP regarding alcohol and drugs coming onto their dry reserves, the RCMP act too slowly to take care of the problems. They make mention of the long process in getting the RCMP involved, and the long list of checks the RCMP go through in doing their jobs. Privacy concerns were also mentioned as a reason RCMP are not able to act on these issues. So the Chiefs say the fix for these issues is to make a native-run police force.
I am not too sure that setting up a native-run police force is really the answer to this issue. My thinking is that it would just cost a lot of money, and nothing would be accomplished except setting up another police force. This new Native-run police force would still have to go through all the same checks and balances, and follow all the same processes and procedures as the RCMP, and end up in the same place. Nothing would change. Except they would have to do all the administration of the new police force to boot.
And I was thinking those Northern Reserves are not so different from Winnipeg's North End. We have all those gang houses, and drug houses. We have all those guns, grow ops, and dealers. And we have all those intoxicated individuals and domestic disputes. The City Police are busy going through their long check lists, and following all their processes, before they can act on anything. I do not think the answer to the problems in the North End of Winnipeg is getting a Native-run police force. I think the answer is looking into the laws, procedure, and processes in place that are slowing the work of the existing police forces.
Maybe the Manitoba Government could get some help from the Aboriginal Leaders who are concerned about the crimes being committed on their Reserves and involving their people. Maybe those who are willing to jump on the Native-run police force bandwagon could help in adjusting the laws so the RCMP and City Police are able to do their jobs.
I mean, I am no rocket surgeon, but maybe that would be a good first step. Fix the broken system of checks and balances, privacy laws, and police procedures that are handcuffing the RCMP and City Police, preventing them from doing their jobs. And stop pulling the race card at every turn. We all want the same things here, less crime and more safety.
It doesn't matter where we were born or what color our skin is. We all want safer communities. Don't we?