Skip to main content

Keith McCaskill's Spring Surprise

Winnipeg's new police chief Keith McCaskill made probably the worst mistake of his career when he addressed a meeting of residents of the William Whyte neighbourhood this week.

He gave them hope.

The decent folk of this poor North End community have been pleading for years with city officials for help in cleaning up their streets.

They watched as Mayor Sam Katz and former police chief Jack Ewatski elbowed each other out of the way for facetime at a news conference to announce Operation Clean Sweep, a major crackdown in the West End after the son of a well-to-do physician was killed in the crossfire of a gang shootout. Then in the wake of four murders in their own neighbourhood, Katz assigned a quarter of the police resources of Operation Clean Sweep.

They listened as police regurgitated their usual excuse for doing nothing--a lack of resources. Then they watched as Ewatski sent more police than patrol the North End in a single day to the University of Winnipeg, and stationed them there round the clock for almost a week, because somebody found a naughty message on a bathroom wall.

Gang grafitti covers the fences and garages of William Whyte and city hall shrugs.

No wonder the residents of William Whyte felt abandoned. But that all changed Wednesday.

McCaskill introduced six "resource officers." Scrape the thick bureaucratese off and you find BEAT COPS. And there's a lot more where they come from, said the Chief. All told there will be 40 police (presumably a combination of foot patrol and cruisers cops) in two shifts patrolling these North End streets.

The Street Crimes Unit just finished a three month sweep of the community and has passed the torch to the beat police, McCaskill said. They're coming with a new arsenal of tactics, and new coordination of community support resources, including a revitalized unit targeting problem houses.

The news left the large crowd excited. If anything, the beat cops appeared to be even more excited than the audience. They were obviously champing at the bit to demonstrate what they can do.

McCaskill kept repeating that the police service wants to "partner" with the community and its residents. He asked them to set the priorities for the police---and they told him in short order.

Get rid of the prostitutes, they said.That's priority #1, and priority #2 and priority #3 and priority #4 and priority #5.

McCaskill said he had heard the same message from the Spence Street community when he spoke to a similar meeting there the day before. Obviously that's the measure of a neighbourhood. Street prostitutes signal a neighbourhood in decline. It means an influx of crack houses and gang members, and endless traffic by a parade of "johns" and the resulting harassment of women and little girls going about their daily business.

The police were told where the William Whyte community wants them to start. They're eager, and they have the spring and summer to prove what they can do. The community is behind them 100 per cent. After all, they're all the hope the residents have.

Noticeably missing from the community meeting with McCaskill were politicians.

The City councillor for the area, Harry Lazarenko, couldn't be bothered to show up.

Neither could NDP MLA George Hickes, who parachutes into the area during election time from his home in south Winnipeg but is otherwise invisible and uncaring about living conditions there.

But wait...let's not forget who else was not there. The poverty industry shills.

There was nobody from Organization This and Organization That demanding that the city fight the "root causes" of crime and end poverty.

There were no university professors to explain how fear of crime is just in your heads, crime is falling, gang members are just looking for surrogate daddies and mommies, and prostitutes, er, make that sex trade workers, are misunderstood women who deserve our emotional support.

In fact, the audience was made up of the poor.

And nobody raised "poverty" as an excuse for crime. Just the opposite.

They want the police, and the powers that be, to concentrate on attacking crime first. That will make the biggest change to the quality of their lives.

Not an increase in the minimum wage, or a soccer league, or a transit corridor.

But safety for themselves, for their children and for their neighbourhood.

As if to underscore that very message, Global News the same night carried a story about the jaw-dropping success of the Point Douglas neighbourhood in fighting crime and disorder.

The story focused on residents' buying their own security cameras and what an impact this had had on driving crime down. The item ended with a casual comment that crime in Point Douglas has dropped 70 PER CENT since the community got serious about fighting back.

That's not a misprint. SEVENTY PER CENT. DOWN.

We've never heard this figure before. But if it's true, it's phenomenal. It's a success story that should be celebrated by the whole of the city. They should hold a parade down Euclid Avenue to Norquay Park on Canada Day to celebrate with bands, balloons and all the ballyhoo they can muster.

And, sadly for the poverty industry shills, this victory was achieved despite the poverty apologists who oppose every policing initiative as useless if not counter-productive.

Crimestat is one tool the police are using to target resources. You can go on the internet and see how many reported incidents there have been of homicide, sexual assault, auto theft, break-and-enters, and robbery compared to last year.

As of April 6, 2008, the number of these five categories has fallen 40 per cent. Yes, again, that's not a misprint. FORTY PER CENT. DOWN.

In December 2006 we wrote how Sam Katz intended to emulate New York Mayor Rudy Guiliani's crime fighting record in the Nineties. We wrote then:
"If he manages to get the same results as New York Mayor Rudy Guiliani, they'll be erecting statues of Sam at City Hall."

The year is still young, but somebody better be dusting off a Sam-sized slab of marble.

Popular posts from this blog

The unreported bombshell conspiracy evidence in the Trudeau/SNC-Lavelin scandal

Wow. No, double-wow. A game-changing bombshell lies buried in the supplementary evidence provided to the House of Commons Judiciary Committee by former Attorney General Jody Wilson-Raybould. It has gone virtually unreported since she submitted the material almost a week ago. As far as we can find, only one journalist-- Andrew Coyne, columnist for the National Post--- has even mentioned it and even then he badly missed what it meant, burying it in paragraph 10 of a 14 paragraph story. The gist of the greatest political scandal in modern Canadian history is well-known by now. It's bigger than Adscam, the revelation 15 years ago that prominent members of the Liberal Party of Canada and the party itself funneled tens of millions of dollars in kickbacks into their own pockets from federal spending in Quebec sponsoring ads promoting Canadian unity. That was just venal politicians and a crooked political party helping themselves to public money. The Trudeau-Snc-Lavalin scandal is

Crips and Bloodz true cultural anchors of Winnipeg's aboriginal gangs

(Bebo tribute page to Aaron Nabess on the right, his handgun-toting friend on the left) At least six murder victims in Winnipeg in the past year are linked to a network of thuglife, gangster rap-styled, mainly aboriginal street gangs calling themselves Crips and Bloods after the major black gangs of L.A. The Black Rod has been monitoring these gangs for several months ever since discovering memorial tributes to victim Josh Prince on numerous pages on, a social networking website like Myspace and Facebook. Josh Prince , a student of Kildonan East Collegiate, was stabbed to death the night of May 26 allegedly while breaking up a fight. His family said at the time he had once been associated with an unidentified gang, but had since broken away. But the devotion to Prince on sites like Watt Street Bloodz and Kingk Notorious Bloodz (King-K-BLOODZ4Life) shows that at the time of his death he was still accepted as one of their own. Our searches of Bebo have turned up another five ga

Manitoba Hydro is on its deathbed. There, we said it.

Manitoba Hydro is on its deathbed. Oh, you won't find anyone official to say it. Yet . Like relatives trying to appear cheery and optimistic around a loved one that's been diagnosed with terminal cancer, the people in power are in the first stage of grief -- denial. The prognosis for Hydro was delivered three weeks ago at hearings before the Public Utilities Board where the utility was seeking punishingly higher rates for customers in Manitoba. It took us this long to read through the hundred-plus pages of transcript, to decipher the coded language of the witnesses, to interpret what they were getting at, and, finally, to understand the terrible conclusion.  We couldn't believe it, just as, we're sure, you can't--- so we did it all again, to get a second opinion, so to speak.  Hydro conceded to the PUB that it undertook a massive expansion program--- involving three (it was once four) new dams and two new major powerlines (one in the United States)---whi

Nahanni Fontaine, the NDP's Christian-bashing, cop-smearing, other star candidate

As the vultures of the press circle over the wounded Liberal Party of Manitoba, one NDP star candidate must be laughing up her sleeve at how her extremist past has escaped the scrutiny of reporters and pundits. Parachuted into a safe NDP seat in Winnipeg's North End, she nonetheless feared a bruising campaign against a well-heeled Liberal opponent.  Ha ha.  Instead, the sleepy newspeeps have turned a blind eye to her years of vitriolic attacks on Christianity, white people, and police. * She's spent years  bashing Christianity  as the root cause of all the problems of native people in Canada. * She's called for  a boycott of white businesses . * And with her  Marxist research partner, she's  smeared city police as intransigent racists . Step up Nahanni Fontaine, running for election in St. John's riding as successor to the retiring Gord Macintosh. While her male counterpart in the NDP's galaxy of stars, Wab Kinew, has responded to the controversy over

Exposing the CBC/WFP double-team smear of a hero cop

Published since 2006 on territory ceded, released, surrendered and yielded up in 1871 to Her Majesty the Queen and successors forever. Exposing the CBC/FP double-team smear of a hero cop Some of the shoddiest journalism in recent times appeared this long August weekend when the CBC and Winnipeg Free Press doubled teamed on a blatant smear of a veteran city police officer. In the latest example of narrative journalism these media outlets spun stories with total disregard for facts that contradicted the central message of the reports which, simplified, is: police are bad and the system is covering up. Let's start with the story on the taxpayer funded CBC by Sarah Petz that can be summed up in the lead. "A February incident where an off-duty Winnipeg officer allegedly knocked a suspect unconscious wasn't reported to the province's police watchdog, and one criminologist says it shows how flawed oversight of law enforcement can be." There you have it. A policeman, not

Winnipeg needs a new police chief - ASAP

When did the magic die? A week ago the Winnipeg police department delivered the bad news---crime in the city is out of control. The picture painted by the numbers (for 2018) was appalling. Robberies up ten percent in  a single year.  (And that was the good news.) Property crimes were up almost 20 percent.  Total crime was 33 percent higher than the five year average. The measure of violent crime in Winnipeg had soared to a rating of 161.  Only four years earlier it stood at 116. That's a 38 percent deterioration in safety. How did it happen? How, when in 2015 the police and Winnipeg's police board announced they had discovered the magic solution to crime? "Smart Policing" they called it.    A team of crime analysts would pore through data to spot crime hot-spots and as soon as they identified a trend (car thefts, muggings, liquor store robberies) they could call in police resources to descend on the problem and nip it. The police