Overview of Mandate
The Winnipeg Police Board was established by City of Winnipeg By-Law 148/2012, in accordance with the Province of Manitoba’s Police Services Act, which was enacted in 2009. This legislation established a framework for civilian governance and oversight of police services, in order to improve transparency and accountability in the delivery of policing services. The provisions of the Act related to civilian governance were proclaimed in force on June 1, 2012, and the Board’s inaugural meeting was held in June 2013.
The legislated mandate of the Winnipeg Police Board is to provide civilian governance respecting the enforcement of law, the maintenance of the public peace and the prevention of crime in the City of Winnipeg, and to provide the administrative direction and organization required to provide an adequate and effective police service in the City.
The Board must establish priorities and objectives for the Winnipeg Police Service and policies for its effective management. The Board must ensure that the Police Chief establishes programs and strategies to implement the priorities and objectives it has established. The Board must also ensure that community needs and values are reflected in the policing priorities, objectives, programs and strategies, and that police services are delivered in a manner consistent with community needs, values and expectations.
The Board acts as a liaison between the community and the Winnipeg Police Service. Annually, the Board shall conduct public consultations in locations throughout the City, to solicit community input on public safety issues and priorities.
The Board is required to assist Council in developing the City budget by providing an estimate of the cost of providing adequate and effective policing services and any additional information necessary to enable Council to assess the financial requirements of the police service. City Council is responsible for establishing the total budget of the police service; the Board is responsible for allocating the funds provided in the budget.
Under The Police Services Act, the Board is responsible for appointing the Police Chief and evaluating his or her performance. Responsibility for the day-to-day operations of the Police Service rests with the Police Chief. The Board may give orders and directions to the Police Chief, but not to other police officers, and may not give orders or directions on specific operational decisions, individual investigations, or the day-to-day operations of the police service. The Board also has no role with respect to the discipline or personal conduct of any police officer other than the Chief, and is not entitled to any information about individual investigations or intelligence files.
In addition to mandating the role and activities of police boards, The Police Services Act outlines the responsibilities and powers of municipal police services, which must operate under the general direction and supervision of their respective police boards. The Act holds the police chief accountable to the police board for carrying out the responsibilities of the police service and managing, administering and operating the police service in accordance with the priorities, objectives and policies established by the police board.
Although the Board has the authority to appoint the Police Chief and police officers, the City is deemed to be the employer of the Chief and other police officers, and is responsible for setting their pay and benefits.