Source: Statistics Canada, 2009-2010
In fall of 2010, Winnipeg Mayor Sam Katz pledged to hire new police officers to deal with rising crime in the city.
However, among major metropolitan centres in Canada, Winnipeg already has a high number of police officers. Of the 10 largest centres, Winnipeg and Montreal have the highest number of officers. According to 2009 Statistics Canada data, Winnipeg has 182 police officers per 100,000 residents.
Moreover, when measured in terms of crimes solved by police, Winnipeg still ranks far behind other cities with a conviction rate of less than one third of its cases.
This suggests that the number of officer alone does not tell the full tale. It could come down to how existing resources are being deployed. The number of officers does not tell us where police are deployed, when, how often, and how they respond to emergencies.
Perhaps we should be looking at how we are using our current police resources before we hire more police officers.