Officer’s close call with armed male highlights need for safer parking, says union

The union for Winnipeg police is urging the city to create safer parking areas for officers following an attempt to shoot at a cop.

The Winnipeg Police Association said on Sunday morning an officer was walking to his car after a shift when he was confronted by a male with a gun.

According to a news release, the male pulled the trigger but the weapon didn’t discharge. The association says the male was aware the officer was a member of the Winnipeg Police Service.

“This is about as close a call as you can have, with a potential tragic loss being prevented only because a firearm malfunctioned,” said Winnipeg Police Association president, Maurice ‘Moe’ Sabourin, in the news release.

“Safe working conditions are a core responsibility for every employer. The City of Winnipeg is not exempt from these responsibilities, and WPA members should not expect to have their safety concerns ignored. Every job is different, and serving as a member of the WPS has its own challenges – unfortunately, one of those challenges is that criminal elements will sometimes target our members at moments when they have just completed their shift, solely because they are members of the WPS. A safe and secure parking solution is needed to address this.”

Sabourin said this is not an isolated incident, noting that an off-duty officer was once stabbed walking to his car.

“After the previous incident, Mayor Bowman committed to reviewing this situation. Now, we have another incident in which a tragedy was avoided by the thinnest of margins,” said Sabourin.

“It is time for the City of Winnipeg to finally address this issue. We call on the Mayor and members of Council to follow up on their commitments and to work with our members to find a solution. Just hoping for the next weapon to malfunction is not good enough anymore, and is certainly not a long term solution that any reasonable workplace would accept.”