City councillors sounding alarm bells for Winnipeg’s City Hall security

Click to play video: 'City councillor calls for improved safety measures at City Hall'
City councillor calls for improved safety measures at City Hall
A Winnipeg city councillor is calling for an external review to improve safety measures at City Hall – Jan 29, 2024

Safety concerns are tipping over in Winnipeg, after a shooting at Edmonton, Alberta’s City Hall.

Councillor for Fort Rouge East-Fort Garry, Sherri Rollins, and councillor for Waverley West, Janice Lukes, are calling for an external review to push conversations along about Winnipeg’s City Hall security.

Rollins says this is no topic change.

“For over a year, following a few incidents in May at City Hall, I’ve been concerned about security, workplace health and safety,” she said, citing death threats, stalkers, lewd voicemails, business disruptions and a particular mailroom threat.

Personally, she has had “to appear in court three times in order to preserve my protection order that I have from a stalker at work,” she said.

Even so, she said she hasn’t seen improvement in security, “and I’m not seeing it central to the executives and management desks.”

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Lukes said she started working with the speaker and the public administration on enhanced safety measures in 2014. “Nothing really came of that at all,” she said.

Eventually, she said she “called up the Winnipeg Police Service. I said, ‘Look. If there’s an active shooter in the building and I’m sitting in my office, what am I going to do?'” Now, Lukes said she keeps a bat and hammer in her desk to break her office window and escape.

“We’re sitting ducks,” she said. “That’s not right.”

In an emailed statement to Global News, the City of Winnipeg said, “We take the safety and security of our employees, the elected officials, and visitors very seriously, and we have a number of security measures in place at City Hall.”

The statement said, “card access, visitor sign-in, and security guards are among some of the measures in place,” right now, and that the city regularly reviews its security measures and procedures, and makes adjustments as needed.

Rollins said the shooting in Edmonton is a wake-up call, showing preventative measures must be taken. “There’s two things we can do. We can create that culture of safety, citywide, through the help of our public service and public service leadership, and we can get an external review similar to what Edmonton is doing,” she said.

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“I want to see effective security planning and reporting, right? I want to see preparedness and an effective response to events when we have them. That means communication before and after, right, and ongoing. Then I want to see trusted information systems and processes,” she said.

Click to play video: 'City hall shooter was ‘heavily armed and acted alone: Edmonton police chief'
City hall shooter was ‘heavily armed and acted alone: Edmonton police chief

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