August 28, 2018 1:30 pm
Updated: August 28, 2018 2:26 pm

‘What are you waiting for?’: Winnipeg dad calls out mayor for silence on rising crime

Central Park, at the corner of Carlton Street and Cumberland Avenue, has been deemed unsafe after dark following a rash of stabbings.

File / Global News

A Winnipeg father has publicly called into question the Mayor’s leadership, demanding action after his son was a victim of violence.

Mike Enns sent an open letter to Brian Bowman Monday saying he was an angry parent who wanted to see “leadership, not selfies” from City Hall as police struggle to deal with increasing crime.

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READ MORE: Manitoba has highest homicide rate in Canada; violent crime up in both Winnipeg and Manitoba

Enns told 680 CJOB he was prompted to write the letter after seeing nothing but campaign photo ops and social networking by the mayor even as police were dealing with rampant violence.

“In times like this it would be really nice to hear from the leader of the city about strategies,” Enns shared.

Enns said his son was brutally beaten and suffered “life-altering injuries” in a random attack in Central Park Aug. 18.

“Of the near 20 stab and slash wounds inflicted on him, the majority were to his face, head, and throat.  He is incredibly lucky to be alive,” Enns said.

READ MORE: 11 people injured in 5-day stabbing spree in Winnipeg

Enns said his issue was not with police, but with the apparent lack of effort being made by the mayor.

“I have nothing but praise for the Winnipeg police service. I think they are understaffed and under-resourced,” Enns stressed.

Enns said he expected in a time of heightened crime that a mayor would speak out to let citizens know what was being done to combat the problem.

“I would expect that the leader of our city would make a comment to the citizens about what’s happening, about what the plan is and what we’re going to do about it”.

In his letter, Enns wrote “Winnipeg does not need a social media mayor.  We need tough leadership in tough times.  Our streets are unsafe and filled with filth,” Enns wrote in his letter.

“This past week-and-a-half have been one of the worst in our city’s history for violence.  Yet, you have said nothing and you have done nothing”.

Following a weekend of multiple stabbings, Winnipeg police warned the public to avoid certain parts of the city after dark.

READ MORE: Winnipeg police advise against visiting Central Park late at night

Mayor Bowman was not available for comment about the letter, but his office issued a statement Monday saying he called and spoke with Mr. Enns to hear his concerns directly.

“In the course of the call, Mayor Bowman primarily listened to a father who came dangerously close to losing a son, a horrible incident that nobody should have to experience. He also took the opportunity to outline some of the strategies he and the Winnipeg Police are working on to increase public safety in Winnipeg.”

The city said Bowman’s government has increased the police budget every year, making it “the largest police budget in the history of the city.”

Additional efforts to combat criminal activity include:

  • enhanced foot patrol programs downtown,
  • increasing lighting in areas known to be high risk for crime,
  • and working on ways to increase video surveillance by police.

When Global News reached out to Enns for comment on his conversation with the mayor, Enns responded saying his family was done talking about the matter.

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© 2018 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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