Hey Ed, make me the minister responisble for: policing

As the second part in the series started here on what I would do if in cabinet, I am addressing the sorry state of policing. Rampant corruption in Edmonton Police Services and small amounts of corruption in Calgary City Police and several other local detachments means its time to take serious and decisive action. No nutshell proclamations this time, just a bit of solid policy:

  • Photo radar: Photo radar will only be allowed to operate in communities whose police forces vigorously enforce all guidelines. Current soft guideline enforcement will end.

    Guidelines will include:
    1. No photo radar shall be placed in "transition zones", places where speed limits were reduced in the previous 100 metres.
    2. All photo radar will come with temporary signage within 50 metres of the location of the photo radar enforcement. This signage must be clearly visible as any other road signs in the area, and must be taken down within 10 minutes of the cessation of enforcement and must be put in place before enforcement begins but less than 10 minutes before the enforcement is underway.
    3. No permanent photo radar signage will be permitted, except to inform the public upon entry of the community, which shall be mandatory on all roadways.
    4. Locations which shall be assigned photo radar in a weeklong period will be posted in local media the day before. The community may decide any weeklong period they wish, but it must be permanent. Locations not listed in the local media will not be permitted to possess photo radar enforcement. No more than 15% of the locations listed are permitted to not have enforcement during this period.
    5. Photo radar in school or playground zones are exempt from media publication requirements, but all other photo radar requirements must be obeyed, including temporary signage and transition zone rules.
    6. All communities wishing to operate radar must, at their own expense every five years or less, submit their roadways to an engineering and traffic survey with guidelines to be published by the Department of Transportation. The guidelines may not be more strict than the ten (10) strictest American states.
    7. Communities must have a minimum of 97% of their roadways speed limits as high or higher than that mandated by the engineering survey. Photo and laser radar is only permitted on roadways with 100% compliance with these regulations.

    Failure to maintain any of these regulations shall, at first violation, require the municipality to remit its previous thirty (30) days traffic revenue to its roadway maintenance budget. Second violation within 12 months of the first violation shall require the remittance of ninety (90) days revenue, and the loss of photo/laser radar operations for one month. Third violation within 18 months of the first violation shall require the remittance of ninety (90) days revenue, and the loss of photo/laser radar priviledges for six months. A fourth violation within 18 months of the first violation shall cause an immediate and permanent removal of the municipality's photo and laser radar priviledges.

    As well, the Minister would have special powers permitting the immediate one year revokation of photo/laser radar priviledges under special circumstances (ie. the Devon Incident, the ACS Kickback incident)

    Finally, the province would not use photo or laser radar on any of its provincial highways.
  • 2006 Oiler playoff fallout: As solicitor general, I would have no tolerance for the violations of fundamental freedoms brought about by Edmonton Police in response to minor incidents during the Oilers playoffs.

    I would have immediately brought in a special set of hearings held two weeks after Game 7. At that hearing, every arresting officer would be required to prove, to the hearing's satisfaction, that the arrests made by that officer were justified. Any officer who had an arrest which was not justified would be penalized one week's pay. An officer who had between two and five (2-5) arrests which could not be justified would have been penalized two weeks pay. Officers with 5-11 unjustified arrests would be suspended for one month without pay. Finally, officers with more than 12 unjustified arrests during the playoff run would be banned from police duty and subject to legal prosecution.

    Any officer which had used physical force during the course of their duties would be subject to an external review. If an officer's use of physical force could not be justified to the satisfaction to the committee, the officer would be charged with assault or a greater charge to the committee's satisfaction.

    Edmonton police would not be permitted any additional funding source to account for the police overtime budget, and would be forced to make the shortfall up within its own means.

  • Abuse of power concerns: Edmonton Police members have taken bribes from people I know. They have taken bribes from ACS. This sort of abuse of power will not be tolerated.

    As minister, all police complaints will be investigated by a special branch of the Solicitor General or investigated by a comparable sized police force, at the sole discretion of the Solicitor General. Officers being investigated for their second complaint within ninety (90) days will be suspended for the duration of the investigation.

    Police database queries will be available to all citizens regardless of the nature of the database query. Citizens will only be able to access their database queries once every ninety (90) days, and will only have access to queries 30 days old or older. A complaint system will be set up where citizens wishing further information or investigation regarding their queries may have their request taken before the office of the Solicitor General.

I keep thinking there's something (or a lot of things) I'm missing here, but for now this is all I can come up with. I may expand upon this (or the previous) entry at a later date.