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Police Chief Jack Ewatski

A veritable potpourri of injustices committed against Winnipeg citizens under Ewatski's watch

Moving up the ranks in a corrupt organization

Jim Thiessen

Jim Thiessen (right) was part of an international women's day feature on CBC's The National in 2004.

He explained to the reporter the difficulties police face in cold cases of murdered street women.

Thiessen is the same cop who accompanied Loren Schinkel on his illegal apprehension of Monique Turenne. Schinkel and Thiessen took Turenne to the Public Safety Building and interrogated her for nine hours. They used the Reid technique and were still unable to extract a confession. So Schinkel manufactured an 8 page document and forged Turenne's signature on it. This forged document was presented at a secret Grand Jury hearing in Florida along with an affidavit from Schinkel attesting to its authenticity.

Both Schinkel and Thiessen regularly appear on television to speak for the police. Ewatski has covered for his two corrupt officers. Ewatski wrote to injusticebusters suggesting we were defaming them. Yet he did not respond to a letter from Monique Turenne's father which outlined specific complaints about the treatment of his daughter.

EXPLOSIVE: The Mikolajewski Report exposes the shoddy work done on the Thomas Sophonow case and how Jack Ewatski helped block a proper re-investigation to protect a retired inspector and the secrets a warranted search of his premises would reveal

At the Driskell Inquiry wrongful conviction inquiry Ewatski struggled to explain why he kept secret new evidence that could have helped James Driskell win his freedom. The chief's involvement in the case began two years after Driskell's conviction when a series of media stories raised concerns Driskell had been wrongly convicted.

"I don't think it was part of my responsibility to ensure that it was passed on"

Ewatski signs new five-year contract

Chief Jack Ewatski

It took awhile, but Police Chief Jack Ewatski and the City of Winnipeg have finally agreed on a new contract that will see him stay on the job until December 2008.

"I still feel I have something to accomplish in this role," Ewatski said yesterday. "There are more things I want to accomplish."

Ewatski, 52, said he wants to continue re-organizing the police service to make it more effective and efficient and work toward establishing new police buildings in the city's suburbs under the new four-district model.

"I'd like to be around to cut the ribbon," Ewatski said.

Currently, the 1,200-member police service is extending its community policing project to put more beat officers and traffic enforcement in more neighbourhoods. It is also expanding the arrest processing unit, which will reduce paperwork required of front-line officers. As well, plans are in the works to streamline management.

Under the four-district model, police will reduce their operating districts from six to four and build three new police stations in east Winnipeg, the north end and south Winnipeg at a cost of about $16.5 million over the next few years. As well, city hall is studying a plan to create a permanent 911 backup centre. The 911 call centre is housed at the Public Safety Building, but it must move out sometime in the next two years as work begins to replace the Tyndall facade of the PSB.

Ewatski also said he wants to continue getting more resources for front-line officers and making sure those units have appropriate manpower. Police are currently being trained on a new internal computer system and officers will shortly be equipped with new Taser stun guns.

Ewatski wouldn't comment on the details of his new five-year contract, but said the compensation package is in keeping with what other police chiefs get in Canada.

A 2002 civic document lists Ewatski's salary at $149,249.

In a statement yesterday, Mayor Glen Murray said Winnipeg, "like all large cities, will continue to face challenges in fighting crime. Chief Ewatski has been a great partner and leader in building a safer city. I am very pleased he will continue to give us solid leadership.