By Doug Schimdt, Windsor Star
Windsor's top cop is inviting the government to visit his city to find out how to do it right after the province on Tuesday promised to consult and then put an end to "unjustified" police street checks.
When it comes to approaching people on Windsor's streets to engage them in conversation and ask them about their business, Chief Al Frederick said nothing is random or arbitrary and that it's "behaviour and circumstances, rather than gender or race" that would pique his officers' curiosity.
Ontario Community Safety Minister Yasir Naqvi, citing "ample examples" of racial bias when stopping people for questioning, said he wants mandatory new regulations by the fall setting out clear guidelines for any police service that chooses to conduct street checks. Toronto has become a flashpoint, with many civic leaders calling for an end to a practice some argue is susceptible to bias and racial profiling.
Windsor's Chief of Police Al Frederick in April 2014.
Frederick said he welcomes the community and group consultations the province plans to conduct over the summer, adding he'd like to be part of that effort. He said Windsor has had a street check policy for longer than the three decades he's been with the department and that "it's absolutely critical" to local police work.
About 1,000 times a year, on average, police officers in Windsor will create a report based on such "street check"
encounters with individuals who are not directly involved in a criminal investigation case file.