Dogged and Destructive: Essays on the Winnipeg Police

  • ISBN-13: 9781927886885
  • PRICE: $20.00
  • Paperback, 136 pages

Available for pre-order at McNally Robinson Booksellers

Reducing harm, which is the supposed goal of proponents of “law and order,” requires a radically distinct approach to the issue in which the vindictive, racist, and failed logics of policing and jailing are ended and replaced.

Published on the centennial of the city and its police force, Dogged and Destructive: Essays on the Winnipeg Police is a short collection of critical and deeply researched essays about the history, violence, and costs of the Winnipeg Police Service (WPS). It argues that policing in Winnipeg should be studied and understood regardless of where one lives due to the city’s particular dynamics of settler-colonialism, enormous police budgets, and concerns about violence. The book provides a comprehensive yet accessible introduction to the WPS and advocates for the imagining and pushing for alternatives to police power in Winnipeg and Canada. Part of ARP Books’ Semaphore Series of short polemics on contemporary issues.

Contents
Introduction
The WPS doesn’t keep us safe
years of violence, abandonment, and self-preservation
Parasitic solidarity
The dead-end of police reforms
A Winnipeg beyond police

What Jame’s Wilt says…
“In the context of severe underfunding and total collapse or non-existence of other public services, police have successfully positioned themselves—with government facilitation—as ultra-generalists in order to monopolize emergency response to the countless conflicts of a deeply unequal society, including interpersonal conflicts, traffic offences, property theft or damage, mental health and substance use issues, and a huge assortment of other community issues, despite having no specific expertise or ability to deal with them.” [The WPS doesn’t keep us safe, p. 27]

“To oppose policing and jailing is not to naively believe that all violence will immediately and entirely cease once people’s needs are addressed. Networks of people’s safety and intervention will always be necessary. But actually reducing harm, which is the supposed goal of proponents of “law and order,” requires a radically distinct approach to the issue in which the vindictive, racist, and failed logics of policing and jailing are ended and replaced.” [The WPS doesn’t keep us safe, p. 42]

“The fight to strategically defund and decarcerate is ultimately a refusal of self-serving police lies—culturally-pervasive and largely upheld though state, media, and education discourses—about what it is that police do, and just as importantly, it is a radical expansion of thinking on how people can be kept safe and what safety even means.” [A Winnipeg beyond police, p. 120]

James Wilt

James Wilt is a writer and PhD candidate based in Winnipeg. He is the author of Do Androids Dream of Electric Cars? Public Transit in the Age of Google, Uber, and Elon Musk and Drinking Up the Revolution: How to Smash Big Alcohol and Reclaim Working-Class Joy. His writing has appeared in many publications including The WalrusThe Guardian, Canadian DimensionThe Narwhal, and Briarpatch.