By Dave Baxter
Local Journalism Initiative Reporter
Manitoba’s Justice Minister announced Thursday the province will provide more than $150,000 in funding, as they look to help Manitoba’s First Nation Police Force improve their training and recruitment efforts.
At an announcement at the site of the Swan Lake First Nation office in Headingley, Justice Minister Kelvin Goertzen said the province will be providing $155,100 through the Criminal Property Forfeiture Fund (CPFF) to the Manitoba First Nations Police Service
(MFNPS) a police force that serves several First Nations communities in the province.
The CPFF program seizes and liquidates criminal assets, and puts money back into police and community initiatives, and the province said the funding will allow MFNPS to purchase equipment and undergo training that will “enhance human resource capacity, investigative capabilities, and service delivery.”
“Our government remains committed to improving law enforcement services around the province to enhance public confidence in law enforcement and the justice system, and to help keep Manitobans safe in their communities,” Goertzen said on Thursday.
According to the province, the support from the CPFF will assist MFNPS in purchasing equipment and providing staff training in several important areas of law enforcement including forensic analysis, breathalyzer technician training, use of drone technology in police investigations, and software and training for front-line staff.
MFNPS Chief of Police Doug Palson said the more than $150,000 “goes a long way to support the work of the MFNPS to ensure community safety and well-being.”
“Further, it represents a significant commitment on the part of Manitoba Justice towards the advancement of First Nations policing in our province, as this funding will be dedicated to initiatives that otherwise would not be possible,” Palson said.
Goertzen added on Thursday that First Nations communities in Manitoba experience some of the highest violent crime rates in Canada, and several northern Manitoba First Nations are in remote and isolated locations without any full-time police presence.
– Dave Baxter is a Local Journalism Initiative reporter who works out of the Winnipeg Sun. The Local Journalism Initiative is funded by the Government of Canada.