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  • Winnipeg Tribune

Money From Crimes Being Put to Good Use

July 4, 2023 - Tuesday the Winnipeg Police received over $1 million to fund a wide variety of crime prevention measures, new technology to help officers analyze video evidence and provide 200 WPS members with trauma-informed training from the proceeds of crime.

Since its inception in 2009, the Criminal Property Forfeiture Fund has distributed more than $26 million back to communities throughout Manitoba. The program seizes and liquidates criminal assets, and redirects funding to projects and initiatives designed to protect Manitobans and enhance public safety.

“The Winnipeg Police Service plays a vital role in crime prevention and law enforcement in our capital city and is taking meaningful steps to tackle violent crime on our streets. Supporting these efforts is crucial,” said Goertzen. “Our government is pleased to provide the funding for this innovative technology that will enhance the investigative work and to help address the increased stress and trauma facing police members through wellness support.”

The new technology tool allows officers to review hours of video in minutes and quickly search and filter figures and events of interest, such as people, vehicles and lighting changes, with speed and precision via metadata. An investment of over $290,000 will purchase the technology to allow WPS members to more effectively and efficiently sift through hours of potential video evidence, the minister noted, adding that this capability will be valuable in identifying offenders in many areas of police service work, from drug trafficking to homicide investigations.

“Because we live in a digital world, there are very few investigations where our officers do not gather some form of video evidence. Some cases have involved thousands of hours of video, making it extremely time-consuming to process and examine,” said Staff Sgt. Josh Ewatski, Winnipeg Police Service. “The criminal property forfeiture funding for this new tool will allow our investigators to reduce terabytes of video recordings into manageable durations for timely review saving thousands of hours of investigator time, freeing them up to identify suspects and bring files to a close.”

$76,000 in funding will used to facilitate trauma training for members of the police service. The trauma-informed leadership training will focus on the critical role of police leaders in recognizing the impact of stressors in policing and developing tools to manage the impact.


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