WINNIPEG - The Manitoba government is investing more than half a million dollars in specialized equipment and training for the Winnipeg Police Service (WPS), including $20,000 to support a new educational video and expand public outreach to help people avoid or leave gang involvement.
Developed by the Gang Action Interagency Network (GAIN) in partnership with the WPS, the educational video will help inform young people and service providers about gangs and provide strategies on how to avoid or exit gang involvement. Funding will support GAIN representatives to travel to northern and rural communities to deliver information.
“The newly created gang education and exit video will fill a current gap that exists in providing online and eventually in person support for those in need,” said Insp. Max Waddell, organized crime division, WPS. “We are pleased with the outcome and look forward to sharing this information with our community.”
“Our goal is to educate the larger community on why people get trapped into gangs in the first place and show that change is possible with the proper supports,” said Sean Sousa, GAIN co-ordinator. “People do get out and give back but they need the resources to do it."
GAIN includes more than 180 representatives from law enforcement, community organizations and governments who work together to develop grassroots solutions to gang-related problems. An estimated 1,400 to 1,500 youth in Winnipeg are active in street gangs.
In addition to supporting GAIN, the Manitoba government will also invest more than $496,000 with the WPS to fund:
These investments are made from Manitoba’s Criminal Property Forfeiture Fund. In 2019-20, more than $1.6 million has been used to purchase specialized equipment and training for police agencies to improve officer and community safety, support the victims’ assistance fund, and invest in community organizations leading public safety and crime prevention initiatives.