MEGAN LANE/BRANDON SUN
Brandon Police Service Chief Ian Grant talks about the equipment purchased with grant money from the Criminal Property Forfeiture Fund during an announcement on Monday. Some of the equipment past grants have allowed the police service to buy is displayed on the table.
The Brandon Police Service is getting some new equipment thanks to the proceeds of crime.
Provincial Justice Minister Andrew Swan announced that Brandon police will receive nearly $96,000 in equipment through the Criminal Property Forfeiture Fund this year.
"I am certain that the community sees great value in taking money from the hands of criminals to assist police in addressing community safety issues," BPS Chief Ian Grant said.
The equipment for Brandon includes a digital fingerprint scanner, a thermal imaging camera, cameras to be used by the forensic and investigation units, and portable radios for the community support unit.
Monday’s announcement also included funds for training and a new dedicated vehicle for the canine unit of the Dakota Ojibway Police Service, as well as traffic enforcement equipment for the RM of Cornwallis Police Service.
The combined total grants for the three police forces was almost $172,000.
"We are proud to support their dedication to keeping our communities a safe place to live and work," Swan said. "By taking money out of criminal activity and reinvesting it through these grants, we can work together to reduce crime and protect Manitobans."
More than $1.2 million in grants from the Criminal Property Forfeiture Fund will be distributed throughout the province this summer.
In addition to police grants, the seized goods and cash also help to fund victim support services.
Individual victims of crime have first chance at benefits from the seized assets before they go into the fund. Most of the time, however, the crimes that result in the seizure of cash and property do not involve individual victims.
"We work closely with a number of different support services and organizations," Swan said. "When they need capital investments, we do our best to help provide that."
The fund is not able to help victim support services as much with day-to-day operations because the amount in the fund varies from year to year, Swan said.
This year alone, $3 million worth of goods and cash have been collected into the fund, according to Gord Schumacher, executive director of the Justice Department’s Criminal Property Forfeiture Unit.
Over the past three years, $410,000 has been allocated to victim support services and $200,000 to individual victims.
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Republished from the Brandon Sun print edition June 17, 2014