View From the Legislature

Steinbach Receives Safety Support

  • Kelvin Goertzen, Author
  • Member of the Legislative Assembly, Steinbach

This past week I was honoured, as Minster of Justice and Attorney General for Manitoba, to announce more than $1.3 million in community safety and wellness planning support for several communities, including the City of Steinbach. The funding support is part of the Community Safety and Wellbeing (CSWB) planning initiative that has been developed by the government of Manitoba and is funded through the Guns and Gang Violence Action Fund.

The plan is based on the evidence that communities that make improvements when it comes to safety and wellness achieve those improvements through a dedicated plan that is developed by stakeholders throughout the community. The first Manitoba CSWB plan was developed in Thompson and has resulted in both greater collaboration and strong initiatives which are now being implemented in that community.

Last weeks announcement brings on board 12 new communities, including 6 indigenous communities, to begin their own CSWB planning. Steinbach, which is Manitoba’s third largest city, is included in those that will each be receiving $100,000 to develop their local community and safety wellbeing plan and begin to implement some of their initiatives.

This approach recognizes a number of things. The first is that while every community has challenges when it comes to safety and the wellbeing of residents, the challenges and the solutions are not all the same. While it may be easier to have a single plan for the entire province, it would be less effective because the challenges and solutions are different in Thompson than they are in Steinbach. The benefit of localized planning is also seen in that it connects people in a community with a common goal and they maintain those connections.

Last week I also announced funding for 150 Winnipeg Police Service officers and another 150 officers throughout Manitoba to pilot new mobile technology that allows officers to take notes, access police files, record video evidence and take statements on scene. Currently most of this information is only available in patrol vehicles or at the police station. Mobile technology also allows for the quick sharing of information which allows officers to get back on the street more quickly and reduces the amount of paperwork that needs to be filed.

Like every area of life, policing is becoming more technological. The $750,000 which the province has committed to new technology (called the Connected Officer Program), is another step in utilizing new methods to better police work.

Both the Community Safety and Wellbeing planning and the Connected Officer Program are community based and innovative ways to deal with safety and policing. I appreciate the tremendous partnerships we have had with law enforcement officials and municipalities allocating these resources to strengthen our communities.