The province is providing more than $546,000 to support new resources for Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) detachments across the province including $200,000 to expand the use of the HealthIM assessment tool and significant investments to make communities safer.
“The HealthIM system can be used to help resolve situations safely, both for people in the midst of a mental health crisis and the police officers who respond,” said Justice Minister Cliff Cullen. “This is part of our government’s commitment to utilizing police resources more effectively to combat serious, violent crime.”
When police respond to a call and find a person in a mental health crisis, HealthIM helps determine the most appropriate response based on the officer’s observations and a risk assessment tool. Last year, the province announced $310,000 in investments to make the HealthIM tool available across the province including for the Winnipeg Police Service, Brandon Police Service and RCMP detachments in Steinbach, Thompson and Portage la Prairie. It is being expanded to include additional RCMP detachments and other users, allowing officers to stay on the street to fight crime.
“While our officers are trained in determining the best course of action, it’s not always easy to determine if a mental health issue is a contributing factor in the behaviour being displayed. With HealthIM, we can improve the care provided to these individuals,” said Assistant Commissioner Jane MacLatchy, commanding officer of the Manitoba RCMP. “Additional funding for programs supported by the RCMP will have lasting effects toward crime prevention and reduction, not only for the youth involved, but for the communities in which they live.”
The Manitoba government is also making significant investments in the RCMP to support public safety and crime prevention, with a particular focus on initiatives that keep young people out of the criminal justice system. These include:
- $75,000 for the Shamattawa detachment to support 40 girls and young women from the community gain personal strength and self-confidence through participation in a Girl Guides summer camp;
- nearly $16,000 to support the expansion of a junior rangers outdoor program for young people, with a focus on team-building and life skills, operated through the Snow Lake detachment;
- $13,000 to support the Liberty FC football club in Winnipeg, intended to keep young people who are refugees connected to a positive recreational experience;
- $30,000 to establish a community garden and wellness area for the Moose Lake community; and
- nearly $7,200 for the Norway House detachment to provide animal care sessions at local schools and training workshops on building doghouses, which will be provided to dog owners once completed to support stronger animal protection in the community.
“Many of these initiatives came about because of the engagement and innovative thinking of RCMP officers in communities across northern and rural Manitoba,” said Cullen. “Our government is proud to support crime prevention projects that are led by the dedicated frontline officers who work hard every day to keep Manitobans safe.”
These investments are being made through the province’s Criminal Property Forfeiture Program, which will distribute a total of more than $1.6 million to law enforcement agencies across Manitoba this year.