Province funds new Crime Stoppers ride



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Brandon East MP Len Isleifson, Spruce Woods MP Cliff Cullen, Brandon West MP Reg Helwer, Justice Minister Cameron Friesen and Brandon Police Department Information Sergeant. Kirby Sararas stands in front of Brandon Crime Stoppers’ new vehicle.

In a bit of “sweet irony”, a vehicle previously used to commit crimes will now be used by Brandon Crime Stoppers.

The provincial government gives the local organization more than $ 50,000 to help prevent crime and help with community awareness.

The funding includes $ 11,000 to help fund community outreach and a new vehicle valued at approximately $ 32,500, Justice Minister Cameron Friesen said Tuesday afternoon.

“I think it’s a sweet irony that a vehicle that in this case was actually used to commit a crime was seized by a police department and has now returned to the community as a resource to help resolve the issue. crime, “Friesen said over the phone from Winnipeg. .

Crime Stoppers is a crime prevention organization where people can submit anonymous tips on criminal activity. The group pays cash for tips that help solve crimes.

There is a “big bold sticker” on the rear window of the vehicle that tells people that the Chevrolet Silverado has been used in the past to commit crimes, he said.

It will be used to travel to various community organizations and to promote programming.

The vehicle will be a visual reminder of Crime Stoppers in Brandon, Friesen said, and will help the group operate in the community.

The money comes from the province’s Criminal Property Forfeiture Fund, which liquidates criminal assets to help fund public safety initiatives.

“The members of the Brandon Crime Stoppers Board of Directors were extremely pleased to receive the vehicle donated by the Criminal Property Forfeiture Branch of Manitoba Justice, which will be an asset to the Crime Stoppers program,” said Brandon Crime Stoppers President Rick Thomson said in a press release.

“The Brandon Crime Stoppers Board of Directors would like to thank the Manitoba Justice Criminal Assets Forfeiture Unit for all of their assistance in making this vehicle donation possible.

The money will also be used to organize presentations at schools and immigrant services in Westman, which a member of the Brandon Crime Stoppers board says will help raise awareness of the whistleblower line. Crime Stoppers.

A provincial spokesperson asked the Sun not to name the board member out of concern for his personal safety.

“Especially in high school kids, they know, so to speak, what’s going on,” he said.

The money will also go to the Copper’s Shopper program, where students are given cash and a police chaperone to cover their Christmas shopping.

“It helps to manage the [organization] itself… every dollar we spend is a dollar we have to generate, so that just helps us run the program successfully, ”he said.

Winnipeg and Manitoba Crime Stoppers also receive money from the province – $ 28,000 and $ 12,000, respectively – to fund awareness materials, equipment and to support the tip rewards program.

The money for the three organizations came to celebrate National Community Safety and Crime Prevention Month.

Since 2009, the Criminal Property Forfeiture Fund has distributed more than $ 19.9 million from seized criminal assets, according to the province.

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Mark M. Gagnon