News Releases

News Release - Manitoba

August 30, 2022

Manitoba Government Provides over $46,000 to Revitalize Winnipeg's Neighbourhood Watch Program

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Community Initiatives like Neighbourhood Watch and Citizens on Patrol Program, Empower Citizens, Promote Community Safety: Goertzen

The Manitoba government is providing more than $46,000 through the Criminal Property Forfeiture Fund to the Winnipeg Police Service’s community relations unit to rebrand and revitalize the Neighbourhood Watch program in Winnipeg, Justice Minister Kelvin Goertzen announced today.

“Our government is proud to support the Neighbourhood Watch program, an important community initiative that empowers citizens to work together to enhance the safety and well-being of their community,” said Goertzen. “Informed, empowered communities deter crime and illegal activity.”

The Neighbourhood Watch program provides safety advice and crime prevention information through community meetings, training sessions and public service announcements, and facilitates ongoing, meaningful communication between the Winnipeg Police Service (WPS) and community members.

The minister noted the funding will support community engagement forums and promotional materials to raise awareness of the revitalized program and encourage widespread community participation.

“The support from the Manitoba government will allow the Winnipeg Police Service to provide updated tools and training to citizens to increase safety and community well-being. Closer co-ordination and information with WPS will allow citizens and police to co-ordinate information quicker and react faster, resulting in greater deterrent to crime and unlawful activities,” said Supt. Bonnie Emerson, community engagement, WPS. “This program is about looking after each other and increasing community safety together.”

In addition to support for the Neighbourhood Watch program, the Manitoba government is also providing $110,000 in annual, ongoing funding to support the Manitoba Citizens on Patrol Program (COPP).

Operating since 1991, COPP is a crime-prevention initiative where volunteers act as extra ‘eyes and ears’ for their communities and local law enforcement, reporting suspicious activities to the police. Funding provides local COPP organizations with training, as well as safety-patrolling equipment and community-prevention signage.

There are currently 49 active COPP groups operational throughout Manitoba communities, consisting of over 500 members, who in 2021 collectively patrolled over 12,000 hours and volunteered more than 16,000 hours to help keep their communities safe. Nine additional communities have indicated an interest in forming local COPP chapters and Manitoba Justice will work with them to help those groups become active, the minister noted

Since its inception in 2009, the Criminal Property Forfeiture Fund has distributed more than $20 million back to communities throughout the province. The program seizes and liquidates criminal assets and redirects funding to projects and initiatives designed to protect Manitobans and enhance public safety. The funds are provided to organizations across Manitoba whose important initiatives continue to build community, invest in youth and support victims of crime, noted the minister.

Winnipeg residents who want to apply to participate in the relaunched Neighborhood Watch program can visit for more information.

For more information about criminal property forfeiture, visit:

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