POLITICS

Manitoba government funding more police officers, cadets

05/08/2013 12:27 EDT | Updated 07/08/2013 05:12 EDT
WINNIPEG - The Manitoba government put up funding Wednesday for another 20 police officers and cadets in Winnipeg — another step toward fulfilling a campaign promise to put more officers on the street.

Premier Greg Selinger said six of the new officers will focus on street patrols, while four will work as criminal analysts.

Ten cadets, who are lower-paid, will direct traffic, guard crime scenes and perform other duties to ease the load on officers.

"We want our neighbourhoods to know we're there with them if they're feeling unsafe, and the best way to be there with them is to have people that care and have the tools they need to provide safety," Selinger said.

The announcement is part of a 2011 NDP campaign promise to add 150 officers and cadets across the province before the next election. Last year, the province announced funds for 24 positions, mostly in Winnipeg.

Despite the fact the government is less than halfway to its target, Selinger said the promise will be kept. One hurdle, he said, is setting up a cadet program outside of Winnipeg with the RCMP. Winnipeg is currently the only municipality with such a program.

"We're in discussions with (the RCMP) and we're moving forward on a positive basis," Selinger said.

"It's a bit more difficult ... because they have to start from the ground up."