Winnipeg police are receiving $17,000 from the province to help officers investigate and track seized firearms.
The funding, through the Criminal Property Forfeiture Fund, will allow the Winnipeg Police Service to purchase equipment and train officers to restore serial numbers and determine the origins of a seized firearm.
“Any firearm with its serial number obliterated is a crime gun and is a trademark of a smuggled or trafficked firearm that is used for a criminal purpose,” said Insp. Elton Hall, officer-in-charge of the WPS organized crime division.
“Removing the serial number is done in order to prevent tracing of the firearm, and allows smuggling and trafficking groups to remain active.”
The funds will be used to purchase workstations to provide a safe environment to conduct firearms investigations, as well as recent training done by four officers to complete related certification through the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF).
In 2021, police recovered 859 seized crime guns, surpassing 2020, in which 721 crime guns were seized. Of these 859 firearms seized in 2021, police were able to complete serial number restoration work on approximately 89 firearms.