WINNIPEG — A pilot project between the Manitoba government and Winnipeg police to assist families experiencing domestic incidents has been made permanent.
The 2021 pilot project saw the co-location of specialized staff from Manitoba Justice at police headquarters to facilitate a coordinated response when a domestic violence call comes in.
“The results of this pilot project indicate that this approach has succeeded in delivering a more effective, efficient intervention through timely, integrated service to Manitoba families in need,” said Justice Minister Kelvin Goertzen.
Goertzen says three staff from the justice department’s victim services will be working at WPS headquarters, allowing better integration between officers and victim services workers. The departments will work collaboratively to determine the most appropriate outreach for families who call police for domestic incidents in non-criminal cases.
“Having both police and victim services staff on the same call provides families with a faster, more efficient response, often within the hour,” added Goertzen. “In the past, a police unit was deployed, and incidents were referred to Victim Services for follow-up, which often resulted in delays.”
Figures from the province say the team responds to approximately 12,000 domestic incident calls annually that are reported to the WPS.
“This partnership has allowed us to build strong relationships to ensure individuals who call police for lower-risk intimate partner incidents receive a compassionate response in a timely manner,” said Insp. Eric Luke, Winnipeg Police Service.
Watch Thursday’s news conference: