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WPS hoping to create fund for at-risk families and children

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Winnipeg police are banking on social programs financed by public donations to reduce the crime rate.

The WPS is creating an endowment fund to finance social programs targeting at-risk families and children.

"The WPS endowment fund will give grant recipients the tools to provide at-risk members of our community the chance to seize opportunities, and enjoy a healthy and meaningful life, and in so doing, reduce the risk of falling into an unhealthy life style," states an administrative report.

Approval for the initiative is on the agenda of Wednesday’s special executive policy committee. It still must be approved by council.

The concept is consistent with Chief Devon Clunis’s stated belief that while police will respond to crime, Winnipeg can only become a safer city through the efforts of social agencies and community groups working together.

Clunis could not be reached for comment and a spokeswoman for the WPS said no one will comment on the initiative until it’s been approved by council.

"The creation of a permanently established endowment fund is a long-term strategy to generate an annual revenue stream to provide much needed support for at-risk families and children, who for various reasons require additional support from the community," states the report.

"The goal of the endowment fund is to subsidize recognized projects within the community which support the (Winnipeg Police) Service vision of creating a culture of safety," states the report.

The fund will be administered by the Winnipeg Foundation.

Grants to eligible organizations will be determined by an oversight committee of the police chief and two deputy chiefs.

The fund already has $20,000, a donation from One Heart, an annual multi-church gathering.

The civic report states grants will be given out every April. Successful programs can only exist for one year and must be designed to support crime prevention through the provision of programs that improve the lives of families and children.

The fund will not provide money to programs that would normally receive funding from schools or government.

aldo.santin@freepress.mb.ca

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