Manitoba RCMP officers are being equipped with special masks and goggles to protect them in the event they're exposed to fentanyl, a potentially deadly synthetic opiate.
They will also switch to black latex gloves instead of the standard-issue blue ones to better detect the white powder.
And criminals are footing the bill.
Justice Minister Heather Stefanson announced Friday that the provincial government will spend nearly $54,000 from its criminal property forfeiture fund to equip more than 1,000 front-line Mounties with the new gear.
She said the province is also discussing similar measures with city police.
"Fentanyl is endangering the lives of Manitobans and it can also pose an unexpected risk to police officers as they respond to calls for service," Stefanson told a news conference at Manitoba RCMP headquarters.
This year, Manitoba RCMP will receive $382,000 from the criminal property forfeiture fund to invest in specialized tools, resources and training, including equipment to enhance road-safety initiatives, such as radar guns and licence plate readers.
Since 2010, more than $16.5 million in assets have been seized in Manitoba through criminal property forfeitures. There are now 120 active forfeiture files being pursued by the province, involving vehicles, cash and other assets.