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Gang member reportedly hands over weapon to Bear Clan, patrol finds meth on street, says founder

Winnipeg's Indigenous-led neighbourhood watch group, the Bear Clan, says it confiscated drugs and a weapon during a recent patrol in the city.
Winnipeg's Indigenous-led neighbourhood watch group, the Bear Clan, says it confiscated drugs and a weapon during a recent patrol in the city. Winnipeg Bear Clan/Facebook

The Bear Clan Patrol says its members confiscated drugs and a weapon during a weekend patrol in Winnipeg.

The Indigenous-led neighbourhood watch group posted a picture on Facebook showing an improvised gun and a baggy of suspected meth on Sunday.

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According to James Favel, co-founder of the Bear Clan Patrol, the weapon was turned in by a young man who was looking to get out of gang life.

The suspected meth was found in North Point Douglas during Sunday’s patrol, according to the Bear Clan Patrol.

The Manitoba government invested almost $200,000 in the group’s community crime prevention efforts in November.

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The funding also aimed to help the Winnipeg Police Service partner with the group and share information, resulting in increased awareness of community situations.

The volunteer safety group operates out of its Selkirk Avenue den in the city’s North End neighbourhood.

The group aims to be a community-based solution to crime prevention by building relationships. Favel previously told Global News the Bear Clan Patrol is a “boots-on-the-ground” effort to protect women, children, the elderly and vulnerable members of the community.

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According to the Bear Clan Patrol’s website, the group started “as a result of the ongoing need to assume our traditional responsibility to provide security to our Aboriginal community.”

The volunteer group has patrolled areas in Winnipeg since 1992, working to provide security in inner-city neighbourhoods in a non-threatening and non-judgmental way.

There are over 1,500 men and women involved with the Bear Clan Patrol on a volunteer basis.

— With files from Global News’ Rachael D’Amore