WINNIPEG -- Manitoba RCMP officers are getting added protection to minimize exposure to powerful opioids.

Justice Minister Heather Stefanson says just over 1,000 front-line officers will get respiratory and eye protection for cases when they might be dealing with opioids like fentanyl.

The extra equipment will cost $54,000 and will come from the province's criminal property forfeiture fund.

Stefanson says fentanyl -- which is 100 times more powerful than heroin -- poses a serious risk to officers when they respond to calls for assistance.

She says the equipment will help them take the necessary precautions.

Assistant Commissioner Scott Kolody, with Manitoba RCMP, says reducing the risk of fentanyl exposure is a priority for the force.

"The funds announced today will be critical to ensuring all our officers are equipped with the best possible protection," he said Friday.

The criminal forfeiture fund comes from the confiscation of property, cash and other goods linked to criminal activity. Police forces can draw on the fund for new equipment and training.

Manitoba RCMP are getting around $382,000 from the fund this year for equipment including radar guns and licence plate readers. More than $16.5 million in assets have been forfeited to Manitoba since 2010.