November 06, 2015

$4.8 Million for Saskatoon Police Service Targeted Policing Initiatives

The Government of Saskatchewan is taking action to ensure the safety of Saskatoon communities and families by providing $4.8 million in Municipal Police Grants to the Saskatoon Police Service (SPS).

This funding will support 42 SPS positions in 2015-16 and includes support for targeted initiatives such as the Police and Crisis Team, Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit and the Serious and Habitual Offender Comprehensive Action Program.

“Our government is focused on community safety,” Corrections and Policing Minister Christine Tell said.  “This grant, and the positions it funds, provides the support needed to those working to protect Saskatoon communities and families.”

Municipal Police Grant funding builds on the partnerships between the government and municipal police forces to address key community safety priorities, including:

  • Reducing the number of persons both in police custody and emergency rooms as a result of mental illness through the Police and Crisis Team (PACT).  PACT units, each comprised of one SPS member and one mental health worker, use their combined expertise and knowledge to stabilize persons experiencing a mental health crisis in the community.
  • Combatting organized crime and gang activity through the Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit (CFSEU).  CFSEU’s mandate is to expose, investigate, disrupt, dismantle and prosecute organized crime.  It includes members from Regina Police Service (RPS), SPS, Prince Albert Police Service (PAPS) and the RCMP.
  • Holding chronic habitual offenders to account through the Serious and Habitual Offender Comprehensive Action Program (SHOCAP).  SHOCAP provides intensive supervision and interagency case planning for designated habitual chronic offenders.
  • Reducing the victimization and sexual exploitation of children through the Internet Child Exploitation (ICE) unit.  ICE members identify victimized children, investigate cases of possession, production, and distribution of child pornography and internet luring, and help prosecute sexual offenders.  ICE includes members from RPS, SPS, PAPS and the RCMP.

“The Saskatoon Police Service has been working very hard to ensure our community is safe,” Saskatoon Mayor and Board of Police Commissioners Chair Donald Atchison said.  “We know that our citizens view public safety and security as the number one issue, and the province’s continued support is absolutely critical to maintaining a safe community.”

“With this funding, the province has directly enhanced our efforts to reduce and deter violent crime, gang activity, and child exploitation,” Saskatoon Police Chief Clive Weighill said.  “In addition, its support for our PACT program demonstrates the province’s commitment to not only make our city safer but address the issue of mental health and policing.”

The provincial government provides annual funding for policing initiatives and 125 municipal police positions across the province.  This grant fulfills the government’s commitment for 120 new police officers and is part of the ministry’s ongoing commitment to supporting municipal policing services.