Saskatchewan is beefing up rural policing, but it may impact staffing in other services.
The province’s revamped Rural Crime and Traffic Safety Team will receive four officers from the Moose Jaw Police Service.
The service had just received provincial funding for two officers, but they will now be redeployed to the rural force. The city will also send another two officers, who are currently funded by the province, to the team.
Moose Jaw police Chief Rick Bourassa said they would’ve been able to send one officer over without affecting service, but the second one is going create a gap.
“We didn’t want to be any leaner because we have a lot of demands on us, and we’ve got new demands coming all the time,” Bourassa said.
He explained some of the demands officers are seeing involve violent crimes, which have been on the rise in the city.
Bourassa added new legislation around marijuana will also lead to an increase in service.
“The net result will be that we will continue to deliver the services we are delivering and have been delivering, but we’ll also have an enhanced traffic safety component, so we will actually see an increase of services being delivered to the city.”
He said the expectation will be that if these rural unit officers are near a call for city police, they will respond to it.
Bourassa said they are currently in the process of recruiting officers to fill their vacancies. He expects the positions to be filled by January.
The City of Moose Jaw is providing funding for an additional officer in the police service.