SASKATCHEWAN – The National Police Federation wants Saskatchewan to invest more than $100 million to support current RCMP officers and programs.
The National Police Federal says the RCMP police 99 per cent of the geographical area of Saskatchewan and the additional funding is needed to meet current and future demand.
"Although Saskatchewan's population has grown considerably over the past 15 years, the RCMP have remained underfunded across the province and our members are consistently being told to do more with less when they are already overworked, stressed, and not fully resourced," said Brian Sauvé, NPF president. "We believe investments need to be made in the right areas to ensure the proper delivery of policing services."
The NPF recognizes the investments the province has made in the RCMP but said they need to do more to address the core issues impacting its members.
The NPF says more than $100 million is needed over the next five years to hire 301 regular members, including 138 regular members to supplement First Nations policing resources and 154 regular members assigned to general duty, federal policing, and specialized frontline support staff. In addition, 205 administrative support positions in RCMP detachments are needed to allow RCMP members to spend more time in communities.
Another $2 million is needed to study police service delivery models for rural and remote communities.
The NPF also wants the province to work with Saskatchewan RCMP to identify and resolve existing challenges within the current infrastructure before creating additional bureaucracy through new law enforcement entities.
Saskatchewan’s recent Throne Speech committed $20 million annually to create a new Saskatchewan Marshals Service (SMS), which only diverts funding from much needed RCMP resources, said the NPF.
Saskatchewan Minister of Corrections and Policing has said the Marshals Service will provide extra law enforcement presence across the province, conduct proactive investigations, and support both RCMP and municipal police operations.
A national December 2022 Pollara Strategic Insights survey found that only 12 per cent of respondents support the creation of the Saskatchewan Marshal Service, and nearly three times more respondents (34 per cent) would prefer to use that money to increase RCMP services across the province, said the NPF.
RCMP members have strong levels of support (73 per cent) for the policing services they provide, which is consistent with national support levels (76 per cent) in RCMP-served communities, added the NPF.
"As the province's public safety needs continue to evolve, we are looking to this next provincial budget to provide our members with the proper resources and equipment to deal with these changes," said Morgan Buckingham, Director, Prairie Region, National Police Federation.
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