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Provincial police chiefs convention had lots of information

Law enforcement officials from across the province gathered in Saskatoon on May 9 and 10.
Estevan Police Service
Estevan Police Service.

ESTEVAN - The recent convention for the Saskatchewan Association of Chiefs of Police (SACP) proved to be an informative time that will help local police with their duties, according to Estevan Deputy Police Chief Warren Morrical.

Morrical and Estevan Police Chief Rich Lowen attended the gathering in Saskatoon on May 9 and 10. It was the first time that Morrical has been at the provincial event since he was named deputy chief earlier this year, although he has attended previously.

After the business session when those present dealt with financial matters, memberships and more, they heard a number of presentations. One was on the mass-stabbing event in September 2022 at the James Smith Cree Nation and the village of Weldon in which Myles Sanderson killed 11 people and injured 18 others. Morrical said the talk was an opportunity to look back on lessons learned and go through the timeline.

Some of the information could be applied to Estevan.

"It was a good presentation on what occurred and how the RCMP and their partners were able to manage such a large event," said Morrical.

The lessons are applicable province-wide, Morrical said. An incident of that size requires a complex response, and being able to understand both the good decisions and the things that could have been done differently help police to understand what to do if a similar situation unfolds down here.

"I think the biggest thing that they had going for them was the collaboration and partnership with all of the various agencies, and the fact that they were able to respond to so many crime scenes in such a connected, efficient and effective way," said Morrical.  

The next presentation was on civil forfeiture and the opportunities for police and the funding available to law enforcement agencies through that arm of government. Then they heard from the Saskatchewan Firearms Office (SFO) commissioner and deputy commissioner. Former Estevan deputy police chief Murray Cowan moved into the deputy commissioner's role in April.

The final presentation during the first day was from Walter Natynczyk, a retired Canadian Army general who was the chief of defence staff for the Canadian Forces from 2008-2012.

"We spent some time with him, learning from what he thinks are the best practices … for good leaders," said Morrical.

On the second day, delegates attended a session on collective bargaining agreement negotiations, giving them the same base understanding.

In addition to the chiefs and deputy chiefs for the province's municipal police services, members of the RCMP, conservation officers and others were in attendance.

Each chance that the SACP has to come together is beneficial to all of the members, Morrical said, because they get the opportunity to meet and discuss ways to improve the safety of all Saskatchewan residents, talk about leadership of organizations responsible for public safety, and look at ways to work together to have one voice when it comes to discussions or interactions with the government.