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Saskatoon company to develop technologies to help fight rural Saskatchewan crime

A team will try to design technologies to alert rural Saskatchewan landowners about any event or irregular activity related to their property.
A team will try to design technologies to alert rural Saskatchewan landowners about any event or irregular activity related to their property. File / Global News

A team of technology entrepreneurs are working on a project to develop prototypes aimed at improving safety and security in rural Saskatchewan.

Jeff Shirley, the Saskatoon-based owner of Rivercity Technology Services Limited (RCT), was selected as the winner of the first “Rural Crime Innovation Challenge.”

READ MORE: Sask. RCMP urge safety, prevention first over frustration about rural crime

Innovation Saskatchewan announced the challenge in September for the development of technologies that can help address crime in rural areas in conjunction with the Ministry of Justice.

Shirley and RCT will participate in a 16-week residency program with the ministry.

They will also work with William Topping, founder of Brand X Technologies, to design an application-based tracking system and GPS device to alert landowners about irregular activity with assets on their property.

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“You need at least one bar of cellphone coverage,” Shirley said.

“However, you can also use the app manually, so if you are somewhere where there is no cellphone coverage at all, you can still go out and using the software side of the solution. You can log events, locate areas, map GPS positions of where you’ve got problems.”

WATCH BELOW: Rural crime watch

Rural Crime Watch
Rural Crime Watch

Government officials said the goal is to be able to log these events in an application that would immediately alert law enforcement officers.

“We are excited to see the technology sector’s involvement in addressing crime in rural Saskatchewan,” Saskatchewan Justice Minister Don Morgan said in a press release.

“This collaborative approach will help us find creative solutions to make Saskatchewan a safer place to live and raise a family.”

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If the team is successful, the proposed prototype will be tested in a pilot project.

The service is estimated to cost $5 monthly to rural customers. There will also be a free app.