August 24, 2018 11:59 am

Initiative benefits rural Saskatchewan by reducing crimes  

The government of Saskatchewan is marking the one year anniversary of the Protection and Response Team (PRT).

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The government of Saskatchewan is marking the one year anniversary of the Protection and Response Team (PRT).

The idea of the initiative is to help reduce crime in rural Saskatchewan.

Since the operational launch of the PRT in April, conservation officers and highway patrol officers have responded to more than 400 PRT calls.

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READ MORE: Province announces team to lower crime in rural Saskatchewan

Two examples of the work PRT members are doing to keep residents safe include: a Saskatchewan conservation officer located a theft suspect in Kindersley who had fled from a rural property; another conservation officer responded to a call for help from Pinehouse RCMP in a successful high-risk takedown.

“Highway patrol officers and conservation officers are providing valuable support to the RCMP and municipal police services,” Minister of Corrections and Policing Christine Tell said on Friday.

“These partnerships are helping to ensure Saskatchewan communities and families are safe.”

“Our government continues to look at innovative ways to address crime in Saskatchewan,” Minister of Justice and Attorney General Don Morgan said.

“The PRT has helped increase the presence of law enforcement in communities across our province, and we are thankful to our PRT officers from different backgrounds that have been integral to the first year of this initiative.”

“Protection and Response Team members have assisted the RCMP on several occasions, over the last year, by providing the initial response to in-progress, criminal code calls for service,” said assistant commissioner Curtis Zablocki, the commanding officer of the RCMP in Saskatchewan.

“Working with our partner agencies is enhancing visibility and increasing capacity to respond to calls for service.”

READ MORE: FSIN dismayed with Saskatchewan’s rural crime reduction strategy

The initiative includes Saskatchewan Highway Patrol officers and Ministry of Environment conservation officers, and police officers from the RCMP, Saskatoon Police Service, Prince Albert Police Service, Regina Police Service, Moose Jaw Police Service, Estevan Police Service, and the Weyburn Police Service.

The goal of the PRT is to:

  • Improve police response to emergency calls for services, including property crimes that are in progress.
  • Enhance uniform visibility and presence in rural Saskatchewan.
  • Increase the enforcement of drug trafficking on Saskatchewan’s roadways.
  • Enhance the safety of roads by reducing the number of serious collisions and fatalities.

PRT vehicles are equipped with Automatic License Plate Readers (ALPRs). SGI has funded 136 ALPRs in Saskatchewan, with a total investment of approximately $3.8 million.

© 2018 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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