Saskatchewan’s two largest municipal police forces are each receiving nearly $6 million from the province to fund positions and policing initiatives.
The Ministry of Justice is providing $4.98 million to the Saskatoon Police Service through the municipal police grants program for 43 existing positions in 2020-21.
The Regina Police Service is receiving $4.95 million from the same program for 40 positions.
“This funding reinforces our government’s commitment to ensuring communities are safe and police are supported,” said Corrections and Policing Minister Christine Tell in a statement Monday.
The funding will be used by both forces for their respective police and crisis teams (PACT).
PACT pairs police officers with mental health workers to create a team to respond to calls for people experiencing a mental health crisis.
The goal of PACT is to provide the right care to people, avoiding unnecessary emergency room visits and entry into the justice system.
“The province of Saskatchewan’s municipal police grant is a welcome ongoing commitment toward community safety,” said Regina Police Chief Evan Bray.
“This investment ensures the continued focus on numerous crime pressures and complements our vision of working together to keep Regina safe.”
Both forces are also receiving funding for their integrated crime reduction teams, which gather intelligence on street gangs and gang associates.
Funding will also be used for the internet child exploitation (ICE) program, which investigates child exploitation and pornography cases.
“Efforts of both prevention and enforcement around gang-activity, exploitation and violence are critical to public safety in Saskatoon,” said Saskatoon Police Chief Troy Cooper.
“The continued support provided by the province of Saskatchewan assists our officers as they address these issues.”
Saskatchewan Government Insurance is also providing each force with $900,000 for five positions each with the Combined Traffic Services Saskatchewan (CTSS) initiative.
CTSS is designed to target distracted and impaired driving, as well as aggressive driving in the key areas of the province.
The Ministry of Corrections and Policing said 129 positions will be funded throughout the province in 2020-21 as part of the municipal police grants program.