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Saskatoon board of police commissioners discuss stats from 2021, new recruits

Click to play video: 'Saskatoon board of police commissioner’s review SPS related topics and stats from 2021' Saskatoon board of police commissioner’s review SPS related topics and stats from 2021
WATCH: At the most recent Saskatoon board of police commissioner's meeting, members discussed a number of topics and stats from the Saskatoon police service year in 2021 – May 23, 2022

The Saskatoon board of police commissioner’s discussed a number of Saskatoon Police Service (SPS)-related topics and stats from 2021 at their most recent meeting.

Among them were evading police incidents, use of force incidents, a new recruiting class joining the force at the end of May and overall police policies.

In terms of evading police incidents, those numbers have been dropping since 2017 when there were 204 incidents. In 2021, that number was 84. In terms of injuries from those 84 incidents, roughly five per cent or 17 injuries occurred to officers, civilians and the suspects themselves (15).

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The commission says there was a 13-per cent decrease in pursuits in 2021 as compared to 2020. Of note, 41 per cent of all pursuit incidents involved a stolen vehicle, which is a decrease from 2020 when there was a total of 43 per cent. Stolen vehicles remain a significant driver overall of evade police incidents.

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Concern does remain within the police force with the danger these incidents have caused.

“When someone evades police or refuses to stop their driving behaviour it’s very dangerous to the officers responding and the general public,” said chief of police Troy Cooper.

The board of police commissioner’s vice-chair, Kearney Healy, says the fact there are fewer injuries year after year is important.

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“The most important metric is fewer officer injuries now, and fewer injuries as a whole and to those who are arrested. Those numbers seem to drop each year,” said Healy.

In 2021, the SPS had 310 occurrences where force was used. In the same year, police attended 79,121 dispatched calls for service.

The commission says the data shows that 78,811 calls were resolved without any force which is a rate of 99.61 per cent. It is important to note that this data does not include the daily interactions police officers have with the public without incident.

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They also discussed a very diverse, exceptional group of new recruits that will be joining the Saskatoon police service at the end of May.

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“Of the nine recruits five are female, we have one recruit that is a visible minority, and we have two Indigenous recruits as well,” added Cooper.

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Cooper says there is also a handful of different languages being brought to the table from this group.

Healy says having a good line of communication and rapport with the community is important to keep a city safe.

“The key to community safety is the community and the police working, this is an example of many parts working together,” said Healy.

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