More money for rural crime initiatives and an extra 30 police officers for the province's Combined Traffic Safety Services (CTSS) Unit is being welcomed following the release of the Saskatchewan government’s 2018-19 budget.
The Prince Albert Police Service said additional funding for the CTSS unit is appreciated and will enhance efforts between urban and rural police agencies to fight crime. Acting Chief Jeff Rowden said the Prince Albert Police Service has already been working with the RCMP on local initiatives.
In Prince Albert, there are currently three officers working with the CTSS unit, and three other recruits in training, Rowden said. Those officers will work together with five officers from the RCMP.
“Those relationships have already been around for some time and they’ve proven their value over and over and over again,” Rowden said following Tuesday's budget.
The province announced $4.9 million in additional funding for the Rural Crime Strategy in its budget. It also included more money for correctional facilities, utilization of court services and the expansion of the Remand Reduction Strategy. The Safer Communities and Neighbourhoods program was re-opened in Prince Albert last fall, a recommendation from the Protection and Response Team, which was created following the Government Caucus Committee on Crime .
Funding for rural crime initiatives will go a long way toward alleviating concerns from residents about property crimes, said Todd Lewis with the Agricultural Producers Association of Saskatchewan.
“We find that very encouraging that it’s still at the top of the agenda for this government to make rural Saskatchewan safer,” Lewis added.
“I think people in rural Saskatchewan are doing their part as well, looking out for their neighbours a little bit more (and) the added money coming from the province, with the better police presence should help to maybe start to alleviate some of those situations.”
On Twitter: @CharleneTebbutt
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