February 1, 2024
Regina, SK – The National Police Federation recently submitted its pre-Budget asks for 2024 to the Government of Saskatchewan, calling for strategic investments in policing that support Saskatchewan’s growing population and evolving public safety needs. This comes on the heels of the 29 recommendations made following the James Smith Cree Nation Public Inquest.
“Our Members in Saskatchewan and other surrounding provinces responded appropriately, effectively and urgently. We thank them for dedication and bravery. As the Inquest rightly noted, Members require more resources to deliver the exceptional public safety services that Saskatchewan residents expect and deserve,” says Brian Sauvé, President, National Police Federation. “We are calling on government for necessary investments in the Saskatchewan RCMP to ensure community safety and address Members stress and burnout.”
In support of many of the RCMP-focused recommendations, the NPF is asking government to address the core issues impacting our Members – who police 99% of the geographical area of the province – by increasing resources for the RCMP to meet both current and future demand. Currently, the officers-per-capita ratio in Saskatchewan is at its lowest point in two decades.
“It is disheartening to see the Province’s limited financial commitment to the RCMP at a time when the government has allocated $20 million annually to a nascent 70-member marshal service which replicates tasks already performed very well by the RCMP,” added Sauvé. “As the inquest concluded, Members have been filling the gaps created by outdated and inadequate funding for far too long.”
A December 2023 survey by Pollara Strategic Insights, funded by the NPF, found that only 17% of respondents support investment into the Marshal’s service. Most importantly, the survey found ongoing high levels of support for the RCMP in Saskatchewan, with 81% of respondents reporting they are satisfied or very satisfied with the RCMP’s policing: among the highest public support in Canada.
“As Saskatchewan’s population continues to grow, and public safety needs evolve, we are looking to this next provincial budget to provide our Members with the proper resources and equipment to deal with these changes, and with evolving community safety risks,” said Morgan Buckingham, Director, Prairie Region, National Police Federation. “There is an officer out there right now, patrolling an isolated area alone, with the closest back-up still hours away – and that’s not right for anyone.”
The NPF recommends making the following investments to support current RCMP Members and programs.
$100M over 5-years to bolster the hiring of 300 Regular Members
- This includes 138 Regular Members to supplement First Nations policing resources, and 162 Regular Members assigned to General Duty, federal policing, and specialized frontline support staff.
- Provide additional funding to create 205 administrative support positions in RCMP detachments to allow RCMP Members to spend more time in communities.
- Work with the RCMP in Saskatchewan to identify and resolve existing challenges within the current infrastructure before creating additional bureaucracy through new law enforcement entities.
Invest $2M to study police service delivery models for rural and remote communities
- Invest $2 million to undertake a study with the SK RCMP to explore alternative service delivery models, make recommendations, and implement enhanced policing models within the province.
- The implementation of models such as fly-ins and drive-in, has been shown to increase police presence in remote communities and improve public safety at a reduced cost. Fly-in models currently used in other provinces allow for the greatest opportunities for Members to serve remote communities while their families can work and attend school in larger communities.
A copy of the NPF’s Pre-Budget Submission is available here: https://npf-fpn.com/app/uploads/securepdfs/2024/01/2024-Saskatchewan-Pre-Budget-Submission-01252024.pdf
About the National Police Federation:
The National Police Federation (NPF) represents ~20,000 RCMP Members serving across Canada and internationally. We are the largest police union in Canada. The NPF is focused on improving public safety for all Canadians, including our Members by advocating for much-needed investment in the public safety continuum. This includes investments in police resourcing and modern equipment, as well as social programs including health, addiction, and housing supports to enhance safety and livability in the many communities we serve, large and small, across Canada.
For more information: https://ourskrcmp.ca/
Coordinator, Media Relations