December 18, 2023
Regina, SK – New research reveals low awareness and ongoing concerns from Saskatchewan residents about the new Saskatchewan Marshals Service and support for more investment in the RCMP.
A recent survey by Pollara Strategic Insights for the National Police Federation found:
- 2/3 have not read, seen, or heard about the Marshals Service
- Of those with an opinion, over half (52%) would rather invest the $20 million in the RCMP over the Marshals Service
- Only 17% preferred to invest in the Marshals Service
- 64% of Saskatchewanians believe the Saskatchewan government has not adequately consulted the public about establishing the Marshals Service.
- 80% of Saskatchewanians believe that before the Marshals Service is established there needs to be a detailed accounting of the costs and impacts to service levels.
- 72% of Saskatchewanians believe there are more important priorities in Saskatchewan and the government should be focused on funding these as opposed to creating the Marshals Service.
The survey also found ongoing high levels of support for the RCMP in Saskatchewan, with 81% of respondents in RCMP-served communities reporting they are satisfied or very satisfied with the RCMP’s policing: amongst the highest public support in Canada.
“This research revealed that Saskatchewanians do not feel consulted about the Marshals Service, would prefer their tax dollars be invested in the RCMP, and they are leery about that the new police service will report to a provincial government Minister/Deputy Minister as opposed to a police board,” said Morgan Buckingham, Prairie Region Board Director, National Police Federation. This reflects the exceptional and important work of RCMP Members in communities across the province.
As Saskatchewan experiences a record population growth, investments in the RCMP remain stagnant and have not kept pace with an increasing population. Rather than responding to multiple requests from the RCMP, the NPF, and Mayors and communities across Saskatchewan to fund increased RCMP resources, the Province’s plan is to divert over $20 million annually to fund the new Marshals Service.
The marshals will not be active until 2026 meaning Saskatchewanians will be waiting years to see any change in public safety in communities most impacted by crime. During this waiting period, however, taxpayers will be funding the unknown start-up costs of this new service, which are expected to be tens of millions. The Marshals Service is also projected to cost $20 million annually to operate, with 70 marshals deployed throughout the province. For that same cost, the Province could fund 100 additional RCMP Members today and see immediate public safety improvements.
“Every day routine policing duties can escalate quickly, and Saskatchewan needs more RCMP officers who are trained and equipped to deal with all possibilities,” says Buckingham. “Diverting needed resources away from highly-trained RCMP officers – instead of bolstering them – is not the answer.”
In the absence of information from the Government about their new Marshals Service and in the face of ongoing politicized rhetoric and misinformation about Member responsibilities and accountabilities, the NPF has launched the OurSKRCMP campaign to educate Saskatchewan residents and governments about the important work RCMP Members do in their communities, and the benefits they receive through having the RCMP as their police service of choice.
A copy of our Pollera Strategic Insights November 2023 survey is available here.
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://npf-fpn.com/
Coordinator, Media Relations