NPF Seeks Same Money For More RCMP

By Carol Baldwin

Reporter from the local journalism initiative

On Thursday, Jan. 19, Brian Sauve, President of the National Police Federation, announced that the province’s NPF had submitted an interim budget request to spend $100 million over the next five years to “support the proper delivery of.” to ensure services” and strengthen the police force in the province. As with many other public services in our province, RCMP members are constantly told to do more with less. “Although Saskatchewan’s population has grown significantly over the past 15 years, the RCMP has remained underfunded across the province and our members are constantly being told to do more with less when they are already overworked, stressed and under-resourced.” said Sauve.

The NPF’s request for $100 million might seem like a big request, but over the next five years that money would be used to hire 138 members to supplement First Nations policing resources; 154 members for general service, federal police and specialized frontline support personnel; the creation of 205 administrative support posts in departments; Study alternative police methods. The new Marshal’s Service, on the other hand, will cost an estimated $20 million a year for about 70 officers and be based in Prince Albert.

On November 3, Secretary of Corrections, Policing and Public Safety Christine Tell announced: “We know there are areas of Saskatchewan that need more visible, more active policing? The SMS will provide this and work with RCMP and Metropolitan Police to strengthen law enforcement across the province.”

The NPF counters that the province needs to work with the RCMP to address existing challenges “before creating additional bureaucracy from new law enforcement agencies.” Morgan Buckingham, regional director of the NPF in Saskatchewan, which represents 1,350 members in the RCMP Division “F” in Saskatchewan and 350 in the RCMP training depot in Regina, also questioned the government’s decision to introduce money to create a new police service and to provide. With the funding the NPF is seeking to fund the provincial expansion of the RCMP to match the cost of the new service and provide more “boots in the field,” one has to wonder what math the provincial government is using. Additionally, Premier Moe explained in an interview with The Morning Edition that the Marshals team will ultimately make communities safer “much faster” but the force will not be operational before 2026 and as Minister Tell confirmed in November, it will be in in direct competition for recruits with the already established RCMP, which itself has acknowledged that the number of recruits joining the service is declining.

“What the RCMP needs and what the people of Saskatchewan need is more uniformed police officers. These are the people who take calls and answer calls directly in the community,” Buckingham said on Friday. He said the government came to its plan in November to set up the new service without consulting the NPF and other police agencies, a statement that has been heard time and time again from other public services in the province. With a population of 1.2 million on December 5, 2022, the RCMP member-to-general ratio is 1/530 (after subtracting the population of Saskatoon and Regina, which have their own police service), the 70 new marshals will not create the general public south of Prince Albert safer. The numbers speak for themselves.

Carol Baldwin is a reporter for the Local Journalism Initiative at WAKAW RECORDER. The LJI program is federally funded.

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