Released on March 21, 2023
The Ministry of Corrections, Policing and Public Safety is providing a one-time grant of approximately $305,000 to the Saskatoon Police Service for two alternative response officer positions.
The funding agreement comes into effect immediately and will be in place until March 31, 2025. Alternative response officers provide an additional uniformed presence in the community and support Saskatoon Police Service investigations and enforcement activities.
"Government is proud to partner with the Saskatoon Police Service to fund these positions, which will enhance public safety and outreach in Saskatoon," Corrections, Policing and Public Safety Minister Christine Tell said. "Alternative response officers and other community safety officers represent an important evolution in modern policing, and provide an excellent opportunity for those who want to make a difference in their community."
Alternative response officers are trained at Saskatoon Police Service headquarters. Training takes place over 11 weeks and covers topics such as de-escalation processes, community engagement strategies, defensive tactics, culturally-informed policing, and working with other agencies that provide services to at-risk individuals. All alternative response officers operate under the supervision of a sergeant as part of the Saskatoon Police Service's Alternative Response Unit, which also includes community patrol officers, foot patrol officers, and bicycle officers.
"The provincial funding received will have an immediate impact on public safety, specifically in areas where social programs are provided," Saskatoon Police Chief Troy Cooper said. "The officers have been hired and are already being trained, much of which will be in the community. We are grateful for the provincial support and the additional resources."
Government also provides the City of Saskatoon with an annual municipal police grant. In 2022-23, Corrections, Policing and Public Safety provided $6.48 million to Saskatoon through the municipal police grant program to fund 48 police positions for police programs such as the Police and Crisis Team (PACT) and Internet Child Exploitation (ICE) program.
To learn more about Saskatoon Police Service alternative response officers, visit https://join.saskatoonpolice.ca/alternative-response-officer/.
To learn more about municipal police grant funding for Saskatoon, visit https://www.saskatchewan.ca/government/news-and-media/2022/december/09/738-million-for-saskatoon-policing-initiatives.
For more information, contact:Noel Busse
Corrections, Policing and Public Safety