NEW NAME, NEW DUTIES
Commercial Vehicle Enforcement officers are taking on an expanded role that includes fighting rural crime in the newly formed Saskatchewan Highway Patrol. On Thursday, they took part in training near Delisle.
Commercial vehicle enforcement officers have a new name and mandate, part of the provincial government’s plan to reduce crime in rural Saskatchewan.
The newly dubbed Saskatchewan Highway Patrol will continue monitoring the provincial highway system, but will take on expanded responsibilities as part of the province’s Protection and Response Team, the government announced Thursday during a training showcase near Delisle The name change takes effect July 1.
In preparation for new duties, members have taken training in enhanced use of force and firearms, tactics for 911 calls — including high-risk vehicle stops and clearing a house for suspects — and dealing with people with mental health issues. Members have also received expanded training in the Criminal Code and collecting and controlling evidence.
Responsibilities will continue to include 911 calls, investigating impaired drivers, speeding drivers and other traffic violations, responding to motor-vehicle crashes and investigating vehicles hauling livestock.
Saskatchewan Association of Rural Municipalities (SARM) president Ray Orb said he’s pleased to see additional officers in place to respond to rural areas.
The issue of rural crime, especially theft and vandalism, led to new government and RCMP initiatives. Last August, the province unveiled the $5.9-million Protection and Response Team, consisting of 258 armed officers.