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.

Saskatoon StarPhoenix - - NEWS - DAVE DEIB­ERT

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.



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