Police officers in Saskatchewan are hoping to improve relations with the community with a new policy that dictates how officers should initiate contact with a citizen when there is cause for concern.

The policy is the results of two and a half years work by the Saskatchewan Police Commission and will be implemented at all levels of police in the province, from city police to RCMP.

The commission says under the new policy, and officer with concerns about suspicious activity could approach the person and start a conversation, however the person is under no obligation to respond.

Similar mandates have already been in existence throughout Saskatchewan, but this new policy now unifies all police departments in the province.

The policy also has parameters around when you cannot conduct a contact interview, when it’s based solely on the subject of race, religion, age, gender or sexuality.

“If I’m stopping on the street to say hello to some kids or talk to people about the weather, obviously that's not really a contact interview, that's just good community policing,” said Paul Ladouceur of the Saskatchewan Association of Chiefs of Police. “If an officer is driving through a neighbourhood and has a mental reason in their mind of something is up here, I’m going to stop and inquire, whether it be a concern for the welfare or concern of public safety, I think that's where you move into the process of the policy.”

Ladouceur says the lines between police and the community have been blurred on a national and international scale, so this is a step towards clarification and building a stronger relationship between police officers and community members.