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Sask. launches Provincial Protective Services branch


Several of Saskatchewan’s public safety agencies have been united under a single organizational structure.

The 450 member Provincial Protective Services branch began operating Friday and will complement the work of RCMP and city police forces. Saskatchewan RCMP remains the provincial police force in Saskatchewan.

The new protective services branch brings together the duties of conservation officers, highway patrol and deputy sheriffs into one force.

“That was done to enhance public safety and ensure that there is consistent levels of service and protective services provided across the province of Saskatchewan,” said Noel Busse, spokesperson for the Ministry of Corrections, Policing and Public Safety.

The new force will have all the powers of police officers and most will be armed. They will be able to apprehend impaired drivers and suspected criminals and take them to jail without involving RCMP or city police.

“There may be scenarios where these agencies can support police services but not meant to be a replacement for police services,” Busse said.

Saskatchewan briefly had a provincial police force a century ago after RCMP became too busy with World War One homeland security. That force was disbanded in 1928 because it became too expensive. It was half the size of the new provincial force which comes with a $54 million budget.

The NDP has no issue with the amalgamation, provided they don’t get involved with policing the legislative building.

“It could lead up to deciding who gets to enter here and who doesn’t get to enter here as visitors. The bill is still up for debate. We hope the government does the right thing,” said NDP MLA Nicole Sarauer.

Creation of a provincial police force is viewed as a step by the province toward greater autonomy from the federal government. For now, there is no plan to replace the RCMP in Saskatchewan.

This story has been updated to clarify that these policing bodies are being united under a single branch, but it is not creating a brand new provincial police force. Top Stories

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