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Regina police recruiting 'alternate response officers'

The Regina Police Service logo can be seen in this file photo. (David Prisciak/CTV News) The Regina Police Service logo can be seen in this file photo. (David Prisciak/CTV News)
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Residents will see a change in policing in the city’s downtown this fall as “alternate response officers” (ARO) are set to join the ranks of the Regina Police Service (RPS).

The special constables will work in delivering public safety programming in instances where an armed police officer isn’t needed.

The program’s intention is to free up other officers for calls to service while adding additional and focused support for Regina’s downtown area.

“We strongly believe the introduction of the ARO program will be beneficial for both the Regina Police Service and our community,” Deputy Chief Lorilee Davies said in a news release. “Not only will the ARO’s be able to provide support to our front-line officers, but also help us better respond to the needs of the community.”

In addition to patrolling the downtown area, the officers will enforce bylaws and provincial legislation, liaise with community partners and conduct ceremonial duties.

They will also assist with traffic related events and escorts, transport arrested persons, take complaints from the public, write reports, retrieve evidence and guard scenes.

The program is a joint investment by RPS and the provincial government. Both the province and the service provided $300,000 each, which will be used to fund program development, training and salaries for its first year.

Successful candidates will be sworn in as special constables and will be trained at Regina Police Headquarters. The 11 week training program will be comprised of classroom and on-the-job training.

Key skills outlined in the program will include: de-escalation techniques, community engagement strategies, defensive tactics, law and cross-cultural competencies.

Six ARO positions will be created and are expected to go into service this coming fall.

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