RCMP Deployment Model

Res #: 18-20A
Number: 18
Year: 2020
Midterm: No
Expired: No
Responses Received: Yes
Departments: Saskatchewan Ministry of Corrections, Public Safety and Policing

WHEREAS most Saskatchewan municipalities with populations under 5,000 use RCMP services contracted by the Government of Saskatchewan;

WHEREAS the RCMP’s “F” Division has contracted Meyers Norris and Penny out of Winnipeg to review their current deployment model and to identify and recommend possible changes to said deployment model. One such possible change is moving the region into a super-hub deployment model, which may set a precedent for other regions within the Province of Saskatchewan;

WHEREAS changes to the current deployment model with regard to a super-hub, or centralization of deployment services within the southwest, may negatively affect public safety given the large geographical jurisdiction of the southwest Saskatchewan region;

WHEREAS the municipalities within the southwest will continue to work closely with the current ‘community-centered’ deployment model, that includes Shaunavon, Leader, Gravelbourg, Morse, Pontiex, Maple Creek and Swift Current (rural) detachments and that the current ‘community-centered’ deployment model can continue to effectively operate on a proactive basis, with proven low crime rates;

WHEREAS the municipalities in southwest Saskatchewan advocate for all RCMP officers to reside within their detachment area to support the retention of RCMP officers in finding a sense of home and belonging; to support the safety of residents by boasting visibility of proactive policing and satisfactory response times; and to support the economy of the community;

BE IT RESOLVED that SARM lobby the RCMP and provincial government to not close any current detachments existing within rural communities, to maintain the December 31, 2019 staffing levels, and demonstrate that the RCMP super-hub deployment model will not be in the best interest for citizens of rural communities;

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that SARM lobby the RCMP to ensure consultation with municipal leaders prior to the implementation of any changes to services to ensure there are no negative impacts to the service and the economy of rural communities, and that public safety remains a top priority.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that SARM lobby the RCMP and provincial government to consider the size of the geographical area, not just population, when determining detachment staffing levels.

Responses From: Saskatchewan Ministry of Corrections, Policing and Public Safety

March 14, 2024

Regarding the concern about closing detachments within rural communities, the Provincial Policing Services Agreement (PPSA) article 8.1 (a) requires Minister approval before any changes can be made to the organizational structure, including the number and location of detachments. The Minister responsible has not approved any permanent closure of any RCMP detachments in many years, and none since the resolution.

Regarding maintaining December 31, 2019 staffing levels, the Province has not reduced the authorized strength of the RCMP since the resolution. Instead, the Province has made significant strategic investments in the RCMP which includes providing additional funding and additional members to expand the Crime Reduction Teams (CRT) and to create the Saskatchewan Trafficking Response Team (STRT) and Warrant Enforcement Suppression Team (WEST). Since 2021, these investments added 85 positions and approximately $13.6 million to the RCMP.

Regarding the RCMP regional super-hub deployment model, the Province received the business case from the RCMP in December 2019, but we have not supported, or approved, the regional super-hub model.

As per the Provincial Policing Service Agreement, the province does not direct internal management of the service, or where resources are deployed, and where vacancies are filled. I would welcome engagement with the RCMP to discuss ideas and opportunities for how detachment staffing levels are determined.

In the last three months, I have made six attempts to schedule a meeting with Dominic LaBlanc, the Minister of Public Safety of Canada, to address concerns regarding police services in Saskatchewan. Unfortunately, I have yet to receive a response from his office.

Our province has actively lobbied with the federal government, urging an increase in the number of RCMP officers, enhanced training programs, and a renewed commitment of additional funding to support the RCMP. In the event that more officers are allocated to the RCMP in Saskatchewan, our province would immediately fund them.

Hon. Paul Merriman – Minister of Corrections, Policing and Public Safety