Members of Regina’s media got to spend a day learning what the Regina Police Service see and do on a daily basis Thursday.
The RPS generously opened their doors for the day and provided presentations on some of the major departments inside the station. From 911 statistics to the SWAT team media got a chance to learn why operations sometimes work the way they do for police.
In 2015 Regina Police saw over 55,000 911 calls come in, so differentiating what is an emergency and what isn’t can be a vital tool for keeping the emergency lines open.
When it comes to what is an emergency or not police said call 911 if an incident is in progress or a life or lives are in immediate danger. However they do receive their fair share of odd calls as well like,”what time should I put the turkey in the oven?” To “the guy in front of me has more than 12 items in the express check-out line at Superstore.”
Mental health concerns is also something police are seeing a huge increase in and now see suicide threats in one form or another on a daily basis. Regina Police and the Regina Qu’Appelle Health Region now have their own designated team to deal strictly with mental health calls.
Police traffic units are also facing new tasks, such as distracted driving which is a huge problem in Saskatchewan. Officers will only hand out tickets when they have to, the quota rumor for speeding fines is nothing more than that, a rumor. Officers also do not have an obligation to show you their photo radar shot, they will only show cooperative people their clocked speed.
Police also see a very high number of missing persons cases in the queen city, around 1,700 alone last year to be more specific. Strict protocols must be followed for vulnerable people, who are children 12 and under or those with a disability, as well as before an Amber Alert can be issued. Something that Regina Police have only ever had to issue once in the past.
With Canada seeing more and more newcomers, teaching them the law of policing in Canada is another topic vital to success of municipal policing. There are countries where police will not respond to your needs unless you have money for them upon arrival, or places where detained suspects don’t have the luxury of riding in the backseat, but must sit in the trunk of the officers cruiser. RPS has heard both of those stories from newcomers to Canada, which was a main reason the Cultural and Community Diversity Unit has been created.
A 22 member SWAT team unit, which saw major action Monday is made up of patrol officers who are constantly on call, ready to spend 15 minutes or 15 hours in the same dangerous location, all while wearing around 70 pounds of equipment.
The day was capped off with a CEW or taser demo and a shooting competition at the shooting range.