The Commercial Vehicle Enforcement Unit in Saskatchewan is no more.
The Saskatchewan Highway Patrol is replacing that unit starting in July. Provincial Highways Minister David Marit says the group is going to be expanding its role as part of a province-wide initiative announced a year ago that will address rural crime in a better way.
“Last year, it was announced that the Protection and Response Team (PRT) would be created to help reduce crime in rural Saskatchewan,” Highways and Infrastructure Minister David Marit said. “Officers from Commercial Vehicle Enforcement were identified as members of the team that would provide support to the RCMP and municipal police forces and they will soon be ready to do that.”
Although protecting the provincial highway system through commercial vehicle enforcement will remain the primary function for Saskatchewan Highway Patrol officers, they’re receiving expanded responsibilities to support their role on the PRT.
These responsibilities include:
- Responding to 911 calls;
- Investigating impaired drivers;
- Enforcing speed limits and other traffic violations – inside and outside of work zones;
- Taking action when someone is found committing an offence;
- Responding to motor vehicle accidents; and Investigating vehicles hauling livestock to ensure the health and welfare of the animals.
Members of the Saskatchewan Highway Patrol have received extensive training in recent months to prepare them for their new responsibilities. They’ve received training in the enhanced use of force, firearms and tactics for 911 calls, such as clearing a house of suspects and high-risk vehicle stops. Officers have also received training in dealing with people with mental health issues, as well as training in the Criminal Code and the requirements for the collection and control of evidence.