Rural Sask. communities concerned about decreased police presence with review of policing model

Residents in southwest Saskatchewan are concerned about how their communities will be policed by the RCMP moving forward.

The RCMP, along with business consulting firm Meyers Norris Penny (MNP), are hosting town hall meetings this week in southwest communities such as Swift Current, Maple Creek and Shaunavon to retrieve feedback from the public regarding a review of policing services for the area.

Mayor of Shaunavon Grant Greenslade said he’s heard they are looking at different policing models, including the idea of a “super detachment”, which would run operations out of a Swift Current rural detachment. It may mean some communities could wait up to a couple hours for police to arrive to an event.

One of Greenslade’s concerns with that possibility is the decreased poliHe says people in his community are not happy about that possibility.ce presence in his town.

He said RCMP told him they will still come down to service Shaunavon, but he feels that isn’t enough.

“I’d like to have the members in our community and part of our community,” stated Greenslade. “Their children with our children in the schools, them coaching soccer and baseball, like it has been for decades.”

Greenslade feels it’s crucial to have their level of RCMP involvement remain in the municipality with the recent rise in crimes within Shaunavon including thefts and thefts from vehicles.

He said people in his community are not happy about that possibility.

“We’ve had a tremendous amount of support from our town’s citizens, raising concerns about the level of service that’s going to continue after this super detachment or if it’s even going to happen,” noted Greenslade.

“There is a very big concern out in our community with regards to any changes from the RCMP.”

The mayor added that it’s key they have as many of their residents present at their meeting on Monday night to voice their thoughts on the matter.

Saskatchewan RCMP spokesperson Corporal Rob King said some questions may revolve around detachment closures.  He says that is not an option.

“Right now, we are simply looking at the policing service provided to that area,” King said. “We want to review it, we want to assess it, and figure out if we’re doing it in the best way possible.”

King said they need to know what people in the area are thinking.

“We want to hear from the people that are there: what we’re doing right, what they expect, what we’re doing wrong, and any suggestions that they have so that we can enhance and improve the policing service for them.”

Here are the times and locations for the public town hall meetings in southwest Saskatchewan this week:

Ponteix Detachment
Date: Monday, January 13
Time: 6:30 p.m.
Location: 6 Main Street, Aneroid, SK

Shaunavon Detachment
Date: Monday, January 13
Time: 6:30 p.m.
Location: Crescent Point Wickenheiser Center

Morse Detachment
Date: Tuesday, January 14
Time: 6:30 p.m.
Location: Morse Community Hall

Leader Detachment
Date: Tuesday, January 14
Time: 6:30 p.m.
Location: Leader Community Hall

Gravelbourg Detachment
Date: Wednesday, January 15
Time: 6:30 p.m.
Location: Gravelbourg Lion’s Club, 125 6th Ave E

Maple Creek Detachment
Date: Wednesday, January 15
Time: 7:00 p.m.
Location: Maple Creek Armouries, 502 Marsh St.

Swift Current Rural Detachment
Date: Thursday, January 16
Time: 6:30 p.m.
Location: All Saints School, 2180 Woodrow Pl., Swift Current, SK

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