“What is a Marshall?” Saskatchewan Federation of Police Officers concerned over new Marshall Service

“I’ve had probably a hundred people ask me ‘what is a Marshall’ and no one actually knows,” says Casey Ward, President of the Saskatchewan Federation of Police Officers.

In the Throne Speech, the Saskatchewan Government announced the development of a new police force in the province, called the Saskatchewan Marshall Service. The service will be developed within the next few years with a force of 70 officers and is set to become operational in 2026.

The Saskatchewan Federation of Police Officers as well as the Saskatchewan Association of Police Officers were reportedly blindsided by this announcement.

“There was zero consultation with the Sask. Federation, the RCMP, or the Chiefs on this. We had no idea. I just wish they would have come to us and said here’s a problem we have, we want to address this issue,” says Ward.

He says that the Federation and the Association both feel that the Marshall Service isn’t necessary.

“Why create a new police force? They’ll need their own radio system, their own equipment; all the stuff that the RCMP and municipal police officers have already. So why wouldn’t you just strengthen those services? (Take) the 70 members and spread them across the province,” says Ward.

The Marshall Service will cost $20 million annually to operate. Ward feels that the money could be better spent on increases and advances in services that already exist in high-crime areas.

He also points out that the Marshall Service is said to work under and alongside the RCMP but municipal police services are already doing that with high success.

He also adds that the Marshalls will be exempt from doing community services like school resources which he feels is diminishing the community efforts that municipal officers put a lot of effort into.

With the Marshall Service now being added to the mix of police forces in the province, there are a total of roughly nine different police forces operating in Saskatchewan.

“Nobody knows who is who anymore. the common person doesn’t understand jurisdiction, they don’t understand all these things… all the waters are being muddied,” says Ward.

The Federation and the Association are working to talk with Christine Tell, Minister of Corrections, Policing, and Public Safety at the provincial police meeting at the end of November but Ward says the Federation has yet to hear back from her.

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