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Saskatoon police committing three officers to curb crime in Pleasant Hill

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The Saskatoon Police Service is dedicating three officers to a specialized unit to help curb crime in the Pleasant Hill neighbourhood.

Last fall, members of the Pleasant Hill Community Association asked the Board of Police Commissioners for more preventive policing resources.

A member of the Pleasant Hill Community Association told CTV News that police would need to take a different approach to build trust in the community.

"Every year, we tell the city that we need to invest in prevention in our community, (and) invest in relationships — the residents are tired of sounding like a broken record,” community association member Shane Partridge said at the time.

"We need a police presence in our community not like the other communities."

According to a report from police to the board of police commissioners on Thursday, help is now on its way.

On May 1, the service plans to move three officers from patrol to the community mobilization unit, where they’ll focus on the Pleasant Hill community.

Police Supt. Darren Pringle said there are three main components to the plan.

He said officers will consult with community members to identify key issues, while crime analysts will follow trends and find patterns in criminal activity to help police be in “the right place at the right time.”

“There is more of a sporadic nature to the crime in Pleasant Hill, which is challenging to have uniform folks in place to interdict,” he said.

“I think that’s why with this new layered approach that we’re going to be trying … it gives us a few more options, because we are potentially in the right place at the right time more often.”

Pringle said police will also use data to do “service mapping” to find where first responders are consistently being called to.

“Every police service knows crime is under reported, so is there a way to determine if crime is happening perhaps in a different way, perhaps by service response,” he said.

He said if police aren’t getting called for crimes, but ambulance or fire continue to respond to the same area, then service mapping may give police insight on “reported activity in the community.”

Pringle says the framework of this plan can be applied to other communities, if needed. 

-With files from Keenan Sorokan

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