Saskatoon's police chief supports creation of independent oversight team
SASKATOON -- Saskatoon Police Service Chief Troy Cooper says he’s happy to see the province move towards creating additional police oversight.
“The Chiefs of Police in Saskatchewan have been lobbying for this to occur for a while now,” Cooper told CTV News in an interview.
It its 2021 budget, the Government of Saskatchewan announced it would provide $287,000 to the Public Complaints Commission to develop the Serious Incident Response Team (SIRT). The group would be tasked with looking into situations that involve serious injuries or deaths involving police officers.
Cooper says now it’s just a matter of looking at how it’s implemented.
“Now we just have to take a look at what’s that going to mean operationally. How are we going to put it into actual practice, including things like human resources, financial resources.”
In other provinces, bodies such as Ontario's Special Investigations Unit are brought in when there's a serious incident involving police such as an officer-involved shooting or allegations of misconduct.
However, in Saskatchewan, rather than an independent agency, another police force in the province is typically tasked with investigating following a serious incident. Minister of Justice and Attorney General Gord Wyant said work on the unit has already begun.