New Highway Patrol officers join special teams on rural crime

By Glenn Hicks
January 18, 2019 - 5:00pm

Lloydminster is getting one of the six new Saskatchewan Highway Patrol recruits who graduated last month and more are expected in future.

They are an additional element to help combat rural crime. The new officers will be part of the recently-formed Protection and Response Team (PRT) which has expanded roles.

The government said the additional officers will provide support to the RCMP and municipal police services.

“They will improve response times for emergency calls and the valuable service the Saskatchewan Highway Patrol provides,” Highways and Infrastructure Minister Lori Carr said in a media statement.

The patrol officers are special constables with the authority to enforce the Criminal Code and federal, provincial and municipal statutes related to roads transportation and vehicles.

Steve Shaheen with the Ministry of Highway and Infrastructure told paNOW commercial vehicle enforcement is the primary responsibility for Highway Patrol but they're also part of the PRT.

“They [can deal with] emergency calls and will enhance uniformed visibility and presence in rural Saskatchewan and increase the enforcement of drug trafficking on Saskatchewan roadways,” he said. “So, this is an add-on as they begin to have those arrest and detention powers.”

The ministry said Highway Patrol officers have completed extensive training in tactics for 911 calls, and have training in mental health issues.

The PRT is made up of Highway Patrol, Conservation Officers, RCMP and municipal police forces.

Shaheen said more recruits would be coming with another intake this year.

“With these [latest] recruits we now have 32 officers and we plan to have a total of 50 PRT officers in detachments across the province,” he said.

The PRT initiative was launched in 2017 as an effort to create safer communities and reduce crime in rural areas.

Regina is getting four of the six new recruits, while Prince Albert is getting one.

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