The Saskatoon Police Service is receiving a grant from the province to continue supporting some of its initiatives.
Nearly $7.4 million will go towards the police and crisis team (PACT), the internet child exploitation (ICE) program and the Combined Traffic Services Saskatchewan Initiative.
The Ministry of Corrections, Policing and Public Safety will be providing $6.48 million, with an additional $900,000 provided by Saskatchewan Government Insurance.
“We appreciate our partnership with the Saskatoon Police Service and thank the dedicated officers who work tirelessly to enhance community safety across Saskatoon and the surrounding area,” Crown Investments Corporation Minister Don Morgan said in a statement on behalf of Corrections, Policing and Public Safety Minister Christine Tell.
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At a press conference Friday morning, police Chief Troy Cooper said they’ve seen an increase of 40 per cent in mental health-related calls, and the funding will support its mental health workers.
“I think it’s one of those cases where the government agrees with us that it’s easily identified. It’s statistically supported that it’s an appropriate way to divert people from criminal justice processes but also the outpatients and hospitals,” he said.
“When we know we can do a proper assessment in the community, whether it is safe to be left in the community or not. When we can do that, our community is best served.”
The funding will support 53 positions for the police service.
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