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Moose Jaw Police Service receives $800K for initiatives, the same amount as last year

The funding will go towards local initiatives PACT and CTS.
Moose Jaw police car face right

Annual government funding of $800,000 has been earmarked for two initiatives here in Moose Jaw — the Police and Crisis Team (PACT) that targets mental health crisis and the salaries of four police officers, vehicles and other related costs to be part of the Combined Traffic Services (CTS).

The province’s funding provides funding for six officers with four assigned to CTS and two officers in PACT, which combines MJPS members with mental health supports from the Saskatchewan Health Authority.  

“That (PACT) is also a regional initiative. They provide mental health responses that supports proactive work not only here in the city but in the 100km radius of the city as well,” says Chief Rick Bourassa. 

Both CTS and PACT hold regional initiatives which Chief Rick Bourassa said that they “were very happy to participate in and provide those supports not only here but in the city but across the region.”

Other cities receiving police funding from were th Prince Albert receiving $3.78 million, Saskatoon receiving $6.37 million and Regina receiving $5.93 million dollars. 

Last year Moose Jaw received $800,000, the same amount of funding as in 2021.

“Of course we would like to see more; there’s always lots for us to do. We always engage in those discussions (with the Board of Police Commissioners and the Province) all the time. And when the time is right we will continue those discussions while moving some other initiative forward. We will get more but we always have open lines of communication moving forward and how we can meet those priorities,” Chief Bourassa said.

Asked if he would like to see the province pay more he said it was not just about the funding but also targeting where to spend the money.

“It’s not so much about the dollar amount that is important; it’s about the work. Identifying the priorities and then the funding is a secondary question around that. We are always in those discussions and we are very happy to have the positions here that we have. And we are happy to support the region with those positions and we will just continue to have those conversations with other areas of priorities of positions if we had the funding by the province,” he said.

One of those priorities is Internet Child Exploitation – the sexual luring of children on the Internet. 

“We have created a position here and we have trained one individual; we have a second being trained at the Canadian Police College as we speak in Ottawa,” Chief Bourassa said.

“Its complex, challenging work. They will have two people who are fully-trained and equipped as there is specialized equipment for that. They will work very closely with the provincial ICE unit (Internet Child Exploitation Unit) which is the officers from a number of different police services and the RCMP. Our people will continue to work closely with them and engage in discussions on how they can enhance that relationship furthermore as they move forward.”
Chief Bourassa said the issue of child exploitation is of great importance in Saskatchewan.

“This is one of the big areas that we see that is requiring some more attention. It is a challenging issue in Saskatchewan that is prevalent…there are lots of investigations that go on and charges that are laid,” Chief Bourassa said, adding “sorting (out) how we can work more closely with the province on that while moving forward is a priority.”

There are other priorities with the interconnected crime piece that has been a challenge and will always be a challenge. Initiatives can be reactive such as the creation of the PACT teams or other concerns which affect the region.

“Some of these things are reactive. The other key piece of that is how we can be more preventative which is where we establish partnerships much like the PACT team. We have other partnerships that move forward to reduce potential victimization if we can beforehand, and also to hold the people that are victimizing to account after the facts,” Chief Bourassa said.

He said budgets and resources aren’t always about the amount received but how it is spent.

“It’s always thinking about how we can be most effective while being efficient when it comes to resourcing and budgets. We can access lots of resources but we have to check if the financial funding for those resources are available.”

The $800,000 from the province will show up as revenue on the budget sheets but there are also accompanying expenditures for the funds. The funding will be discussed at the next meeting of the Board of Police Commissioners who ultimately will have the final say on the MJPS budget.

“We will see where it goes; we always work within that budgetary frame work. Our job will be no matter how it turns out how we can maximize positive results for people working within that frame work. And that’s the way it is for everyone no matter where you are.”

The matter will be on the agenda for the next meeting of the Board of Police Commissioners on November 9th.