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Police service allowed to access 2022 budget early to buy new vehicle

A traffic services officer was initiating a traffic stop on July 10 when he was involved in a collision that totalled the vehicle, thus requiring the police service to purchase a new one.
Moose Jaw police doors left

The Moose Jaw Police Service needs to access its equipment reserve budget earlier than expected to purchase a new vehicle after a police cruiser was totalled in a collision.

During the recent Board of Police Commissioners meeting, board members unanimously approved a motion to let the police service access its 2022 equipment reserve account to replace a Combined Traffic Services Saskatchewan (CTSS) Police Ford Explorer. 

According to the Moose Jaw Police Service, it usually costs about $105,000 to purchase and equip a police Explorer.

A CTSS member was initiating a traffic stop on July 10 when he was involved in a collision, and after a review, Saskatchewan Government Insurance (SGI) declared the vehicle a total loss, a board report explained. 

The Ministry of Corrections, Policing and Public Safety provides funding for CTTS vehicles, and based on the installation of police equipment and SGI’s settlement package for the loss of the previous vehicle, the Moose Jaw Police Service expects the full replacement cost to be within the allocated amount in the 2022 equipment reserve budget, added the report.

Since this vehicle is part of the provincial CTSS program, the money the province gives MJPS must go into the organization’s reserve account, said Police Chief Rick Bourassa. That is why the organization must ask for permission to use it early. 

Due to snarls in the supply chain, the police service likely won’t receive the new vehicle until sometime in 2022, said Supt. Devon Oleniuk. This is based on experience since the organization has been waiting since the spring for a new vehicle for members with the Police and Crisis Team (PACT).

The money that the ministry annually provides allows the organization to depreciate the vehicles over five years, so the replacement cost is covered, he continued. Meanwhile, SGI provides funding to help the police service bring the new vehicle up to the same standards — there is no cost to the MJPS — as the destroyed vehicle.

The yearly depreciation cost for vehicles is $30,000. In addition, installing new equipment into the new vehicle will cost roughly $17,000.     

Commissioner Jamey Logan was concerned about the delay in the delivery of the new vehicle. He wondered if the police service was in short supply of vehicles and whether further accidents could affect response times.

The organization could be in that situation if there is another accident, although for now, it is doubling up some members in the same vehicle, said Oleniuk. He knew that other law enforcement agencies — such as the RCMP — had additional vehicles but was hesitant to ask to borrow a cruiser. 

“For now, we’re good,” he added. “We’re rollin’ on.” 

The next Board of Police Commissioners meeting is Tuesday, Nov. 9.