What a Cop, Drug Dealer & Colombian Can Teach You About Illicit Drugs

If the title doesn’t make it clear, this isn’t your average drug presentation.

Cst. Matt Ingrouille with support from the Saskatchewan Federation of Police Officers, the Saskatoon Police Association and the Saskatoon Police Service, is bringing you a different kind of drug awareness program.

The first date for the presentation focuses on education. Cst. Matt Ingrouille will provide an in-depth look at the street drugs effecting the Saskatoon community and provide an overview of addiction. “Phil”, a reformed trafficker, once investigated, charged and convicted by Cst. Matt Ingrouille is now working at his side and sharing his story of addiction, trafficking, and successfully contributing back to his community. George Barreras is a Colombian immigrant, who will provide an international perspective of drug use that is rarely discussed at the community level. His family fled to Saskatoon but not after suffering great loss at the hand of the international drug trade.

The second part will be in partnership with the Saskatoon Health Region and will focus on treatment. It is geared towards the parents of teens who they suspect may already be using.

To RSVP to the event, please visit the Facebook event page: https://www.facebook.com/events/458354407682880/

What a Cop, Drug Dealer and Colombian Can Teach You About Illicit Drugs


**Please note that “Phil’s” name has been changed to protect his identity and due to this, photos and videos will be not be permitted at the event.

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The Honour of being part of the Honour Guard

It’s not uncommon for Police officers to be former or even current serving members of the Canadian Forces, taking pride in protecting both their country, and their community. Cst. Jody Levesque is one such person, and as an ex-military member, he still finds a way to maintain and pay tribute to his military background by being part of the SPS Honour Guard.

In his own words, he tells you what it’s about and why he does it.

Cst. Jody Levesque in the ceremonial dress uniform of the Honour Guard.

Cst. Jody Levesque in the ceremonial dress uniform of the Honour Guard.

As a member of the ‪#‎SaskatoonPolice‬, I am proud to volunteer for the Honour Guard Unit, which allows me to represent the SPS in the highest regard with dress and deportment, and disciplined drill movements during special events.

Drill is a part of the training regimen of organized military and paramilitary units worldwide. It stems from time since antiquity when soldiers would march into battle, be expected to gather in a formation, and react to words of command from their commanders once battle began. Modern military elements use drill and parades [like that in the Remembrance Day ceremony] for ceremonial purposes and as a way to exhibit the strength of the unit, or their country. Paramilitary units, such as the SPS, use the Honour Guard to represent the strength and discipline of the Service and the City of Saskatoon by parading at special events to fly the ‘colours’ – the flags of the country, province and regimental flag of the Police Service.

As an ex-military member, being part of the Honour Guard is a way for me to honour and maintain my military background by putting on the high-collar tunic (ceremonial dress uniform) and represent the Saskatoon Police Service, the City of Saskatoon, and the great country of Canada.

Thank you, Cst. Levesque, for your service to Canada, and your continued service to the City of Saskatoon.

‪#‎RemembranceDay‬ ‪#‎WeWillRemember‬ ‪#‎LestWeForget‬

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Helping victims of Domestic Violence: VAWIC

In 1996, various agencies in Saskatoon came together to form the Violence Against Women Interagency Committee (VAWIC). Still active today, the purpose of this committee is to advocate, support and address gaps in services for women who are victims of intimate partner violence (domestic abuse). Intimate partner violence does not discriminate based on a person’s ethnicity, culture, social status, age or sexual orientation.  Intimate partner violence affects each and every man, woman or child in a family, and has a far reaching impact on those on the periphery – adult children, co-workers, friends, church community, the children’s school, recreational activities and more.

Children who witness intimate partner violence are affected in ways that can be evident at the time, but may also show up later in life. Children who see and/or hear violence in the home may believe this is a normal part of family life. They may mimic their parents or feel confused by conflicting feelings of love, fear and hurt. They may lose respect for or direct anger towards a parent.

In November 2003, informal discussions began between the Saskatoon Prosecutions Office and the Saskatoon Provincial Court to consider implementing a domestic violence court in Saskatoon. In September 2005, the Saskatoon Domestic Violence Court became a reality. Specialized treatment/program options are offered to female/male offenders, same-sex couples and immigrants. In the court, Domestic Violence Court Caseworkers, offer support to victims of intimate partner violence.

Abuse is wrong in any language.

For more information on where you can find help and support, visit: http://bit.ly/1Fc7x4v

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‘Spot the Scammer’ – Part 2

Post by Det/Sgt. Dave Kozicki, Fraud/Economic Crimes Unit


When you aren’t sure about a ‘deal’ you’ve been offered, use the tried and tested game show method and ask a friend. It could be a family member, friend or co-worker. Pick someone who isn’t tied up in the excitement of the deal. They will often have a fresh and untainted view of the situation and can quickly notice the ‘spell’ you are under. They haven’t been subjected to the talents of the fraud artist and can see things more clearly than you. Once you get that sober and subjective advice from your friend not to do it, simply don’t do it. Think about what it will feel like when your friend smugly reminds you that they ‘told you so.’

A common tactic for the online sale of a car purports that the seller is overseas and simply wants to ‘get rid’ of their car. Here is a real example; a half-ton truck is online, loaded with options, has low kilometers, is only two years old and the asking price is far below market value. The seller tells you they bought the vehicle in the U.S, moved to Europe and found the truck can’t be licensed because of local crash or emission standards.  They just want to end their headaches by selling the truck quickly. Unfortunately, they can’t be contacted directly because they are employed in military intelligence.

The themes are; a good deal, a quick sale and secrecy. It is a great truck and if you don’t buy it [right now!], someone else will. You are feeling pressure. What will protect you is that feeling of pressure; as long as you learn to associate that feeling with the idea that something might be wrong.

Another scam involves the cashing of cheques. You will be asked to cash a cheque and then send someone a portion of the cheque’s total. Usually the money you are tasked to send involves a money transfer service. After you do it the cheque bounces, the money you sent can’t be recovered and you owe the bank for the entire amount. This scam is dressed up with a phony job offer or the purchase of something you are selling on-line. The whole thing is convoluted and far from the ordinary (and I bet they ‘purchased’ what you were selling at full price). When it became ‘convoluted’ and ‘out of the ordinary’, you should have walked away.

Online auction and classified sites, money transfer services, insurance and other government websites have plenty of advice that you can easily access. Protect yourself by doing some research. It’s better than losing your money because chances are once that money is gone, it’s gone forever. The advice that isn’t always in these websites is to trust your instinct, take your time and talk to someone. Fraud is a growing crime because of the advances in communication technologies and ease with which someone outside your local and national law enforcement agencies can avoid repercussions. What we are all left with is the responsibility and necessity to protect ourselves;

  • You don’t have to act now
  • Talk to a friend
  • Trust your instinct
  • Verify and do your own research

Another thing about debit and credit cards: to protect yourself from someone accessing your funds, keep a close watch on your transactions. Report suspicious transactions to your service providers; maybe it’s a purchase you forgot about but maybe it is an unauthorized purchase. They will be happy to help you so they can avoid a loss as well. Not all fraudulent purchases drain your accounts; they often take out small amounts over long periods of time.

One more way to protect yourself is to do occasional checks on your credit. TransUnion Canada and Equifax are required to provide free credit reports to you by mail. This allows you to see if someone has obtained credit using your identity.

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‘Spot the Scammers’ – Part 1

Post by Det/Sgt. Dave Kozicki, Fraud/Economic Crimes Unit


Good advice is often contradictory. Rule #1 to avoid a fraud is: ‘If it’s too good to be true it probably is.’ This is great information but what about getting a good deal? Sometimes you really can get a good deal. The trick then is to avoid the fraud but get the good deal. This apparent contradiction and the uncertainty it creates results in people continually being ‘ripped off’ even when they know rule #1.

Like most other things in life, the truth is found in the gray – not the black and white. There are some obvious things to look for like random phone calls and emails telling you that you just won millions of dollars, or your computer is malfunctioning and they need access, or your bank account information needs to be updated. The way to avoid these scams is to first be suspicious and then be willing to verify the claims being made. For example, you get a call from someone who says they’re with your bank and there is some sort of problem. Maybe they are legitimate and maybe they aren’t. Get the person’s name and tell them you will verify matters by phoning the bank yourself. Chances are the fraud will die a quick death right there.

Is your information secure?

Black and white advice is to not to give your Social Insurance Number to anyone you don’t work for, don’t give your credit card number to anyone who contacts you ‘out of the blue’ and don’t divulge personal information involving unsolicited contact over the phone or internet. This advice is easy to give but in reality, sometimes you aren’t sure what to do. Your world is gray.

One of the fraud artist’s talents is to convince you to make a move when you aren’t sure. That is why they are described as performing an “art.” It is often a subjective, psychological and instinctive game they play with you. This is evident when a victim later admits they had misgivings very early on in their interaction with the “artist” but still went through with it. Right now, while you are reading this you can put this information into your brain and perhaps avoid a fraud in the future. Instead of learning from your own mistake, which is often very costly, learn from someone else’s mistake. Rule #1 therefore (in the gray world) is that if you think you may be getting scammed; put on the brakes, now! Say, “hold on, I feel uncomfortable with where this is going.” Start asking questions and demand some verification or go get it yourself. Maybe we are too polite, maybe we are too trusting. Maybe we are subject to pressure and feel we have to do something right now. The truth is that you can be polite but firm, and know that very little in life has to be decided right now. If a “great” deal comes with the condition that ‘you must act now’, be suspicious. It is the hallmark of someone trying to make you decide before you think. The safest deals are the one where the salesman says the deal will still be available tomorrow.

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Why you’re seeing SPS vehicles on the highways

If you’ve ever read some of our media releases relating to drug busts, you’re likely familiar with the SIDEST Unit – it stands for Saskatoon Integrated Drug Enforcement Street Team. The key word here is ‘integrated’, meaning a partnership with the RCMP. Other integrated units include CFSEU, ICE and IOCN.

Last June, we announced another integrated unit dedicated to traffic enforcement – the Combined Traffic Services Saskatchewan (CTSS), a partnership with the RCMP and SGI.

The creation of this unit came as a recommendation from the Saskatchewan Legislature all-party traffic safety report and when the laws for distracted, impaired and excessive speeding changed to include harsher penalties.

Here are the details:

  • Each unit will consist of 30 officers, 15 from existing provincially funded positions and 15 new officers funded by SGI. Of these;
    • 50 officers (25 per unit) will come from the RCMP
    • 10 officers (5 per unit) will be SPS members

These two units will be enforcing traffic laws on highways in central and southeastern Saskatchewan so if you see an SPS vehicle outside of city limits, now you will know why.

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5 Things that make the SPS one of SK’s Top Employers

For the third year in a row we are honoured to have been named as one of Saskatchewan’s Top 25 Employers!Sask Top Employers 2015

Some highlights from our nomination:

  1. We’ve been around for 112 years!
  2. 654 of us go to work everyday knowing that we’re making a difference and giving back to our community
  3. Brand new headquarters building, allowing everyone to work under one roof, including:
    • New fitness area and gymnasium to encourage staff wellness
    • State-of-the-art laboratories in forensic identification, indoor firing range and rooms dedicated to technological analysis
  4. Interpreter services that offers interpretation for over 80 different languages!
  5. Installation of video cameras in police cars to assist in traffic stops and resolve complaints against police.

“The Saskatoon Police Service is a dynamic, forward moving organization, offering its employees an opportunity to make a difference in the community on a daily basis,” says Lisa Olson, Director of Human Resources.

We’re always hiring, and we would love to hear from you! If you think you might be interested in a career in policing, please visit our Recruiting webpage for more information!

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Police Lights, Sirens – What purpose do they serve?

Post by: Cst. Candace Mitchell


One of the most common complaints that we hear relates to our use of lights and sirens. And I will confess that, yes, I have used them to get to a coffee shop. Why? A man had collapsed. My partner and I were able to  offer assistance until he could be taken to hospital.

Many are quick to make jokes about Police flipping on lights and sirens to get through traffic when it suits them. The reality is that using those blaring sirens and flashing lights is not an advertisement that we’re going to a call; their use is to navigate traffic safely and efficiently. Often it’s emergencies that garner this reaction. Here are a few examples:

  • Medical emergencies. Officers are also trained in CPR / First Aid and can provide assistance until medical personnel arrive.
  • Crimes in progress (B&Es, assaults, property damage, alarms)

There are also a number of situations where using that equipment may only aggregate the situation:

  • Our highly trained Communications staff answers calls and dispatches us based on priority. They stay on the line with complainant/victim, continually receiving information. Sometimes, when initial information tells us lights and sirens are necessary, additional information can change the response.
  • Someone is breaking into a vehicle, and unbeknownst to them, I’m already on my way but I don’t want them to know that. My goal is to stop the act from proceeding and to also catch the person responsible.

With or without lights and sirens, we’re still responsible for driving in a reasonable and safe manner. Being reasonable means slowing at intersections before proceeding, travelling at safe speeds and arriving where we are needed. If we don’t do this, we have consequences as well. But it does make our jobs difficult. We have to carefully navigate through streets congested with vehicles, cyclists, and pedestrians. We also have to deal with road users who either aren’t paying attention or become frozen at the sight of an emergency vehicle.

The ability to activate lights and sirens is a luxury to our job but it’s an enormous responsibility. There are provisions for us to disobey the TSA but, trust me, if we don’t have to, we would rather not. Same as you all, we’re trying to get home to our families at the end of the day.

The biggest way you can help when you see an emergency vehicle with lights and sirens on? Pull to the right and stop as soon as you safely can.

If you observe a Police vehicle that you feel is being driven in an unsafe manner, you make file a complaint with our Professional Standards Unit.

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3rd Place in Best Dressed!

IMG_1877“Police vehicles are not just for transportation; they are the calling cards of a police service to the community.” And for the last decade, Blue Line Magazine Inc. has recognized the design of Canadian police vehicles during their annual “Best Dressed Police Vehicle” contest.




Last year, we introduced a new look for our new patrol vehicles. The striping package was met with enthusiasm from both our own members and you, our community. We’re thrilled that the new look has been ranked as the 3rd Best Dressed Police Vehicle in the country!!



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The Value of First Aid

As Police Officers, you hear us speak a lot about the ‘tools in our tool kit’. Being trained in CPR and first aid is another such tool, but it isn’t one you hear of us using too often. We wanted to share a story of how our officers, and their CPR and first aid training helped save the life of a young boy in our community.

It was a Monday morning in early May when a call came over the radio that a child was choking. A three-year-old boy and his parents were sitting down for breakfast – banana pancakes were on the menu. When the boy took more than he could chew, he began to cough; the first sign that something wasn’t right. He started having difficulty breathing.

The first Constable arrived on scene, and after quickly assessing that the boy wasn’t able to answer her questions or cough, she knew she couldn’t wait for MD. She began performing abdominal thrusts, hoping to dislodge the food. It took approximately six thrusts before they heard the boy gasp for air. Her partner who had arrived shortly after her, immediately cleared the food from the airway, allowing the boy to breathe again.

It is instances like this that we realize the magnitude and value of our training and understand why we continue to train for any and all situations.

Without that life-saving training, the outcome of that day could have been very different.

Saving lives isn’t just the job of police officers, fire fighters, paramedics or doctors. If you haven’t been trained in CPR and first aid, consider finding a course near you and becoming certified. You never know when you might be able to help save someone’s life.

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