Pride & The SPS

It’s Pride Week in Saskatoon and all types of people are coming out to celebrate. That includes the Saskatoon Police Service. It may seem normal to see a police presence at pride parades and events, but our city’s LGBTQI2SA+ community (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex, 2-spirited, asexual, plus) says the SPS is there not just for security, but for support. The SPS gets it.

“The Saskatoon Police Service is taking on the initiative to make sure that we create an open and inclusive city and that the conversation keeps going,” says Danny Papadatos, co-chair of Saskatoon Pride Festival. Papadatos says the Service has had an open relationship over the years with Pride. He says the Police have worked hard for safety and inclusion in our community by understanding and supporting LGBTQ+ issues. This was shown through police actions following an incident with a transgender youth.

Krystal Nieckar works for OUTSaskatoon, an organization that supports and celebrates the LGBTQ+ Community. She witnessed the interaction between the trans-youth and police officer. The officer asked the youth what their legal name was, and then asked what their preferred name was. “It was really lovely to see Police addressing this person as an individual instead of just an incident,” Nieckar said. “They were valued as an individual. What happened was taken seriously, but they were also shown the respect that was deserved.”

These types of actions could be credited towards the SPS’s “Queer-101” education, a mandatory training that teaches Officers LGBTQ+ history, proper language and how to respectfully work with members of that community. Nieckar helps teach the course and is happy with how well-received the education is. “They have been awesome all the way through. They’re willing to learn and get involved and they’re respectful and they want what’s best for the community.”

Sgt. Matt Maloney is a former Cultural Resource Officer. He says the initial connection between the LGBTQ+ Community and Police was made through the Saskatoon Police Advisory Committee on Diversity. That’s where the understanding and education began and grew from there. “After that, to be quite honest, it was just showing up and listening and acting on what you say. The community needed a face and an ear, not just a uniform showing up. The community has been so stereotyped and marginalized within our own community they needed a conduit within the SPS. Over the last five years, I’d like to think, for our part as SPS, we have made incredible connections and inroads so that each individual is able to count on us, believe in us and trust us.” This was evident in past pride celebrations where the SPS Police Rescue Vehicle led the parade with the Pride flag draped across the hood. The SPS has participated in the parade since 2012.

“I know that other services throughout the country have had issues with their queer communities, and I don’t know that they’re working with their community the way SPS is,” Nieckar says. “SPS is doing good work understanding and being a part of the LGBTQ+ community.”

Pride parades began as marches protesting the injustices against sexual and gender diverse people. Today, SPS Cultural Resource Officer, Cst. Derek Chesney says things have changed a lot…for the better. “With a lot of work done by the LGBTQ+ community in making connections with allies, the Pride festival has now turned into a celebration of diversity and inclusion.” Cst. Chesney says he’s learned a great deal in the past few years working in his role with LGBTQ+ members. “Being involved in pride and building strong connections with the community has been a deeply rewarding and enriching experience. It has shown me that being inclusive has the utmost importance, and being accepting of all, regardless of our differences, makes our community stronger and stronger.”

During Pride events this year, some Officers will take part in the celebrations. Others will direct traffic and act as security. Papadatos says, “We just hope one day that the road blocks and bullet-proof vests won’t be needed,” and security will turn to celebration for everyone.

The Saskatoon Police Service continues to support all Pride events and stand by members of the LGBTQ+ Community.

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Internet Banking Fraud Text Messages

We’ve received a large number of people who reported receiving text messages in regards to online banking lately. Thankfully, they’ve all recognized the attempted fraud. It usually looks something like this:

Example of Internet Banking Fraud Text

Example of Internet Banking Fraud Text

Unfortunately, there is little that the Saskatoon Police Service can do, and here’s why:

Internet fraud, specifically dealing with email fraud, is done via sophisticated organized criminal elements originating anywhere in the world and are nearly impossible to trace back to an originating source. Many of these frauds utilize encrypted software masking their true IP addresses thus ensuring the criminal fraudster anonymity. In addition, our police resources are limited in reach in investigating these offence.

If you receive one of these messages, do NOT click on the links. And if you would like to report it, please contact the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre instead of the SPS. The Anti-Fraud Centre will collect and categorize the information, and once a common theme is identified, the information is passed on to a larger Police agency, such as Interpol, that has the resources to investigate.

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Recruit Training at the Saskatchewan Police College

Have you ever wondered what kind of training officers take when they go to Saskatchewan Police College? Well, the recently released Saskatchewan Police Commission Annual Report for 2014-2015 breaks it down. Here is an excerpt about Recruit Training.

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Recruit Training is a 20 week program for candidates hired independently from Saskatchewan municipal and First Nations police agencies. The program is designed to help course candidates develop the knowledge, skills, and abilities required for successful performance of general policing duties. The Recruit Training Program is followed by four to six months of field training at the recruit’s home agency with a field training officer. Most police services also provide one to two weeks of selective training pertinent to their agencies when the recruits graduate from the College.

Recruit Training Class #68 was held from January 13, 2014 to May 30, 2014, with an enrollment of 18 police officers: five from Saskatoon Police Service, eight from Regina Police Service, three from Prince Albert Police Service, one from Weyburn Police Service and one from Moose Jaw Police Service. Recruit Training Class #69 was held from August 5, 2014 to December 19, 2014, with an enrollment of 22 police officers: ten from Saskatoon Police Service, eight from Regina Police Service, one from Estevan Police Service, one from Prince Albert Police Service, one from File Hills First Nations Police Service, and one from Altona Police Service (Manitoba).

The key areas of focus within the Police Recruit Training Program for Classes #68 and #69 were:
• Criminal Law Series (includes Criminal Code, federal statutes, provincial statutes and Restorative Justice) – 103 hours
• Wellness Series – 22 hours
• Introduction to Policing – 25 hours
• Diversity Awareness – 26 hours
• Communication Skills – 22 hours
• Professionalism, Ethics and Integrity – 12 hours
• Traffic Control and Enforcement – 15 hours
• Introduction to Investigations – 37 hours
• Mental Health Series – 21 hours
• Interpersonal Violence and Abuse – 22 hours
• High Risk Investigations – 40 hours
• Defensive Tactics – 81 hours (includes fitness sessions, Day 2 POPAT, Control Tactics; classroom theory sessions and Grad rehearsal sessions)
• Emergency Vehicle Operator Course – 36 hours
• Firearms – 77 hours (includes classroom theory, pistol training and shotgun training)
• Public and Officer Safety Training – 60 hours
• Drill – 30 hours ( includes drill, grad rehearsal sessions and transportation between facilities time)

Total Program – 629 hours

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The full text of the Saskatchewan Police Commission Annual Report can be found here.

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SPS Peacekeeper Cadet Program

The Saskatoon Police Service Peacekeeper Cadet Program was launched in October 2014 at Princess Alexandra Community School with the Guidance and partnership of the Saskatoon Public School’s Dream Brokers Program as a way to help develop stronger connections with students, in grades 4 through 8, and the SPS.

The Cadet Program’s overall goals are Peacekeeper Cadetsfocused in three areas: building trust; physical fitness; and citizenship and culture. Some of the broader values embraced by the program include fostering leadership, discipline, individual goal setting, education, participation in organized sports and community involvement.

In its first year, the inaugural Cadets were allowed to take ownership of the program and were the ones who developed the expectations and goals that the group as a whole will continually strive towards. These goals would guide the program and set a benchmark for the future: listen and be respectful; work hard in everything we do; help each other, family and community; be a good influence to those around me; and be a positive role model.

A typical meeting includes physical activity such as drill or sports, learning opportunities through guest and community speakers and hands-on activities, and connection and teachings with Indigenous Elders.

The Cadet program runs from October through May and preference is given to students from Princess Alexandrea School or with other schools with a Dream Broker program.

The program has helped forge strong bonds between the Cadets and the Police Officers involved. In turn, the experiences shared by the Cadets with their friends and families have contributed to better relationships and greater understanding for both Police and all those connected to the school and Cadet program.

Through the connections between the Cadets and the SPS, there have been other opportunities for the Cadets that take place outside the normal weekly meetings, notably the Horizon 100 Cycling Club Youth Program and Racing for Respect.

In the past two years, the Cadets were chosen to take part in the Horizon 100 Cycling Club Youth Program. Here they meet weekly to learn about proper biking and care, technical mastery (bike-handling skills), cycling safety, learning to express speed through increased effort, and building distance and endurance. With the commitment to the program and completion of the final race – the 40 km Gran Fond – the Cadets are allowed to keep their bike.

Peacekeeper CadetsMost recently, in 2015, the Cadet program was approached by the Wyant Group Raceway, as they along with many other sponsors, wanted to get the Cadets involved in a racing program – Racing for Respect. The initiative is believed to be the first inner-city racing team. A Bandolero car was purchased and a racing team was chosen out of the Cadets. The Saskatoon Police Peacekeeper Cadets racing team will be in action all summer, helping to keep the kids connected during the summer months.

2016 Peacekeeper Cadets

2016 Peacekeeper Cadets

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Victims and Survivors of Crime Week

Whether it’s a break and enter, physical injury, or losing a loved one to violent crime, being a victim or a survivor of crime can be a traumatic event in one’s life. Victims and survivors need support systems to lean on, whether it’s to help them heal, find safety, or guidance and support through a difficult judicial process. With those reasons in mind, hundreds of programs across the country that offer support, research and education.

The Victim Services program in Saskatoon opened its doors in May of 1993. Their role is two-fold and may be described as facilitators and liaisons and help victims maneuver through the Criminal Justice System. Since 1993, client load has increased by over 100 clients per month. Contact is initiated with 400-500 victims monthly.

Victim Services provides victims and survivors of crime with information and support to make the best choices for themselves. Support workers provide victims with resources in the community such as counseling agencies, support groups, shelters and information about financial resources available.

In 1997, Victim Services began delivering services to victims in the rural areas surrounding Saskatoon. The RCMP proposed a partnership with Victim Services so that members of Saskatoon and Warman Detachments could utilize the services offered to the residents of Saskatoon. This partnership increased our population base by approximately 20,000 people.

The addition of the Aboriginal Resource Officers added an expertise on Indigenous issues. Many of the clients served are of Indigenous ancestry and in order to ensure a culturally appropriate and sensitive service for Indigenous victims, it is necessary to have such a resource available.

As we recognize this week as Victims and Victim Services Staff & VolunteersSurvivors of Crime Week, we want to take a moment to acknowledge and give thanks to the staff and volunteers of our Victim Services that do so much work during and after investigations to help those that need it.

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Cst. Beerling and S/Cst. Fabe Win Awards for Work during August 2014 Incident

November was a great month for the Saskatoon Police Service as two members were recognized as recipients of two very prestigious awards. They were recognized for their skills, but it was how they used those skills in a specific incident that earned them the top honours.

S/Cst Fabe is presented with the APCO Canada Telecommunicator of the Year Award at a banquet in Niagara Falls, ON, in November 2015.

S/Cst Fabe is presented with the APCO Canada Telecommunicator of the Year Award at a banquet in Niagara Falls, ON, in November 2015.

On August 12, 2014, just before 4:00 a.m., Special Constable Kim Fabe answered a call from a very agitated male. She learned that he was in his basement with a gun and threatened to shoot both himself and any police officers if they came to his house. While officers were dispatched, S/Cst Fabe kept the man talking which prevented him from hanging up on her. She was calm, composed and very patient which enabled her to develop rapport with the man, even in his distressed state. Using her skills and ingenuity, she was able to gather critical information to relay to responding officers, such as the man was in possession of a rifle and had approximately 30 rounds of ammunition, and that while he was in the basement, there was someone upstairs, and there was only one way in and out. Despite hearing him cock his gun and discharge it several times, S/Cst Fabe maintained her composure so much so that the Crisis Negotiator responding felt confident leaving her as the phone contact until he was able to set up at the scene to make contact. The conversation with the suspect only ended when his cell phone died.

Cst. Ryan Beerling was the Crisis Negotiator that was called to the scene that August morning. He spent 13 hours negotiating a peaceful resolution with the suspect. During that time, the suspect fired multiple shots at officers, and as the situation appeared to be worsening, Cst. Beerling’s continued efforts led to the suspects eventual surrender.

Cst Ryan Beerling was awarded the 2015 National Tactical Officers Association (NTOA) Crisis Negotiators Award in November 2015.

Cst Ryan Beerling was awarded the 2015 National Tactical Officers Association (NTOA) Crisis Negotiators Award in November 2015.

Due to the skills of both S/Cst Fabe and Cst Beerling, nobody was injured during this incident that spanned the better part of a day. The suspect was taken into custody and given the help that he needed.

For their work, S/Cst Fabe received the Association of Public-Safety Communications Officials (APCO) Canada Telecommunicator of the Year Award, and Cst. Beerling received the 2015 National Tactical Officers Association (of the United States) Crisis Negotiators Award. Cst. Beerling was also nominated for his work on another active shooter incident.

Thank you, S/Cst Fabe and Cst Beerling, for your continued efforts to doing the best job, and congratulations on your achievements!

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Criminal Record Checks Now Available Online

The Saskatoon Police Service has recently introduced a new way for people to obtain Criminal Record and Vulnerable Sector Checks.

A link has been added to the SPS website which allows residents of Saskatoon to apply for either a criminal record or vulnerable sector check online. Applications are processed much like the normal procedure of applying in person, however people can do so from the comfort of their home.

“We recognize the growing demand for criminal record and vulnerable sector checks in society and have noticed the impact on waiting lines at the police service,” said Staff Sergeant Patrick Nogier on the viability of the program. “It’s not uncommon to have large waiting lines for a criminal record check and we understand the frustration for those who are attempting to volunteer in the community. It’s our intention to alleviate some of this frustration through the availability of an online option for those who choose to use it.”

Criminal Record and Vulnerable Sector Checks are still available by attending to the Police Service in person (located at 76-25th Street East). Further information about the various options available in obtaining a Criminal Record or Vulnerable Sector Check can be found here: http://policesolutions.ca/checks/services/saskatoon/

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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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