From SaskDispatch: The Regina Police Service is requesting a four per cent ($3.5 million) budget increase for next year to employ a new police chief deputy, 16 new officers, seven additional civilian positions and an airplane, SaskDispatch reported Monday.

  • According to SaskDispatch, details elaborating on RPS’ request for an airplane have not yet been provided in the budget documents released to date, but the force has had its eye on an aircraft for several years.

Andrew Stevens, city councillor for Ward 3, told SaskDispatch: “This comes at a time when elected officials, municipalities, and even police forces across Canada are talking about the social determinants of crime, the growing addictions crisis, mental health, homelessness, and gang and gun violence in our cities. To what extent does an aerial unit address any of this?”

  • According to SaskDispatch, the purchase of an aerial unit would be supported by Saskatchewan Government Insurance (SGI) with a $248,000 subsidy to equip the plane with mapping and thermal technology.

While the Saskatoon Police Service said its plane reduced crime by 10 per cent, there is no hard evidence to support that claim, SaskDispatch said.

  • Kale MacLellan, a Cree, Saulteaux, and St'at'imc mother and community organizer said: “The city budget is a direct reflection of the privileged folks who sit on city council. Many of whom enjoy life without having to worry about where they will lay their head at night, or when they'll be able to eat next.”

Read SaskDispatch’s full story here.

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