Saskatchewan takes next step to implement Marshals Service, updates SIRT legislation
November 7, 2023 By Government of Saskatchewan
Nov. 7, 2023, Regina, Sask. – The Government of Saskatchewan has introduced important legislation to lay the foundation for the Saskatchewan Marshals Service.
The Police (Miscellaneous) Amendment Act, 2023 officially designates the Saskatchewan Marshals Service as a police service in Saskatchewan, and sets out details and processes for the service’s structure, operation and governance. The Act also creates a chief marshal position, which will be responsible for the administration, management and operation of the service.
“This is an important step in our ongoing work to create an independent, made-in-Saskatchewan police service,” Corrections, Policing and Public Safety Minister Paul Merriman said. “This legislation establishes a strong legislative bedrock upon which we can build the Saskatchewan Marshals Service into an effective, modern police organization that also supports existing municipalities, First Nations, and national policing services.”
The legislation establishes an Advisory Council, consisting of a minimum of three members, that will provide advice and guidance to the Minister of Corrections, Policing and Public Safety on how to exercise their powers and duties related to the marshals service.
The Saskatchewan Marshals Service will provide an additional law enforcement presence across Saskatchewan. Their duties will include responding to areas with high crime rates, combating gangs and illegal weapons, apprehending prolific offenders and individuals with outstanding arrest warrants, and investigating farming-related offenses like cattle theft and trespassing. The service will have police authority throughout the province, and support RCMP, municipal and First Nations police operations where appropriate. The RCMP will remain the provincial police service of jurisdiction.
The Police (Miscellaneous) Amendment Act, 2023 also strengthens oversight of law enforcement by creating a simplified warrant process for Saskatchewan’s Serious Incident Response Team (SIRT) to use when requesting authorization from a judge to compel a third party to provide important evidence. These new provisions balance the right to privacy with SIRT’s ability to conduct investigations into instances where a police officer or special constable is involved in a serious incident.
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