The provincial government announced plans to amend The Police Act to allow rural municipalities and small communities with a population under 500 to join regional police services, and that's welcome news for the president of the Saskatchewan Association of Rural Municipalities (SARM).
Ray Orb told paNOW he was anxious to hear the details of the plan, announced in Wednesday's Throne Speech.
"The only concern we have is that we don't want the funding to the RCMP to be cut back anyway because we are still asking for more RCMP officers for greater visibility," he said.
The premier has not specified which police services the province is looking at or if more funding would be made available to those services. Orb said he could envision the small communities assisting RCMP in a variety of ways.
"They could do radar, they could do seatbelts, things like that. It may not be the more serious crimes the RCMP deal with but I guess that's to be determined," Orb said.
Reeve for the Rural Municipality (R.M.) of Buckland Don Fyrk said he was also pleased to hear rural crime is a priority, but he added the idea is not a new one.
"This has been kicked out for a couple of years but nobody wanted to grab by the bull by the horns. Everybody wanted to get involved but nobody knew how to do it and so they just kept talking about it," he said.
Fyrk said the R.M. is looking at hiring its own Community Services Officer and possibly looking at a partnership with the R.M. of Paddockwood and Candle Lake.
"Just having the extra presence out there gives people peace of mind and makes the criminals nervous," Fyrk said.
On Twitter: @nigelmaxwell
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