The head of the RCMP in Saskatchewan is speaking out on First Nations policing.

Assistant Commissioner Rhonda Blackmore believes the RCMP can still serve communities that decide to create their own police services. Specifically the assistant commissioner said the national police force could be of help when it comes recruitment, by training and giving experience to Indigenous police officers before First Nations police services begin operating.

“In that time if we can recruit individuals now, to be trained and then experienced police officers in a few years, we would be able to offer that support,” she said.

Another area where Blackmore sees the RCMP playing a role is in the more specialized areas of policing, in particular areas like cyber crime and crime scene investigation, where Blackmore sees the RCMP providing support.

“You can’t just have front line policing resources, we know and we recognize there’s a lot of specialized resources that need to support our front line policing officers, all of those need to be taken in to consideration as self administered policing becomes a reality,” she said.

When it comes to the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MOU) between the Prince Albert Grand Council (PAGC), federal and provincial governments, Blackmore believes it is an important step moving forward towards establishing First Nations policing services. She added the RCMP is not sure if they will be playing a role during in the process laid out in the MOU, which is getting set to hear directly from communities.

“No one has advised us if there’s any support we can offer through that process,” she said.

(Top Photo: Rhonda Blackmore assuming command of the Saskatchewan RCMP in May 2022. Photo Courtesy of Saskatchewan RCMP.)