The provincial government is speaking about some of the recommendations made by the Coroner’s Inquest looking in to the mass stabbings on James Smith Cree Nation and Village of Weldon.
Paul Merriman, minister of corrections, policing and public safety told MBC Radio News he had looked at the recommendations from the inquest and felt the jury and presiding coroner did a good job with them.
“I thought the recommendations were well thought out, that they were focused exactly on what they need to be focused on,” he said.
A number of the recommendations focused on the Saskatchewan RCMP, specifically calling on the force and province to work together to ensure that specialized units like the warrant apprehension team and crime reduction team are fully staffed and supported. Merriman said with budget discussions currently underway the government was not prepared to offer a specific commitment but added providing more resources for policing services is something they support.
“It’s certainly something as the premier has said that we want to build and protect our province and community,” he said.
The provincial minister said the Sask. Party government is also gearing up to pass legislation in the coming session which would create a warrant intelligence unit to support police who are looking to find offenders who are wanted on active warrants. Merriman explained once it is created the unit, which will be made of people employed by the ministry, will work to gather information on people who are wanted, which will then be passed off to police.
“A lot of the information comes from either social media or from other areas that we have to gather that intelligence,” he said.
Another recommendation from the inquest called on James Smith Cree Nation to continue their work to create their own police service. Speaking on First Nations self administered policing generally Merriman said it something the province is supportive of. He added the province has had a good working relationship with the File Hills First Nations Police Service.
“I know the federal government is looking at opportunities to expand that (First Nations Self Administered Policing) and we will deal with that on a case by case basis,” he said.
(Top Photo: File photo.)