The Honourable Scott Moe,
Premier of Saskatchewan Room 226, Legislative Building
2405 Legislative Drive
Regina, SK S4S OB3
Dear Premier Moe:
Re: 2018 Saskatoon Traffic Safety Initiative Project
The Saskatoon Board of Police Commissioners recently received the attached report from the Saskatoon Police Service regarding the 2018 Traffic Safety Initiative. As always, the Commission evaluates information through the lens of "community safety".
The Traffic Safety Initiative is an important component of community safety, and for that reason, the news that the Province of Saskatchewan plans to eliminate the funding for this program is of great concern to the Saskatoon Board of Police Commissioners.
The program, originally funded through Saskatchewan Government Insurance has worked, and in fact, worked very well.
In 2018, the funding enabled the Saskatoon Police Service to conduct 17 Traffic Safety Initiatives, typically involving 5 to 9 Police Service members, for about 5 hours for each initiative. The locations included high-volume traffic areas as well as additional school zones, over and above what could have taken place without the program. Additionally, some very important time frames were included in the program, such as early September for additional "back to school" enforcement and at Halloween when 30 neighbourhoods received additional traffic safety coverage.
Statistically speaking, the results are compelling. From 2017 to 2018, when the program's financial allocation was increased by 14%, the activity and traffic enforcement interaction level increased by 24%. A leveraged outcome such as this is important to retain.
Members of the Saskatoon Board of Police Commissioners are unanimous in their view that this type of additional enforcement makes our community a safer place —for everyone. The loss of this program, on the other hand, is highly problematic. Because the Traffic Safety Initiative impacts the full cross-section of our community, we have included Saskatoon City Council in the distribution of this communication.
The Saskatoon Board of Police Commissioners feels the cut in funding will negatively impact community safety.
We would like to know if there will be alternative sources of funding for this initiative, when will those plans be communicated? And if such plans are in the works, through which provincial government agency will the program funding be provided?
We look forward to your response and thank you for your consideration, Mr. Premier, of the implications and importance of this program on community safety for all of the residents of Saskatoon.
Darlene Brander, Chair
Saskatoon Board of Police Commissioners
Read the full report (PDF)