(March 21, 2016 - Saskatoon SK): The Saskatoon Board of Police Commissioners is requesting the opinions of residents on the issue of street checks for the purpose of providing input to the Saskatchewan Police Commission.
The Saskatchewan Police Commission plans to develop regulations and protocols to guide the practice of street checks for police services across the province.
Saskatoon Police Commission Chair Darlene Brander said, “As a proactive measure, in our role as a conduit with Saskatoon citizens, our local Police Commission wants to gather opinions on this issue from residents of our city and forward these to the provincial Commission for its consideration.”
The provincial Commission’s review is expected to focus on several issues - ensuring street checks are tied to a valid policing purpose, defining the roles of training and data collection, creating public confidence in the process, providing clarity for the province’s police officers, being in accordance with human rights considerations, and ensuring a fair and consistent approach throughout the province.
A street check is an event where a police officer stops an individual walking on the street, due to suspicious circumstances, and requests information from that person related to their activity. Street checks do not include vehicle stops by police or occurrences where an observation is recorded but the person is not stopped by police. The information is entered into the police service databank detailing the check. The information obtained by police is not used in relation to criminal record checks, nor is it shared outside of the Saskatoon Police Service. The police do not ask the ethnicity of the person involved. 735 street checks, or about two per day, were conducted by the Saskatoon Police Service in 2015.
The invitation to comment on the issue has been sent to more than 100 Saskatoon-based organizations. It is also live on the Saskatoon Police Commission’s website (www.saskatoonpolicecommission.com) and will be advertised in the City Pages.
Responses from members of the public will be received by the Saskatoon Board of Police Commissioners through the City Clerk’s Office until April 13, 2016, and will be reported at the April 21, 2016 Saskatoon Police Commission meeting.
Saskatoon Board of Police Commissioners Chair, Darlene Brander, through the City Clerk’s Office at 306- 975-3240.