CENTRAL OPERATIONS SECTION OVERVIEW
In 2017, the Regina Police Service (RPS) Community Services Division (CSD) was led by Superintendent Darcy Koch. The Central Operations Section (COS), under the direction of Inspector Darrin McKechnie, operated within this Division. The Staff Sergeant in charge of COS was Staff Sergeant Brad Walter.
COS provides specialized police support units within the Service. COS is made up of police members and civilian employees who are assigned to the Section in both full and part-time capacities. Full time assignments within the Section are in the Canine Unit, Central Services, Communication Centre & 9-1-1 Public Safety Answering Point (PSAP), and within the Detention Facility. Full-time positions also include an Emergency Services Sergeant, six Victim Services Responders (plus volunteers), and other support personnel throughout the Section. In addition to performing their regular duties elsewhere within the Service, police members serving on emergency services teams work within the Section on a part-time and ‘as needed’ basis. The Section further relies upon contracted Commissionaires for building attendants, operational support, and process service positions.
In 2017 the Section operated within nine significant support areas with approximately 190 full and part time assigned members and employees. This does not include the contracted positions and volunteers. Those areas included:
- Special Event Planning & Operational Deployments (Integrated VIP security details and special duty policing for sporting, traffic and other events);
- Canine Unit;
- Central Services (Inquiry Desk, Court Liaison, Court Scheduling, Alternative Measures Program Coordinator);
- Commissionaires (contracted process servers, building attendants and operational support personnel);
- Communication Centre and 9-1-1 PSAP (Public Safety Answering Point – providing police, EMS, and fire call taking, answer and transfer services; including the ability to operate as a secondary provincial dispatch centre to support other communication centres within Saskatchewan);
- Detention Facility (offender processing, lodging and transfers);
- Emergency Services Section
- Emergency Preparedness Planning;
- Victim Services.
The Inquiry Desk in the RPS headquarters building serves between 350 – 450 people per week. This includes: walk-in reports, complaints, inquiries, offender reporting, collision reporting, investigative follow-up, telephone inquiries and warrant executions.
In 2017, oversight at the Inquiry Desk included a Sergeant and Corporal. These positions were held by Sgt. Paul Selinger and Cpl. Mandy Shalansky. During each shift, three officers, including the supervising Corporal, are on duty. The average wait time for a customer is estimated to be about ten minutes.
In 2017 a total of 19,985 people attended the Inquiry Desk. The Inquiry Desk also received 7,059 phone calls from the public. Lastly, the Inquiry Desk staff executed 978 warrants.
Court Liaison Officer
The RPS Court Liaison Officer (CLO) is a Corporal position. Presently the position is held by Cpl. Tony Yee. The CLO works out of the Provincial Court House at 1815 Smith Street. He fields enquiries from lawyers, other police officers, and members of the judiciary, and disseminates information to Prosecutors as required. The CLO works closely with Court Services as well by managing, distributing and ensuring judicial and other documents are completed and tracked. The CLO responds to prosecutor requests, and ensures appropriate procedures are followed when property is seized or detained in court.
Regina Alternative Measures Program (RAMP) and Court Scheduling Coordinator
Alternative measures and extra judicial sanctions are legislated within the Criminal Code while the Program is administered provincially by the Ministry of Justice through the Community Justice Division. The RPS plays a key role in the process. Under set circumstances, police officers have the ability to divert pre-charge cases to the RAMP once eligibility criteria can be established. RPS officers can also approve trained Loss Prevention partners to utilize the pre-charge RAMP option as well.
The RPS has an assigned RAMP coordinator, Corporal Regan Riddell. In 2017, she provided Alternative Measures training to officers at the Saskatchewan Police College twice. She reviewed all RAMP program referrals and confirmed that certain eligibility criteria had been established. Where the criteria for RAMP had not been met, files were returned for charges to be laid, or a warrant requested. In addition to administering the police role within the Program, Cpl. Riddell coordinates the attendance of police members to RAMP. In 2017, RPS officers attended Alternative Measures Circles, mediations, forums or conferences on approximately 58 occasions; with Cpl. Riddell attending an additional 16 times.
As part of administering the police role, Cpl. Riddell provides training at the “Stop-lift” program. She facilitated 10 “Stop-Lift” presentations in 2017, with approximately 10-15 candidates in the RAMP program each session. Cpl. Riddell also works closely with the Loss Prevention Officers throughout the city. She conducts LPO training sessions each year, meets with them as a group on a regular basis, and maintains daily contact with many LPO’s. Corporal Riddell also maintains a connection between the LPO’s and the Property Crimes Unit; as required. In addition, Cpl. Riddell reviews, investigates, or assigns all of the online shoplifting complaints that RPS receives.
Corporal Riddell works closely with Amanda Buczulak-Warnar, who in 2016 was added to the Central Operations team as the Administrative Assistant. A large portion of her duties is to manage officer’s court attendance and related overtime. Ms. Buzculak-Warnar works closely with Public Prosecutions to efficiently coordinate the scheduling of police officers attending court and canceling those not required. In 2017, RPS members attended Court (Provincial, Queens Bench, Drug, Traffic Safety and Youth) for a total of 6396 hours.
CORPS OF COMMISSIONAIRES
The Corps of Commissionaires provide an invaluable service to our members and the citizens of Regina. Commissionaires mainly work in two areas of our building; the front desk and the equipment room. Commissionaires within the building are supervised by Murray Williams. Outside of the building, the Corps also serves court documents and provides a messenger service on behalf of the Regina Police Service. In 2017 the Corp served a total of 1970 subpoenas.
The RPS Communication Centre is the Service’s vital link to providing public safety within the City and throughout the Province. The Communications Centre serves as an initial public communication access point and is staffed by civilian Communication Officers (CO).
The CO support, prioritize and coordinate the deployment of police resources in our community. The Communications Centre also serves as a 9-1-1 Public Safety Answering Point (PSAP) providing police, EMS, and fire call taking, answering and transfer services. The Communication Centre can also operate as a secondary provincial dispatch centre to support other communication centres within Saskatchewan.
In 2017, the Communication Centre faced many challenges, mainly due to the staffing shortage. Presently the Communication Centre is authorized for eight permanent CO’s per shift, working 12-hour shift rotations and is part of one of the four assigned patrol shifts. The Centre is also staffed by a Communications Manager, Communications Administrator, an Alarm Coordinator/Switchboard Operator, a Quality Assurance (QA) and Training Coordinator, Communications System Business Analyst, Radio Coordinator, and two Communication Technologists. In addition to all the positions within the Centre, casual COs are also employed in the Centre. Although we are authorized to carry several part-time casual positions, it has been difficult to hire and train enough casual employees to adequately cover for maternity leaves and other long-term absences for permanent employees. In August 2017, seven casual CO’s were hired. Only four of these new hires have proceeded successfully through the training program, and are in the final weeks of their training period. To compound staffing issues even further, the Communications Manager was off on Maternity Leave for most of 2017. She was replaced by the QA & Training Coordinator during this time. The QA & Training Coordinator’s position was, in turn, filled by a senior CO.
In 2017 the Regina Police Service successfully upgraded the NICE audio recording system to a fully supported and functioning version, which records all radio traffic for the City of Regina, all phones in the Communication Centre, and various phone lines within the Regina Police Service.
In 2017, we began reporting only on Priority 1 calls that did not meet dispatch and arrival time standards. In 2017, there were 8,219 Priority 1 calls. 175 of those did not meet dispatch/arrival time standards, which translates to a 98% success rate.
Our Communications Centre has fielded 62,075 calls for service in 2017. There have also answered 160,374 calls to the police administration line and 69,794 calls to 911.
The Detention Unit hours of work follow the four-shift 12 hour rotation. Each Shift has a Sergeant, a Corporal and two Special Constables who oversee the Detention Facility. In 2017 Detention staff lodged and processed 8,700 offenders. The following is breakdown of the demographics of these offenders;
Total Prisoners: 8700
Female Prisoners: 2540
Male Prisoners: 6154
Total number Adult Prisoners: 7802
Total number Young Prisoners: 898
Brief Detox Unit: 43
Where possible, those with substance abuse issues and repetitively arrested intoxicated persons were either left in the care of a responsible person or taken to the Regina Qu’Appelle Health Region’s Brief Detox Unit. However, on many occasions, this alternative detox unit was full and unavailable. In some cases, the intoxicated arrestee was not eligible for lodging there. In 2017, there were a total of 1560 intoxicated persons arrested and lodged in RPS cells.
In 2017, there were no serious injuries or deaths in the RPS Cellblock. Detention did however deal with many persons who attempted to commit self-harm while in the facility. Our members, through diligent safety practices, were able to intervene on all occasions.
The Detention Unit is equipped with a Restraint Chair. The Restraint Chair is used when a prisoner is so unruly that they cannot be left in their cell. This safety measure is often used to prevent prisoners from committing self-harm. The Restraint Chair was used 35 times in 2017 (up slightly from 31 in 2016). In all 35 occasions the prisoner was monitored and assessed by the Detention Sgt. and at first opportunity (when the prisoner was deemed suitable) he/ she was removed from the Restraint Chair and placed back in their cell. Detention Staff also worked collaboratively with PACT with those prisoners identified as suffering from mental health issues.
CENTRAL OPERATIONS EMERGENCY SERVICES SECTION
This annual report will highlight the 2017 contributions and significant initiatives undertaken within the Section’s units and areas.
The RPS Canine Unit consists of 6 handlers and 7 dogs. Cpl. Lorence handles two dogs; a general service dog as well as a dog used solely for drug detection. The Unit is supervised by Sgt. Jason Gunderson. The Unit provides canine support services to other patrol officers while responding to a variety of calls for service. The following is a breakdown of the stats for the Canine Unit in 2017:
Call for Service: 3813
Handler Arrests: 67
Dog Arrests: 190
Total Arrests: 257
Public Demonstrations: 28 in addition to K9 Cops for Kids and RPS Showcase
Statistics for the Unit are down from 2016. This may be due to the Unit missing two members as the new Handler/ dog team had to be trained. This caused the Regina Police Service to not only be without a Canine Handler, but a Training Coordinator as well. This left the team at 4 out of 6 members being operational for approximately 5 months.
In 2017, The Canine Unit sent two handlers to the annual CPCA Dog Trials. Cst. Sabo and Cst. Keshane travelled to Edmonton, Alberta and represented the service very well. Sgt Gunderson was invited to the trial as well and attended as Head Judge.
The Canine Unit trained a total of 18 days, including two 5 day weeks, and 8 individual days. This did not include the extensive training period of approximately 5 months to train the new handler/ dog team.
SPECIAL WEAPONS AND TACTICS (SWAT)
The SWAT team had an additional 4 members added to the team in the spring of 2016 bringing the total membership back up to full strength at 22 members for the start of 2017, but has since realized two retirements. The team presently has 20 active members.
The team is required by policy to qualify on their weapons every month. Specialty Units within SWAT are also mandated to stay qualified on a yearly basis. The entire team trained 28 days in 2017. The Sniper Team trained for an additional eight days while the Rappel Team had an additional 4 days of training. This has been consistent over the past several years.
SWAT had a total of 31 deployments in 2017, up from 22 deployments in 2016. The RCMP Tactical Armored Vehicle (TAV) was used in 14 of those deployments.
CRISIS NEGOTIATION TEAM (CNT)
The Crisis Negotiators team responds to many calls for service. Often members who are on duty are asked to assist with those calls for service involving people in crisis. They are also required to attend all calls involving SWAT with some exceptions. The members of CNT attended to 22 calls in 2017. They participated in 11 training days including 5 days while hosting the 2017 Upper Red River Conference and Competition in Regina. Due to complications at another potential host city the Regina Police Service Crisis Negotiator Team is scheduled to host this conference once again in 2018.
2017 saw the addition of two new members to CNT due to the retirement or promotion of two experienced team members. This brought the team back up to the authorized strength of 8 members. The Unit is led by Team Leader Sgt. Chris Jackiw.
EXPLOSIVE DISPOSAL UNIT (EDU)
The Explosive Disposal Unit is called to incidents involving suspicious packages, Military ordinance, suspicious substances, and hazardous materials. They are often called out in conjunction with other Emergency Services teams as they have the capability to deploy their robots to assist SWAT in the delivery of items such as food, telephones etc. or to even search structures prior to entry.
EDU has 6 part time members who have all taken their training through the Canadian Police College. The team is led by Cpl. Rene Leclair. The EDU team participated in eighteen training days and was deployed 10 times in 2017. Four of the calls for service involved a call-out, while others simply utilized the members on duty at the time.
CROWD CONTROL UNIT (CCU)
In 2017 the CCU team continued to provide security and crowd management for the Saskatchewan Roughriders at all home games. CCU was deployed for 10 regular and exhibition games. Over the course of the 10 games the CCU attended to a total of 44 Calls for Service (CFS), resulting in a total of 10 arrests requiring transport to Detention and 3 individuals transported away from stadium via taxi voucher. This was down from a total of 49 CFS for the previous year. The Labour Day Classic drew a sellout crowd and was the busiest game of the year for CCU, resulting in 10 CFS for that game alone. The average over the course of the season was 4.4 CFS.
Other events that CCU attended were:
- A test event in the form of a Bryan Adams concert was held on May 28, 2017 and consisted of three bands performing over the course of the evening. Approximately 18,000 patrons attended the concert. CCU responded to a total of 6 CFS, which resulted in 2 patrons being transported to Detention.
- A Premier’s Dinner was held on June 1, 2017 at the EventPlex at Evraz Place. The dinner, which is sponsored by the Saskatchewan Party, was a private function requiring paid invitation to attend. A similar event was held in Saskatoon and caused significant problems resulting in the Saskatoon Police Service’s CCU to be called out. To counter such an occurrence in Regina, an Operational Plan was developed and authorized. The Dinner only experienced one minor incident.
- A professional soccer match featuring New York Cosmos versus Valencia CFL took place on July 22, 2017. The match had 12,612 tickets sold. Given the crowd size and dynamics, one Squad from CCU was deployed and there were no CFS or problems reported.
- On Sunday August 27th Guns n’ Roses played to a sellout crowd. This turned out to be the busiest event CCU had managed to date as they responded to a total of 32 CFS resulting in 7 arrests requiring transport.
The CCU team also participated in 8 party patrol initiatives, providing resources to the front line during the busiest weekends of the year. Of the 8 Party Patrols the Unit attended to a total of 61 CFS, or an average of 7.6 CFS per deployment. This was up significantly from the 35 CFS the year prior. This included Canada Day 150 celebrations and New Year’s Eve.
Training for each of the 64 CCU consisted of two full days. The make-up of the team is 6 Sgts, 3 Cpls and 55 Constables. The NCO group also had one additional training day on April 5th to plan the Unit’s activities for the year.
UNDERWATER INVESTIGATIVE RECOVERY TEAM (UIRT)
The UIRT team is mandated to attend all calls for service requiring the collection of evidence or persons for water related calls. They are equipped to do so in all types of weather including diving under the ice if necessary. They are not a rescue Unit. UIRT consists of 7 members. The Team is led by Cst. Kevin Bowes. UIRT participated in 20 days of training in 2017. An additional 10 days of training were required to complete the training of the team’s newest member. The UIRT team was not utilized for any calls for service in 2017.
Sgt. Alana Stach was the Sgt. i/c of Emergency Services in 2017. Sgt. Stach provided oversight for the daily operations of all Emergency Services Teams, coordinated their training and managed all related budgets. Emergency services personnel and/or Sgt. Stach participated in numerous initiatives, training scenarios and meetings in regards to emergency planning and preparedness as outlined in the following;
- Regular attendance at Rider Security meetings during the 2017 season refining plans for traffic control and CCU roles at games.
- Attended regular Area 6 meetings.
- Attended Saskatchewan Emergency Planning Association (SEPA) Conference.
- Worked with City of Regina staff in regards to issues affecting our Service.
- Emergency Planning Committee involving EMS, RFD, RQHR, the City and RPS.
- Organized each of the quarterly Emergency Services Training Scenario days.
- RPS representative on the Notify Now Committee.
The RPS currently have five VIP security experts who have been trained specifically in the proper procedures and protocols of providing oversight to high level dignitaries that visit Regina. In most instances, the lead security details are organized by the RCMP and the RPS provides resources at the RCMP’s request. In 2017, the RPS facilitated the visits of the Prime Minister on two separate occasions.
During this reporting period, RPS members were provided with numerous opportunities to participate in special duty during their time off. There are certain events that take place in the city of Regina that require permits and special licensing, a prerequisite, in many cases, are that the event organizers must have police oversight and security in order to receive the permit. This is to allow for events to take place with the safety of Regina citizens in mind. The following is a list of all events requiring special duty in 2017.
- Bank Moves
- Bryan Adams Concert
- Canada Day Celebration
- Canadian Western Agribition
- Farm Progress Show
- Guns N’ Roses Concert
- Over Dimensional Moves
- Praise in the Park
- Premiere’s Dinner
- Queen City Exhibition
- Queen City Exhibition Parade
- Queen City Marathon
- RCMP Musical Ride
- Regina Folk Festival
- Regina Yard Clean-up/Waste Day
- Sask. Party Golf Tournament
- Saskatchewan Roughriders
- Sikh Parade
- Soccer Game
- Traffic Projects
Victim Services Unit
The Victim Services Unit (VSU) is made up of six full-time staff members. Four full-time permanent staff includes: one Coordinator, two Aboriginal Resource Officers and one Administrative Assistant. A Missing Persons Liaison Worker and Regina Children’s Justice Centre (RCJC) Victim Services Responder are both full-time contract positions funded through federal and provincial partner agencies. The Unit is supplemented by up to thirteen Volunteer Support Workers who are community members that work one shift per week, for approximately four hours.
The primary responsibility of Victim Services is to provide emotional support, practical information and referrals to community resources for longer term assistance. These services are provided to various victims/witnesses of crime or to people who have experienced a distressing/traumatic event. Services are provided shortly after the event occurs and continue until the criminal justice process has been completed or the person determines that services are no longer required. By feeling respected, the timely, consistent, long term response will ensure the likelihood of healthier coping skills that ultimately leads to healthier individuals for our community in the future.
Services that people receive are varied. They range from providing written information on trauma, self-care, personal safety and crime prevention tips. They can include ongoing telephone contact, explanations of investigative or court processes, assistance with forms for victim impact statements, victims compensation, restitution, alternative measures programs, Parole Board information, regular court updates, court accompaniments, registrations for court preparation class or the specialized court service for vulnerable witnesses, and assistance with property returns. These are examples of the many services offered. Ultimately, what is required can be as unique as the individuals they are serving.
In 2017, the Victim Services Unit opened a total of 1,224 files, resulting in 7,703 personal contacts and 202 court accompaniments. There were a total of 918 Volunteer Support Worker hours provided over the course of the year.
Whether services are provided through face to face contact or by telephone, postal service, e-mail, or texting, the VSU is firmly established to assist the Regina Police Service in delivering a helpful response to its citizens.