Saskatchewan is seeing a big impact from recent investments in new police programs, such as the Saskatchewan Enforcement Response Teams (SERT), which encompasses the provincially-funded Crime Reduction Teams (CRTs), Warrant Enforcement and Suppression Team (WEST) and Saskatchewan Trafficking Response Team (STRT). 

“We want to see fewer drugs and illegal guns on the street and more enforcement on repeat violent offenders, gang members and human traffickers,” Corrections, Policing and Public Safety Minister Paul Merriman said. “The results we’re seeing from these investments in policing are incredible, and we are extremely grateful to our frontline RCMP and municipal police officers for the excellent work they’re doing to make our cities and rural communities safe for Saskatchewan people.”

From March through July of 2023, RCMP WEST, CRT and STRT teams seized a total of 23 firearms, over 2,620 grams of methamphetamine, 1,608 grams of cocaine and 1,023 grams of fentanyl. 

“These highly skilled teams bring value to policing operations through their specialized training and experience which allows them to quickly address violent groups and individuals threatening community safety,” Saskatchewan RCMP Superintendent Glenn Church – officer in charge of SERT said. “The team’s ability to seamlessly integrate with RCMP detachment members is a benefit as their work can support front line policing during times of crisis – possible because all SERT members have extensive front line and operational policing backgrounds.”

WEST targets high-profile offenders who are a significant threat to public safety, such as gang members and violent offenders with outstanding warrants. The RCMP operates one WEST team out of Saskatoon and Meadow Lake and another out of Prince Albert. From March through July 2023, WEST executed 26 arrest warrants and made 20 arrests.

Collaboration yields success: As a result of a North Battleford CRT, Gang Task Force and Saskatoon WEST six-month crime reduction strategy, 63 individuals – including 10 unlawfully at large – were arrested. The initiative began in January 2023 and targeted criminal enforcement in the North Battleford area. Seventy-four warrants for arrest were executed over the course of the project.

RCMP CRTs target street gangs and prolific offenders and respond to urban and rural crime surges.

Fraudulent firearms: The Prince Albert RCMP’s CRT is continuing to investigate incidents of fraudulent firearm purchases. On July 24, 2023, a search warrant was executed at a residence in Prince Albert after investigation determined an individual purchased a firearm with a stolen credit card and firearm possession and acquisition license. Two people were charged and items such as a fraudulently purchased firearm, brass knuckles, various ID’s and ID card printer were located and seized.

The RCMP’s STRT is a specialized intelligence-led enforcement team mandated to investigate drug, weapon and human trafficking. From March through July, STRT laid 19 Criminal Code and Controlled Drugs and Substances Act charges, executed five arrest warrants and 32 search warrants and seized 2,530.5 grams of methamphetamine, 500 grams of cocaine and 1,010 grams of fentanyl.

Forced labour: In early 2023, Saskatchewan RCMP’s STRT began an investigation into human trafficking which illustrates that human trafficking isn’t just a big city issue. Investigation determined a woman from Bangladesh was forced to work 10-12 hours per day, seven days a week for months at restaurants in rural Saskatchewan while on a visitor’s permit. The woman was threatened and forced to stay in an unfinished, concrete basement, which was dimly lit and heavily water damaged. As a result of RCMP investigation, three adult males were arrested and were charged with trafficking a person. 

SERT teams bring with them longstanding working relationships and partnerships with Saskatchewan’s municipal police forces, allowing the greater policing community in our province to collaboratively address large-scope and complex criminality. 

For more information on the provincially-funded WEST, CRT and STRT initiatives, see: