The following statement from Saskatoon Police Chief Troy Cooper was released via video on SPS social media channels.
I would like to talk to you today about COVID-19.
In order to contribute to information available about Saskatoon’s response to the rapidly evolving environment of the COVID-19 pandemic I wanted to provide an update regarding its impact on policing operations.
I would like to start by thanking our community safety partners including other first responders. We communicate frequently with them both through existing relationships but also in a structured way through a coordinated emergency management process. Their partnership is important and valued.
I also would like to mention our partners in Health. The most recent health related information is available to us and it helps inform our robust internal pandemic planning. Based on their advice and on best practices, operational changes are now planned that will reduce the risk to our members and their families:
- Like most organizations, we have made adjustments to meetings, training and travel plans.
- We practice social distancing when possible, and encourage self-care including proper, regular hand washing.
- To reduce the number of people gathering and attending to our building, effective tomorrow:
- Our Service Centre will be closed to the public and instead we are encouraging the use of online reporting or calling our non-emergency number rather than attending in person.
- Criminal Record Checks will only be available online. Vulnerable Sector Checks not available at this time.
- Victim Services offices will be closed and staff will only be available to clients by phone.
- Finally our Lost & Found office will operate by appointment only.
- Our Communications section has made some adjustments as well. Persons calling can be expected to be asked additional screening questions in regards to COVID-19.
- There will be precautionary equipment provided to staff that may be visible at times in the community including things like face masks.
- We recognize that our employees face the same challenges that the rest of the community does in terms of things like self -monitoring, self- isolation where required due to travel and most recently child care. We are working collaboratively with the Saskatoon Police Association to find options to address these challenges so that our members can continue to come to work and provide the vital services that our community requires.
I can assure you that we have incredible staff and enjoy strong community support. We understand these are uncertain times and we appreciate your continued support as we work together to find solutions to emerging issues. We are committed to communicating as regularly as possible with any changes that will impact our staff or the community at large. If you have questions on our response, we will continue to be available through our social media channels.
Thank you. Please stay safe, and stay healthy.