Saskatoon Police Service

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Saskatoon Police Service
Saskatoon policev.jpg
Logo of the Saskatoon Police Service
Motto Neque Timore Neque Favore
Neither by fear nor by favour
Agency overview
Formed 1903
Legal personality Governmental: Government agency
Jurisdictional structure
Legal jurisdiction Municipal/Provincial
General nature
Operational structure
Headquarters Saskatoon, Saskatchewan
Sworn members 510 (2012)
Unsworn members 134 (2012)
Elected officer responsible The Honourable Gordon Wyant, Minister of Justice and Attorney General
Agency executive Clive Weighill, Chief of Police

Saskatoon Police Service (SPS) is the municipal police service in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada. It holds both municipal and provincial jurisdiction. Police Chief Clive Weighill is the head of the service. The deputy chiefs are Deputy Chief Mark Chatterbok (Administration), and Deputy Chief Bernie Pannell (Operations). The SPS operates in partnership and cooperation with the Corman Park Police Service and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.


1910 Police Force

In 1887 the North-West Mounted Police (NWMP) established a detachment in Saskatoon, in what is now the Nutana area of the city. The detachment moved across the river to a building on First Avenue between 19th and 20th Streets sometime after the area that is now the downtown was first settled in 1890. In 1889, Constable John Clisby of the NWMP became the settlement's first permanent police officer.

In January 1906, ex-NWMP constable Robert E. Dunning was appointed "Inspector, Constable, Engineer and Liquor License Inspector" for the then-Town of Saskatoon.[1] Prior to that, Dunning had sworn an oath of office as a "Special Constable for the province of Saskatchewan" for November and December, 1905. It is not clear what his precise duties or those of his predecessor, William Page Hurst (appointed constable for the then-Northwest Territories, 15 August - 31 December 1905) were, but presumably they were related to law enforcement in Saskatoon.[2] After Saskatoon was incorporated as a city later that year, Dunning was appointed Chief of Police.[3] In 1910 the first Rules and Regulations of the Saskatoon Police Department were approved.[4]

In 1930, the force moved into its first purpose-built police station, the Municipal Justice Building on the corner of 4th Avenue and 23rd Street, across from City Hall. In 1977, a new station was built next to it. The old station was demolished in 1996 and the space became a parking lot. The new building cost roughly $5.5 million and had a floor space of 101,000 sq. feet. On July 22, 2014, Saskatoon's police operations moved into a new, much larger building on the 25th Street extension, between First Avenue and Idylwyld Drive. Built at a cost of $122 million, it is expected that it will serve as the central headquarters for the next 50 years.[5]

International police peacekeeping operations[edit]

With struggling police forces worldwide there is a need for trained police officers to help training these forces. During 2009 and 2010 Constable Andrew Johnstone went to Afghanistan to train their police, and Sergeant Patrick Barbar in Kandahar, Afghanistan. Other members of the SPS have worked in other countries for other UN operations, such as Sergeant Darcel Pittman and former Deputy Chief Keith Atkinson in Kosovo in 2000.

They play widely varying roles within each mission, from patrolling streets and training police recruits to providing humanitarian assistance, ensuring security for elections and investigating human rights violations.[6]


Departments and special departments.[7]

  • Patrol
  • Traffic
  • Investigative Services
    • Major Crime
    • Targeted Enforcement
    • Personal Violence Section
    • Fraud
    • General Investigations
  • Investigative Support
    • Forensic Identification
    • Criminal Intelligence
  • Air Support Unit
  • Anti Graffiti Unit
  • Canine Unit
  • Communications
  • Community Liaison
  • Community Response Unit
  • Cultural Resource Unit
  • Emergency Response Team (ERT)
  • Explosive Disposal Unit (EDU)
  • Planning and research
  • Public Affairs
  • Public Safety Unit
  • Recruiting
  • School Resource Officers
  • Training


As of 2012 the SPS has 510 sworn officers, and 134 civilian positions. The ranks are as follows:[8]

Police chiefs[edit]

  • Robert Dunning (1905–1915)
  • George Donald (1915–1946)
  • Albert Milne (1946–1953)
  • James Kettles (1954–1977)
  • John Gibbon (1977–1982)
  • Joseph Penkala (1982–1991)
  • Owen Maguire (1991–1996)
  • Dave Scott (1996–2001)
  • Jim Matthews (2001)
  • Russell Sabo (2001–2006)
  • Clive Weighill (2006– )


Accusations against the Saskatoon Police Service have resulted in public inquiries. One such inquiry took place in 2006. It involved the investigation into the murder of a nursing student in Saskatoon in 1969. David Milgaard was convicted of this murder but was later cleared of this charge through DNA evidence which was unavailable at the time of his trial.[9]

On Sept. 8th 2003 The Commission of Inquiry into the death of Neil Stonechild begins, headed by commissioner Justice David Wright. The objective of the commission is to ascertain whether Neil Stonechild was apprehended on Nov 25 1990, and while in police custody, driven out of the city and abandoned. The commission was a result of allegations by Darrel Night that two Saskatoon Police Officers dropped him off outside the city in January 2000. Two bodies were also found in the area he was dropped off that year. In 2003, former Police Chief Russell Sabo admitted that there was a possibility that the force had been dumping First Nations people outside the city for years, after revealing that in 1976 an officer was disciplined for taking a Native woman to the outskirts of the city and abandoning her there. The commission found that the two officers, Senger and Hartwig, had taken Neil Stonechild into custody shortly before he died on the outskirts of city. No charges were laid on the two officers.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ City of Saskatoon Archives. Bylaw 49, 16 Jan. 1906.
  2. ^ City of Saskatoon Archives
  3. ^ City of Saskatoon Archives. Bylaw 93, 26 Jan. 1907.
  4. ^ Grant, Susan. The Memory Box: One Hundred Years of Policing in Saskatoon, p. 5. (Saskatoon Police Services, 2003).
  5. ^ "New Police Headquarters". Saskatoon Police Service. Retrieved 23 June 2014. 
  6. ^
  7. ^
  8. ^
  9. ^ "The Wrongful Conviction of David Milgaard". CBC News. Retrieved 2012-10-10. 

External links[edit]