Social points might be primary problem for Saskatoon police in 2022: Chief

Saskatoon police saw a drastic increase in calls related to social issues in 2022, Chief Troy Cooper told CTV News in a year-end interview.

“We saw calls for increasing disturbances, particularly around the issue of homelessness, addictions, and of course we saw the real impact of an opioid crisis with an incredible increase in overdose deaths in Saskatoon,” Cooper said.

Calls for service related to social issues have gone up about 7 per cent per year in Saskatoon, Cooper said. He expects that trend to continue until the economy recovers and there are more social supports available.

“The drugs that are really dangerous are more easily available now than they ever were before,” he said.

Cooper says the main challenge for the police service in 2023 will continue to be social issues.

“We can’t impact that completely as a police service, so we have to make sure that we have strong accountable partnerships to do some of those other tasks and provide those supports,” he said.

“Without them, policing is going to be ineffective.”

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