Swift Current's City RCMP police force has been approved for two more paid positions with the detachment.

Ninety per cent of the funds for the two positions at the Swift Current City detachment will come from the City of Swift Current, while the other ten per cent is coming from the federal government.

The funds will expand the maximum amount of employees that the Swift Current City RCMP can employ, but Swift Current City RCMP Staff Sergeant Gary Hodges said they most likely won't reach their maximum amount of staff.

He said that's due to transfers or other complications, they usually see a proportionate amount of positions left unfilled, but with the addition of two new spaces, they hope to bring themselves closer to their goal of 17 members.

"By increasing from 19 members to 21 members here at the city detachment, we'll now get closer to that 17 or 18 that we want to be at," he said. "It's like a natural vacancy pattern if that makes sense."

The total cost to create the two spots to fill the vacant positions is around $320,000 a year.

The positions for the new staff are one uninformed general duty positions, and one plainclothes officer, but one member of the staff will transfer to that role, opening up a uniformed public duty position for a new addition to the station.

The announcement came at city council Monday night, where Hodges and Sergeant Kelly Guider spoke about the additions.

They highlighted the work that the members of the Swift Current City RCMP do, and how their staffing resources have been stretched thin.

"We have had restrictions in regards to some of our employees who are on modified work schedules, so we have had two people out on the streets, but with the same high call load, they've been pretty tied up with some of these investigations," said Guider. "Over the last three months since December 4 until March 10, we've had about the same consistent amount of files. We have seen a noticeable decrease in the amount of charges through traffic offences."

Guider added that once winter driving conditions subside, they may see an uptick in driving offences, further draining personnel resources.

Besides standard police activity, Hodges said that their staff have also been wrapped up in providing support to volunteer activities, such as Scotiabank Hockey Day in Canada.

He also mentioned giving tours of their detachment to schools, speaking at the schools, speaking to youth groups, and also have an officer residing at the Swift Current Comprehensive High School.

Guider said that a couple of larger cases have also been eating up some of their time lately.

One case in particular had an added element of complications, due to the explosive nature of the bomb-related situation.

"Obviously it's a concern to Gary and I with our employees encountering these types of improvised explosive devices or powders. Drugs are one thing, but when we start dealing with explosives, it's a whole other safety concern for our members."

Guider said that they received help from an RCMP explosives disposal unit in that situation.

Another collaborative effort between police forces was described at city council, a raid carried out on multiple properties that required the help of two Swift Current rural police officers, and eight Saskatchewan Highway Patrol officers.

The funding kicks in as of April 1, but Hodges said that they are not sure when the positions will be filled.

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