Saskatoon’s police service will soon give a thorough explanation on how investigators deal with missing and murdered aboriginal women cases in the city.
Two members of the city’s police commission say they want more information on how the department deals with cases, interacts with victims’ families and works to prevent more cases from piling up.
“We’ve done a lot of good things and are doing a lot of good things, but we need to continue,” commissioner Darlene Brander said after Monday’s police board meeting.
Brander and Carolanne Inglis-McQuay both say the public needs to know how police deals with cases where a person goes missing or is murdered — especially in cases where the victim is aboriginal.
The RCMP released a report earlier this year that shows at least 1,200 indigenous women have been murdered or have gone missing since 1980 — many of them from Saskatchewan. Brander and Inglis-McQuay recently attended a policing governance conference in Ontario where the topic of MMIW was front and centre. Now, they are asking the police service to provide a detailed overview of how those types of cases are handled.
“Really, there’s the need to do something about it,” Brander said.
Saskatoon police Chief Clive Weighill is welcoming the opportunity to give the broader public a sense of what his department is doing on the issue.
“We are probably the leading agency in Canada right now for our policy on missing people,” Weighill said.He said the department’s system of being able to “triage” missing persons cases and its ability to work side by side with families sets it apart from other police departments in the country.
The report will likely come back to the board of police commissioners in the coming months.