The Saskatchewan government is moving ahead with establishing a police watchdog.
Legislation was introduced on Monday to create a civilian-led independent Serious Incident Response Team (SIRT).
Once established, SIRT will be tasked with investigating serious incidents involving police officers.
“The government of Saskatchewan understands the importance of transparent oversight of serious policing incidents,” Justice Minister Gordon Wyant said in a statement Monday.
“The proposed changes are the next step to enhancing police oversight and ensuring public trust.”
SIRT will be headed by a civilian executive director, and will investigate incidents where a person in police custody dies, is seriously injured or sexually assaulted. It will also investigate if those incidents are due to the actions of a police officer.
Indigenous representation on the SIRT team will be required if the victim is First Nation or Métis.
Appointed liaisons will assist the executive director and perform functions such as coordinating with the family of the victim and advising investigators on community interactions, according to the province.
The executive director will also have the discretion to appoint a community liaison in all other matters.
The province earmarked $287,000 in the 2021-22 budget to develop SIRT.
The SIRT is expected to be operational in the fall of 2021, once staffing and training are completed.
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