PAPS bring in Saskatoon air support unit as part of operation targeting fleeing suspects

(File photo/Daily Herald)

The Prince Albert Police Service (PAPS) brought in some air power as part of a two-day focused operation plan targeting suspects who try to flee from police.

Members from the Saskatoon Police Service Air Support Unit (ASU) were on hand, along with Combined Traffic Services Saskatchewan, the Crime Reduction Team, and the Prince Albert RCMP, to help develop ways to track suspects without endangering the public.

PAPS Chief Patrick Nogier said it’s exciting to see the partnership in action.

“The success of the collaborative endeavor we witnessed this week is a testament to the meticulous coordination and the unwavering commitment of those involved,” Nogier said in a press release. “It is only through the collective willingness to embrace teamwork, adopt innovative strategies, and contribute meaningfully to our shared objectives that such remarkable outcomes are achievable. Indeed, the results of this collaboration resonate profoundly, underscoring the power of unity and shared purpose.”

PAPS reported 429 incidents in 2023 where individuals failed to stop for police, or attempted to evade police. The list of incidents included suspects in stolen vehicles, individuals with outstanding warrants, or drivers ticketed for dangerous or reckless driving.

The two day operation showcased the ASU’s personnel and equipment, and how it helps reduce public safety concerns.

Nogier said the operation underscores the strong relationship between municipal police agencies, and highlighted their commitment to public safety when pursuing suspects.

PAPS highlighted two instances where the operation led to successful arrests after a suspect fled from police. The first occurred on March 18, when a suspect who had fled police earlier in the day was found in the Marquis Drive and Second Avenue West area.

The ASU was able to track the suspect to an area near Kinistino, where he was arrested for numerous offences, including dangerous driving, evading police, and multiple court orders.

Police were also able to stop a high speed chase before it started on March 19. Officers saw a stolen vehicle travelling at a high rate of speed in the west end of Prince Albert. The driver disregarded police attempts to stop it, and drove away erratically at a high speed.

Officers were able to deploy a tire deflation device, which allowed them to take the suspect into custody within minutes. A 29-year-old Prince Albert man now faces multiple charges, including dangerous driving, evading police, and assaulting a peace officer. The suspect is also charged with breaching several court orders.

“These operations stand as a testament to the collaborative spirit and dedication of all involved agencies to protect and serve our communities effectively,” reads a PAPS press release. “The Prince Albert Police Service extends its gratitude to the Saskatoon Police Service for their air support and to all partner agencies for their unwavering commitment to safety across Saskatchewan.”