Province appoints former RCMP officer as new Chief Marshal

(File photo/Jayda Taylor)

The provincial government has hired former RCMP Federal Policing Officer, and Critical Incident Command Coordinator Robert Cameron as Chief Marshal of the new Saskatchewan Marshals Service.

Cameron’s appointment will go into effect on Jan. 1.

“We are confident, based on the breadth of his experience and his in-depth understanding of provincial and municipal policing, that Mr. Cameron is the best candidate to lead the Saskatchewan Marshals Service forward,” Corrections, Policing, and Public Safety Minister Paul Merriman said in a press release.

Cameron began his law enforcement career in 1987 as a peace officer with the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources. He joined the RCMP in 1989, where he served in a variety of roles, including acting as Officer in Charge of the Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit, and overseeing Provincial Support Services, which included Emergency Response Teams and Police Dog Services.

Cameron retired from Saskatchewan “F” Division in 2018 and joined the Saskatchewan Ministry of Corrections, Policing, and Public Safety as Executive Director of Policing. In 2019, he oversaw the launch of the Saskatchewan Provincial Protective Services Branch as Assistant Deputy Minister of Policing and Community Safety Services.

Saskatchewan Cattleman’s Association Chair Keith Day said they’re happy with the province’s announcement.

“It is an important piece for progress toward this service becoming a reality,” Day said in a press release. “Rural crime is a growing challenge in the province for our producers. We appreciate that this government is taking concrete steps to address the issue.”

As Chief Marshal, Cameron is responsible for developing the service before it launches in 2016. The province says Cameron will oversee roughly 70 officers after launch, as well as additional support staff.

Saskatchewan NDP Corrections and Policing Critic Nicole Saraur released a statement calling on the province to-rethink the decision to create a Marshals Service, and hire a Chief Marshal.

“One wonders how many people were interested in the Chief Marshal role if the position is being filled by a government official,” Saraur’s statement reads. “This also raises concerns about how independent the Marshal Service will be from the Minister.

“As we have stated previously, these funds would be better spent staffing up the RCMP and providing much needed treatment spaces for mental health and addictions. This would better and more immediately address concerns around public safety.”

The marshals will provide support to the RCMP, First Nations police, municipal police services, and the Provincial Protective Services.

In a press release, the province said the marshals would focus on rural and remote areas experiencing high levels of crime, locate and arrest high-risk offenders, and conduct “proactive enforcement actions and investigations related to farming and agriculture offenses such as cattle, crop, metal and farm chemical thefts and trespassing that may result in crop damage.”