Provincial support coming for Prince Albert Police following increase in violent crime

Support is pouring in from police detachments across the province to help the Prince Albert Police Service find solutions for the city’s rise in violent crime after two recent homicides rocked the community last weekend.

From May 26 to June 2, officers for the Prince Albert Police Service received 1,088 calls for service. This is an increase of 11.21% compared to the same week in 2021.

On May 28, a 32-year-old man was killed in a shooting in the 100 Block of 8th Street East. Later that same evening, 47-year-old Barry Pruden was killed after being approached by several aggressive individuals while on a bike ride with his daughter. 

A 15-year-old youth has since been charged with second degree murder in connection to Pruden’s death. This marks the city’s sixth homicide of 2022.

Officers with the RCMP, Saskatoon Police Service (SPS), and Regina Police Service (RPS) are utilizing provincially-funded Crime Reduction Team (CRT) resources to partner together to address the rise in incidents of weapons violence and illegal activity in the city.

Prince Albert Police Chief Jon Bergen said he is grateful for the extended support from the province and partner police organizations.

“This is a difficult time for our community. The resource challenges we are experiencing and the rise in violent crime we are seeing has impacted the safety and security of residents and families,” Chief Bergen said. 

“We appreciate the support from our partners and value the positive and collaborative relationships that have enabled a quick response to help our community.”

The shared CRT resources are brought into action when a Saskatchewan community is experiencing a surge in criminal activity. The model is made up of nine teams across the province and includes members from both municipal police services and the RCMP. 

Corrections, Policing and Public Safety Minister Christine Tell says the situation in Prince Albert is an example of what the CRT model was created for.

“I am proud of how quickly ministry officials and our police services were able to bring this all together and deploy these additional officers and resources to Prince Albert,” she said.