The Saskatchewan RCMP has launched a new program which will help warn of crime in the area.

Providing residents with a warning which can be issued from RCMP detachment commanders, the Saskatchewan Crime Watch Advisory Network aims to be able to contact people through emails, phone calls, or text messages.

The Government of Saskatchewan is providing around $50,000 to launch the system in southern Saskatchewan. The program is free to the public to sign up for.

RCMP Superintendent Kevin Kunetzki said that the idea for the system spurred from contact and policing issues in rural areas.

"The Saskatchewan Crime Watch Advisory Network really is a solution or concept that came from the rural crime watch component, we see that as a benefit though for all of Saskatchewan, including where we have municipal jurisdictions in the RCMP that we police."

He explained how the system could be helpful.

"We might have a trend or something that's happening in a particular community, it could be a rash of break and enters, maybe we've got a particular drug problem that's becoming more and more of an issue, the detachment commander can choose to send out a message to the community."

He said that another instance where the system could be helpful is for an active crime in the area.

"Another type of message that might go out from a detachment commander, or someone in the detachment, is where the public assistance might be needed right away, and that might be a case where we have a stolen vehicle that was just taken, where we have a good description of the vehicle, a licence plate, maybe a direction of travel, and where we want to get that information out quickly."

The program is using southern Saskatchewan as a testing ground for the system, as department commanders in the area have been trained to use the system, but Kunetzki said that RCMP would be looking to expand the network in the future, depending on its success.

You can sign up for the program by going to www.SARM.ca, or www.SUMA.org, or Google Saskatchewan Crime Watch Advisory Network and click on the link from Everbridge.net.

The program is live right now, and Kunetzki encouraged residents to sign up for it.

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