The Regina Police Association (RPA) has recently negotiated a new collective agreement with the City of Regina that will affect police officers for the next four years. The agreement, which was ratified by both parties in July 2021, includes several significant changes that will impact both police officers and the community they serve.
One of the most notable changes in the agreement is the addition of a new classification for police officers. Under the new agreement, “Special Duty Officers” will be hired for certain roles that are not typically part of regular policing duties, such as working at special events or providing security for private companies. This new classification will provide more flexibility for the police department to use officers in a variety of roles and will allow officers to earn additional income.
The new agreement also includes changes to the structure of the police department’s seniority system. Previously, seniority was determined solely by the number of years an officer had been with the department. Under the new agreement, seniority will now be divided into two categories: career and service. Career seniority will be based on an officer’s rank and time served within that rank, while service seniority will be based on an officer’s total length of service.
Another significant change in the agreement is the creation of a new Community Safety Unit (CSU). The CSU will be staffed by civilian employees who will work with police officers to respond to non-emergency calls, such as mental health crises or noise complaints. This new unit is intended to free up police officers to focus on more serious criminal matters, while still ensuring that community safety needs are being met.
The agreement also includes changes to the way that police misconduct is investigated. Previously, the Regina Police Service had its own internal investigations unit. Under the new agreement, all investigations into police misconduct will be handled by an independent organization, which will be selected by a joint committee made up of representatives from the police association and the city.
Overall, the new agreement between the Regina Police Association and the City of Regina represents a significant shift in the way that policing is structured in the city. The addition of new classifications and the creation of a new Community Safety Unit are intended to provide greater flexibility and more efficient use of police resources, while the changes to the seniority system and the investigation of police misconduct are designed to ensure greater transparency and accountability. As the city moves forward under this new agreement, it will be interesting to see how these changes impact both the police department and the community it serves.