Rob Clarke believes in a more interactive strategy when it comes to crime prevention in the province, but improving the economy is also high on his priority list.
The Saskatchewan Party leadership hopeful is the sixth candidate vying for the title.
"Saskatchewan faces some very challenging times," he said. "One thing we should be looking at is different ways of starting new revenue streams, trying to promote growth in Saskatchewan."
Clarke grew up in Quesnel, B.C., and is a member of Muskeg Lake First Nation. He is a former Conservative MP for Desnethé-Missinippi-Churchill River and also served as an RCMP officer for 18 years. In his work in policing, he received a number of awards, including the Queen’s Golden Jubilee Commendation Medal and the RCMP Commissioner’s Commendation for Bravery related to the 2006 shootings in Spiritwood.
While Clarke didn't file his nomination papers in time to be eligible to take part in last month’s Sask Party leadership candidates’ debate in North Battleford, based on the party's policy, he commented on some of the topics discussed following the event.
On the issue of controlling crime, Clarke said from his prior experience as an RCMP officer and in the role of sergeant working throughout Saskatchewan, he believes in a more straight-forward solution in dealing with crime.
"It's actually very simple," he said. "Get the [RCMP] members out of the office so they can actually work on the street."
The candidate said while having more “boots on the ground” police resources helps, it's also important to have more clerical support staff to assist the RCMP members so they have more time to focus on their work in the field.
When looking at reducing crime, Clarke believes getting more RCMP members into the community will make a difference.
"I remember being stationed in Île-à-la-Crosse," he said. "We had a very high crime rate. What did we do? It's called visible policing - getting on the street, talking to the people, and getting them interacting with the members. We had a [crime] reduction of over 43 per cent in the first two years. That's just being visible."
In addressing local crime, he said RCMP members would benefit from going into communities more and talking to residents as well as possible offenders to create a dialogue.
"It's called preventative policing," Clarke said.
Another leadership candidates’ debate is planned for Thursday, Dec. 8 in Regina.
The Sask Party leadership election takes place Jan. 27.
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