Recognized as one of Saskatchewan's Top Employers (2018)
By Richard Yerema and Kristina Leung, Mediacorp Canada Inc. staff editors (Jan 23, 2018)
Here are some of the reasons why Saskatoon Police Service was selected as one of Saskatchewan's Top Employers (2018):
- Saskatoon Police Service encourages a culture of learning through a variety of in-house training initiatives and supports employees with tuition subsidies for courses both related and not directly related to their current position
- Saskatoon Police Service's head office features a variety of onsite amenities including an employee lounge and a fully-equipped fitness facility that offers free memberships, exercise equipment, a basketball court, sauna, and instructor-led fitness classes such as spinning and kickboxing
- Saskatoon Police Service supports its new moms with maternity leave top-up payments (to 95% of salary for 17 weeks) as well as the option to extend their leave into an unpaid leave of absence -- employees with older kids who are pursuing post-secondary studies can also apply for academic scholarships (to $1,000)
Standing for the community at Saskatoon Police Service
From the time he was a young boy, Staff Sergeant Major Grant Obst dreamed of being a police officer. He has been living that dream for 35 years, including the past 29 as a member of the Saskatoon Police Service (SPS). "Even today," says Obst, "I will often put my hand down and feel that stripe on the side of my pants and say, 'Thanks, God, I can't believe I got to do this and that I'm still doing it.'"
Since starting as a constable, Obst has served in an impressive range of roles, including as a member of the vice squad, the bomb squad, the community liaison unit and the recruiting and training unit. He is currently a Watch Commander, overseeing one of the four platoons of the SPS's patrol division, which gives him the opportunity to help mentor a new generation of police officers.
The sheer variety of work is a key part of what keeps him engaged.
"You can have several jobs within one career," says Obst, "and each one comes with additional training. You never stop learning -- and each morning, when you go to work, you never know what is going to happen next."
It's not the life for everyone, he adds. "To make it in policing, you have to embrace change and adapt quickly. Some people find that hard to do, while others thrive on it."
The job also comes with some unique stresses. "We often have to deal with critical and traumatic situations," says Obst. "Police officers are human beings, not robots, and we know there is going to be an emotional toll from some of the work we do. But our police service has been very progressive about making sure our members have the help they need, when they need it."
Lisa Olson, the SPS's Director of Human Resources, agrees that the mental and physical well-being of sworn members is a key priority. Training is provided to ensure officers can recognize the signs of stress in themselves and their colleagues. Counselling is available, not just in the case of critical incidents, but for any life challenges. Members also have access to a first-class gym and personal workout programs.
Olson says that many potential recruits, like Obst, have wanted to be police officers since an early age. But civilians like herself are also called to serve.
"I'm proud to work for an organization that keeps our community safe."