The Saskatchewan government is introducing a specialized intelligence-led enforcement team to battle illegal weapons, drugs and human trafficking.

Corrections, Policing and Public Safety Minister Christine Tell says the Saskatchewan Trafficking Response Team, pronounced “STaRT” will investigate illegal weapons, dangerous substances, and human trafficking entering the province through trafficking corridors to ensure public safety.

“The criminal activity that threatens public safety is oftentimes tied to the evolution of organized street gangs.”

Lloydminster, Estevan and Swift Current will house the three offices of the crime unit that the government says are strategically located based on their proximity to provincial boundaries and established trafficking corridors. Municipal STRT resources will be located in Prince Albert, Saskatoon and Regina.

STRT will be comprised of 30 RCMP officers, six municipal police officers, two criminal analysts, and three support staff, for a total of 41 new permanent positions.

The team will be mobile with capabilities to deploy anywhere in the province as well as in Alberta and Manitoba.

The government says the new measures will cost $2.1 million for 2021-22 and about $6.4 million annually.