|January 7, 2000||Volume 7, Number 8|
U of S cops nab fugitive convict on campus
While all was quiet on the Y2K front Jan. 1, campus security officers started off New Years Day with some good police work apprehending a fugitive prisoner from the Prince Albert Penitentiary who was wanted on a Canada-wide arrest warrant.
Campus Const. Doug Paulson said he along with Const. Dave Prout and Const. Leanne Arnelien answered a 7:30 a.m. call for assistance from a woman living in the Souris Hall student residence.
A man apparently known to the woman had been banging on her apartment door, and Paulson said when they went to the scene, they found the man in the hallway.
"He said he was from out of town. We chatted and calmed him down, and got a name and date of birth from him," Paulson said.
They told the man they would call him a cab, and at the same time ran his name through the Canadian Police Information Centre database, which the U of S security force is connected to.
CPIC showed the name was an alias for the man, who was wanted for disappearing in August from day-release at the P.A. Penitentiary where Paulson said he was serving time for robbery with violence.
"We called city police to come and pick him up, and put him at ease with light conversation," Paulson said.
He said the incident demonstrates why it is important that the current unresolved policing status of the campus security force should be cleared up.
The services "special constable" status is in limbo, while the University discusses its constables allowable powers with the provincial justice department. They are currently able to use batons, but not pepper spray, and their powers to arrest are unclear.
"This fellow has a significant criminal record with violence," Paulson said.
"This was something that could easily have turned violent and if he had gotten violent, most definitely pepper spray would have been called-for," Paulson said.
He said the New Years Day bust was a perfect example of why the U of S security service should have use of the spray, and clear powers to arrest.
"If he had wanted to leave, under the current situation, we would have had to let him go," Paulson said.
City police wouldnt release the name of the man involved. Police Staff Sgt. Glenn Thomson said names are only released when people are charged and appear in court.
Paulson said while its rare that U of S security officers become involved in Canada-wide arrest warrant cases, "from time-to-time" they apprehend people wanted on more local arrest warrants.
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