The Prince Albert Police Service is pleased to welcome the new provincial coordinator for the Saskatchewan Internet Child Exploitation (ICE) Unit to our community. Staff Sergeant (S/Sgt.) Shawn Stubbs has been appointed to the position for a term of three years, following 22 years of service as an officer with the Prince Albert Police Service.
S/Sgt. Stubbs started his new role at the beginning of January and will oversee eight police investigators, two forensic technicians, and an administrative assistant with the ICE Unit. He takes over the position from S/Sgt. Scott Lambie with the Saskatchewan RCMP.
The provincial coordinator is based at the police substation in downtown Prince Albert, along with two additional Prince Albert-based investigators (1 Prince Albert Police, 1 RCMP).
The unit also includes:
- 4 Saskatoon-based investigators (1 Saskatoon Police Service, 1 RCMP, 2 forensic technicians)
- 4 Regina-based investigators (2 Regina Police Service, 2 RCMP)
- 1 Regina-based administrative assistant
The Saskatchewan ICE Unit specializes in investigations involving child pornography, child exploitation, and luring over the Internet. Funding is providing by the Government of Saskatchewan through the Ministry of Corrections, Policing and Public Safety.
Coordination and supervision of the unit is assigned to the Provincial Coordinator, a non-commissioned officer from one of the 4 participating agencies. A Memorandum of Understanding between all agencies includes the appointment of the Provincial Coordinator, which rotates between each participating agency every 3 years.
S/Sgt. Stubbs said he is excited to take on the new position and is eager to learn more about the work being done to help young children get to safety and begin to heal from the trauma caused by sexual exploitation.
“The work that investigators and technicians do with the ICE Unit involves very sensitive and intimate information and I appreciate their efforts and their commitment to protecting children,” he said. “Unfortunately, the ICE Unit has seen an increase in the number of Internet-based crimes against children over the past year, and members are working hard to do more to help children and hold offenders accountable.”
In 2020, the ICE Unit conducted 737 investigations across the province, compared to 528 in 2019, and 321 in 2018. Of those files, 358 originated out of the Regina area, 263 out of Saskatoon, 108 from Prince Albert, and 8 from Moose Jaw. Police laid 115 charges against 39 people in 2020.
In 2019, the ICE Unit investigated 528 files, with 288 from Regina, 161 in Saskatoon, and 79 from Prince Albert. Investigators charged 30 people and laid 74 charges in relation to these investigations.
Prince Albert Police Inspector Craig Mushka said the ICE Unit is a vital resource in efforts to combat Internet-based crimes against children, which can sometimes involve more than one victim across multiple jurisdictions.
“ICE investigations are essential to public safety, especially considering the sensitive nature of these crimes and the victims being our most vulnerable members of the community – our children,” said Insp. Mushka. “This appointment is an excellent opportunity for S/Sgt Stubbs to gain exposure and experience leading a provincial team and PAPS is excited and proud to have one of our members represent and lead an essential investigational unit.”