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SASKATOON – Saskatoon police say they are getting a handle on violence in the city which is being credited to a redeployment of officers. In April, the service created the guns and gang unit after a surge in drive-by shootings, police chases and drug activity and redeployed officers to the new unit.

Police Chief Clive Weighill said he never thought any city in the province would need such a unit but they saw a need here and it’s paying off.

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READ MORE: Saskatoon police creating guns and gangs unit

“We’ve seen a real plateau of violence that was happening in the spring,” Weighill told Global News.

“We had about 14 shootings and five homicides in the spring. Things are really starting to settle down from that until we had that unfortunate one … a couple of weeks ago.”

A 15-year-old boy was killed on Sept. 7 after being shot at a residence in Pleasant Hill. A 14-year-old is facing numerous charges including manslaughter.

READ MORE: More charges laid in Saskatoon shooting death

Weighill said despite that shooting, police are making progress on violent crime in the city.

“I think we’re making a lot of progress on that, we’re really starting to see that some of the violent crime, we’re getting a corral on it.”

Weighill will be presenting his preliminary 2016 budget to the police commission on Tuesday. He is asking for a $3.8-million increase from 2015, mainly for salary increases, and eight new officers.

Rena Montgomerie contributed to this story

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