EDMONTON – NEWS – Alberta’s Safer Communities and Neighbourhoods (SCAN) unit of the Alberta Sheriffs obtained a court order against the owners of a property in Smoky Lake County, northeast of Edmonton. The SCAN unit works with other law enforcement agencies to shut down properties being used for illegal activities. The Safer Communities and Neighbourhoods Act gives sheriffs the authority to target problem properties through civil enforcement. Since its inception in 2008, Alberta’s SCAN unit has investigated more than 5,800 problem properties and issued more than 90 community safety orders. The majority of complaints are resolved by working with property owners to keep criminal activity out of the community.
The community safety order granted in Court of Queen’s Bench places the property at 12-13239 Township Road 615 under supervision for five years, and includes a 90-day closure that began at noon on Dec. 15. Crews have boarded up the home, changed the locks and erected a fence around the property to prevent anyone from entering until March 11, 2021.
“We believe in giving law enforcement agencies the tools they need to protect Albertans and keep them safe, no matter where they live. SCAN investigations are an effective way of stopping criminal activity that endangers communities by holding owners accountable for what happens on their property,” stated Kaycee Madu, Minister of Justice and Solicitor General.
The SCAN investigation began in August 2019, in response to complaints about drug activity. SCAN worked with the RCMP, which provided evidence obtained during a criminal investigation that included drug trafficking paraphernalia and weapons seized during searches of the property.
Drug activity on the property was the subject of a prior SCAN investigation that was resolved in 2016 with a warning letter to the owners, who had a relative living on the premises at the time.
The property sat vacant for periods over the next two years, but complaints about renewed drug activity in 2019 prompted the most recent SCAN investigation.
After the property is turned back over to the owners in March 2021, it will be monitored for the duration of the community safety order, which expires in December 2025.