CALGARY – NEWS – A pilot project in Calgary is helping to make the city’s downtown core safer according to Mike Ellis, Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Services.
“I am pleased to see Alberta Sheriffs have hit the ground running with their CPS partners to improve the safety of people who live in Calgary’s downtown core, work there, or visit to shop and dine out. This shows that having more boots on the ground patrolling the streets makes a difference, as law enforcement officers can immediately step in to stop illegal activity as it’s happening. We will do whatever it takes to keep our streets safe,” stated Minister Ellis.
Mark Neufeld, Chief Constable of the Calgary Police Service, welcomed the sheriffs and said, “The Alberta Sheriffs who have joined our beat teams have been a welcome addition to our organization and the downtown community. We have heard many reports of officers being thanked by citizens for their presence and ongoing work to establish safe public spaces within our core.”
Farooq Sheikh, Chief of Alberta Sheriffs, expressed pride in their work for the community, saying, “Every Alberta Sheriff signs up to help protect Albertans, whether they live in a small town or a big city like Calgary. I’m proud of the work we have done for this community so far, and I look forward to even more successes in the coming weeks.”
The sheriffs and Calgary police will evaluate the pilot project using data and feedback from the community about perceptions of safety before deciding on any next steps.
Examples of community policing during the pilot:
- A team patrolling near the Calgary Drop-In Centre spotted a man they recognized as wanted on warrants. During a search following his arrest, officers seized drugs suspected to be fentanyl and methamphetamine, and a scale. He was charged with possession for the purpose of trafficking and the drugs were sent for testing.
- Members working on Stephen Avenue spotted two men standing on a wheelchair ramp inside a fast food restaurant and saw them exchange plastic bags in what looked like a drug deal. Officers seized suspected methamphetamine and fentanyl from one of the men, as well as bear spray and a hatchet during a subsequent search after arresting him.
- Officers at a CTrain station along the 7th Avenue corridor saw a man drop a cigarette and approached him about smoking on the platform. Officers noticed the man holding a small plastic bag and trying to hide it as they approached. The members arrested the man and seized the bag, which appeared to contain fentanyl. The man provided another person’s identification card when he was taken into custody, resulting in charges for obstruction and impersonation, as well as several outstanding warrants and breaches of release conditions. The contents of the bag were sent for lab testing.