Alberta police services organize aid for Ukraine

Calgary Police Service Const. Arthur Rekshta (left) and Const. Pavel Adaikin (right) with Aourika Lioutenko of Calgary's Ukrainian community and items donated by CPS members for humanitarian efforts in Ukraine. (Courtesy, Calgary Police Service)

Building on a successful donation drive by a group of Calgary Police Service (CPS) employees, law enforcement agencies across the province have collected extra and decommissioned gear like body armour, helmets, boots and clothing items for another shipment to Ukraine.

“The people of Alberta’s police services work diligently every day to protect others, so I’m not surprised they’ve answered the call to help save lives on the front lines in Ukraine. I’d like to thank the Calgary Police Service for organizing the recent donation drive among its members, as well as the Alberta police services that are currently gathering equipment for another humanitarian shipment to Ukraine. I’m proud of them and grateful for their efforts.”

Tyler Shandro, Minister of Justice and Solicitor General

“As chair of the Advisory Council on Alberta-Ukraine Relations, I am thrilled by this announcement and know that this equipment will be of great benefit to those fighting against the Russian invasion of Ukraine.”

Jackie Armstrong-Homeniuk, MLA for Fort Saskatchewan-Vegreville and chair, Advisory Council on Alberta-Ukraine Relations

“We are grateful to police services across Alberta for their generous donations of tactical gear and protective clothing to help Ukraine during this most difficult time. Further humanitarian aid is urgently needed amid Russia’s full-scale invasion to keep Ukraine’s civilians, front-line police officers and defenders safe. We greatly appreciate the ongoing efforts by law enforcement agencies across the province.”

Inna Platonova, member, Advisory Council on Alberta-Ukraine Relations and president, Ukrainian Canadian Congress (Calgary branch)

“I’m extremely proud of the Calgary Police Service members who started this clothing drive, as well as those who donated items. Boots, hats, shirts, gloves and other basic items can make a world of difference to someone who is working to keep their community safe, especially during such a significant conflict. We are part of a larger global family and will support our Ukrainian policing partners in any way we can.”

Mark Neufeld, chief constable, Calgary Police Service

A large part of the effort was spearheaded by a group of CPS officers and civilian employees with personal and professional ties to Ukraine and the surrounding region. Organizers placed donation bins at CPS facilities across the city, which resulted in officers contributing more than 450 kilograms of items like boots, pants, shirts, tuques, gloves and socks that they no longer need.

In March, the gear donated by CPS officers was sent to Poland for distribution in Ukraine. The shipment left on a flight from Edmonton – but not before the Edmonton Police Service added 60 sets of soft body armour, 98 hard armour plates and some ballistic helmets that the organization had deemed surplus.

“Sending tactical equipment to Ukraine is just one way we can provide support. The impacts of this crisis have been felt deeply within our service and across the larger community in Edmonton, and we hope that this can make even the smallest difference for those in need abroad.”

Dale McFee, chief of police, Edmonton Police Service

Since that initial load, more police services have collected items for another shipment to Ukraine that will be arranged by volunteers at CPS. Although the donated tactical gear is considered surplus due to its age or technical specifications, the equipment is still fully functional and provides adequate protection. Any police insignias and identifying marks are removed prior to donation.

The Camrose Police Service has contributed 40 body armour vests, 15 pairs of boots and 10 jackets.

“The Camrose Police Service is proud to join our brothers and sisters in law enforcement to support this initiative and contribute to the Ukrainian people in their brave fight for freedom.”

John Corbett, inspector, Camrose Police Service

The Lakeshore Regional Police Service, headquartered in the northern Alberta community of Driftpile, donated 15 sets of decommissioned soft body armour.

“Even though we are one of the smallest police services in Alberta, we felt we should do what we could to join our Alberta policing partners in this call-out for assistance.”

Dale Cox, chief of police, Lakeshore Regional Police Service

In Lethbridge, the police service donated 40 sets of body armour equipped with plates, as well as 25 pairs of boots.

Alberta police services organize aid for Ukraine

Lethbridge Police Service Insp. Russ Lawrence (left), Aourika Lioutenko of Calgary's Ukrainian community and Chief Shahin Mehdizadeh with items donated by the LPS for a humanitarian shipment to Ukraine. (Courtesy, Lethbridge Police Service)

“Our hearts are heavy for the people of Ukraine and we are honoured some of our gear will be able to help front-line police officers. We hope our contribution will keep them safe during these challenging times.”

Shahin Mehdizadeh, chief of police, Lethbridge Police Service

The Medicine Hat Police Service donated 51 armour plates, which can be used to fill 25½ body armour vests.

Alberta police services organize aid for Ukraine

An example of armour plates donated by the Medicine Hat Police Service. (Courtesy, Medicine Hat Police Service)

“The Medicine Hat Police Service is proud to join other law enforcement agencies across Alberta in donating used ballistic personal protection body armour to be used to enhance the safety of the citizens of Ukraine during the ongoing war.”

Mike Worden, chief of police, Medicine Hat Police Service

The Tsuut’ina Nation Police Service contributed seven sets of soft body armour in response to the donation drive.

“It is our hope the equipment provides some safeguard to those brave individuals fighting for their country’s freedom.”

Keith Blake, chief of police, Tsuut’ina Nation Police Service

RCMP detachments in Alberta are also collecting items for shipment to Ukraine through an effort coordinated by the RCMP’s national headquarters in Ottawa.