Alberta’s government is taking more steps to increase Albertans’ safety across the province. To give police services more resources for combating crime, the Alberta Sheriffs are adding two positions in Calgary and four in Edmonton. These positions will increase the SCAN unit’s ability to investigate and address criminal activity at problem properties in those cities and surrounding regions.

“The SCAN unit has a proven record of restoring peace and safety for law-abiding Albertans by putting a stop to criminal activity that can plague some neighbourhoods for years. We are building on that success by doubling the size of the SCAN unit and helping to ensure that communities and local police across our province have access to this effective crime-fighting tool.”

Mike Ellis, Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Services

The SCAN unit works with other law enforcement agencies to shut down properties being used for illegal activities, such as drug trafficking. The Safer Communities and Neighbourhoods Act gives sheriffs the authority to target problem properties through legal sanctions and court orders. This increased presence in Edmonton and Calgary will enhance partnerships with police services in the region, increase local knowledge and build stronger relationships with the community.

These additional positions are part of Budget 2023, which allocated additional funding to double the size of the SCAN unit by hiring 20 additional investigators and increasing the unit’s geographic reach by basing several of the new positions in regional hubs. As the Alberta Sheriffs work to determine the locations of additional regional hubs, having larger teams in Calgary and Edmonton will allow the SCAN unit to provide more support to other parts of the province.

“Our SCAN investigators are motivated by a desire to help people feel safe and secure in their own homes. Increasing the size of the SCAN unit and enhancing its ability to serve communities throughout Alberta is a great opportunity to tackle even more cases, and our investigators are looking forward to the challenge.”

Greg Medley, deputy chief, Alberta Sheriffs

Between 2019 and 2023, the SCAN team based in Calgary investigated 1,985 files, including 24 cases that resulted in community safety orders against property owners. During the same period, SCAN investigators based in Edmonton investigated 2,088 properties, including 18 cases that resulted in community safety orders.

“We have seen many communities in Calgary benefit from the SCAN unit. Feeling safe in your own neighbourhood is a vital component when it comes to quality of life. By working in close partnership with the newly bolstered team, we hope to continue to improve the quality of life for all Calgarians, especially for those impacted by problem properties in our communities.”

Mark Neufeld, chief constable, Calgary Police Service

“SCAN provides a way for citizens to get directly involved in their community’s safety and well-being and offers an extra investigative tool for police agencies to better leverage resources. Over the past five years, tips from Edmontonians resulted in 18 temporary closures of problem properties in our city, not only forcing property owners to clean up their act, but helping EPS disrupt crime and disorder in the neighbourhood as well.” 

Dale McFee, chief, Edmonton Police Service

“I am pleased that the Government of Alberta is expanding the Alberta Sheriffs and SCAN unit by adding four new positions in Edmonton. As our governments collectively work to find solutions to the public safety and community well-being concerns that Edmontonians have relayed to us, the expansion of SCAN will support our shared goals of reducing crime in our streets. Thank you to the Government of Alberta for providing this support to our city – together, we can build a safer and healthier Edmonton for all of us.”

Amarjeet Sohi, mayor, City of Edmonton

The first new regional office, a Lethbridge-based team responsible for investigations in southern Alberta, started operations on Nov. 6. With the addition of six investigators in Lethbridge, as well as the new positions in Calgary and Edmonton, the SCAN unit has filled 12 of the 20 planned new positions. Hiring for the remaining positions will take place once an analysis determines where new teams will be placed.

Since its inception in 2008, Alberta’s SCAN unit has investigated more than 8,000 complaints throughout the province. Most SCAN investigations are resolved informally by working with owners to stop the illegal activity on their property.

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