||This article includes a list of references, but its sources remain unclear because it has insufficient inline citations. (September 2010)|
|Alberta Sheriff's shoulder flash|
|Preceding agency||Courts and Prisoner Security (CAPS: 1989–2006)|
|Legal personality||Governmental: Government agency|
|Operations jurisdiction*||Province of Alberta, Canada|
|Constituting instrument||Peace Officer Act|
|Elected officer responsible||Honourable Jonathan Denis, QC, Minister of Justice and Solicitor General|
|Agency executive||Rick Taylor, Chief Sheriff|
|* Divisional agency: Division of the country, over which the agency has usual operational jurisdiction.|
Alberta Sheriffs are provincial peace officers appointed by the Ministry of Solicitor General and Public Security of Alberta, Canada, under the authority of the Peace Officer Act. Sheriffs are Alberta peace officers and carry sidearms.
There are several divisions currently operating in various areas around the province. The sheriffs can enforce all provincial acts with active enforcement depending on unit. Sheriffs do not have the authority to enforce federal acts and must turn over their investigation to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police or the police of jurisdiction if any federal offences are uncovered. Training is completed at the Solicitor General's staff college, located in Edmonton. Training is a minimum ten-week basic recruit course, and once on Highway Patrol or other specialized units, a minimum of another 8–12 weeks of training is conducted. Overall Alberta Sheriffs will receive approximately 18–22 weeks of training.
- 1 Services
- 1.1 Court Security and Prisoner Transport
- 1.2 Special Deployments
- 1.3 Sheriff Highway Patrol (Sheriff Integrated Traffic Unit)
- 1.4 Executive Protection Unit
- 1.5 Sheriff Operation Communications Centre
- 1.6 Legislature and Government Centre Security
- 1.7 Alberta Security and Strategic Intelligence Support Team
- 1.8 Alberta Law Enforcement Response Teams – Integrated Fugitive Apprehension Unit
- 1.9 Alberta Law Enforcement Response Teams- Safer Communities and Neighbourhoods
- 1.10 Alberta Law Enforcement Response Teams- Sheriffs Investigative Surveillance Unit
- 2 Fleet
- 3 Rank
- 4 References
- 5 External links
Court Security and Prisoner Transport
Sheriffs protect Alberta's 74 court facilities, staff and judges. Screening equipment is operated by sheriffs at the public entrances to detect weapons and other contraband.
Sheriffs are responsible for transporting prisoners to and from provincial court houses, correctional facilities and police holding cells. Various types of vehicles are used: Crown Victoria Police Interceptors, Ford Econoline E350 cargo vans and specially designed GMC 5500 Prisoner Transport Trucks.
Sheriffs also assist police with public order and special events like the Stanley Cup Finals, which attracted thousands to the streets in Calgary and Edmonton.
Sheriff Highway Patrol (Sheriff Integrated Traffic Unit)
Starting in 2006, the highway patrol has been assisting the RCMP K Division in traffic enforcement of the Traffic Safety Act on provincial highways outside of the major cities of Calgary and Edmonton. The Highway Patrol works with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) to assist in the reduction of accidents by dangerous drivers, providing assistance at "checkstop" drinking and driving check stops and by investigating property damage collisions.
In 2010, RCMP K Division Traffic Services and the Sheriff Highway Patrol were integrated together as a unit. The integrated units focus their education and enforcement efforts on four driving activities: impaired driving, not using seatbelts, speeding and proceeding unsafely through intersections.
The Integrated Traffic Units (ITUs) patrol roads identified as having a history of collisions which have resulted in fatal and serious injuries. Traffic safety officers target the high-risk driving behaviour that causes these collisions.
There are 107 traffic sheriffs working out of 20 ITU offices with 163 RCMP members from K Division Traffic Services Section as well as 10 RCMP serious collision investigators in various locations around the province. Sheriffs in the Alberta Sheriff Highway Patrol or known as Sheriff Integrated Traffic Unit have the power to enforce traffic-related provincial laws, including the Traffic Safety Act and liquor and gaming regulations. Traffic sheriffs can also apprehend individuals who are wanted on outstanding warrants. They also assist police officers with impaired driving investigations. Traffic sheriffs receive specialized safety training, including collision investigation and child safety seat inspection.
In addition to working with the RCMP, traffic sheriffs work with other enforcement agencies, such as local police services, Commercial Vehicle Enforcement, and Fish and Wildlife officers.
Executive Protection Unit
The Executive Protection Unit is responsible for the protection of the premier, other members of the provincial cabinet, and members of the provincial judiciary. This unit is most visible at public events where the premier has been confronted by opponents of oil sands developments.
Sheriff Operation Communications Centre
The Sheriff Operation Communications Centre (SOCC) operates a complex 24-hour Control and Alarm Monitoring Centre in Edmonton. It also provides provincial radio communications and dispatch for sheriffs in the province. It is the central repository for sheriff-initiated warrant control and maintenance. SOCC is the Sheriff Branch’s central hub for Canadian Police Information Centre (CPIC) data transfer.
Legislature and Government Centre Security
The Legislature and Government Centre Security provides security and protection of the Legislature Building and Government Centre. Sheriffs patrol the Legislature and Government Centre Grounds to ensure public order, crime prevention, and safety for all who visit and work at Government Centre.
Alberta Security and Strategic Intelligence Support Team
The Alberta Security and Strategic Intelligence Support Team (ASSIST) is a highly specialized unit that manages counter-terrorism information and intelligence and develops threat assessments as it relates to Alberta's critical infrastructure. They are strictly an intelligence unit and do not enforce any laws.
Alberta Law Enforcement Response Teams – Integrated Fugitive Apprehension Unit
The Integrated Fugitive Apprehension Unit (IFAU) is divided into two areas, North (Edmonton) and South (Calgary), which cover their respective parts of the province. These teams look for and arrest persons with outstanding warrants who have evaded capture. At any time there are 175,000 outstanding arrest warrants in Alberta. Of those, 8,000 are for violent or serious crimes. Fugitive apprehension is a specialized investigative skill and capturing these people requires a lot of time and police resources. IFAU ensures the process is intelligence led and that tracking efforts can seamlessly cross jurisdictions.
The program, the first of its kind in Canada, plays an important role in promoting safe, secure communities by arresting criminals and decreasing the likelihood of them re-offending and revictimizing Albertans.
The support of IFAU allows local police more time and resources to focus on other priorities like community policing and criminal investigations. Until this program was created, the province's various police agencies, including the RCMP, were solely responsible for tracking people with outstanding warrants and other provincial apprehension warrants. IFAU has also received requests for service from the federal immigration department, welfare fraud investigators and the federal justice department's fine-enforcement program.
All agencies that contact the unit have their requests prioritized and assistance is granted in accordance of urgency.
Alberta Law Enforcement Response Teams- Safer Communities and Neighbourhoods
The Safer Communities and Neighbourhoods (SCAN) unit promotes safe communities by targeting and shutting down properties that are regularly used for illegal activities related to drugs, gangs, prostitution and child exploitation.
Provincial SCAN legislation empowers citizens to take back their neighbourhood by reporting problem properties. Complaints are confidential and the identity of the complainant will not be revealed at any time.
The unit uses civil legislation to target properties, not people. Any criminal activities uncovered when dealing with these properties is turned over to the police to investigate.
SCAN investigators will meet with a property owner, or send a warning letter, to try and solve the problem informally before taking legal action.
If informal efforts are unsuccessful, SCAN will apply to the courts for a community safety order (CSO) that requires owners to clean up their property or for the property to be closed for 90 days. Tenants are removed from a property only as a last resort and when there has been no cooperation from the tenants or the owner.
SCAN supports partner law enforcement agencies by targeting commercial or residential problem properties that are often a hugely disproportionate drain on police time and resources.
Alberta Law Enforcement Response Teams- Sheriffs Investigative Surveillance Unit
The Sheriffs Investigative Surveillance Units (SISUs) provides surveillance assistance to Alberta law enforcement agencies conducting ongoing, provincially-focused investigations. For example, SISU has been instrumental in covert DNA collection for police agencies. That service has helped lead to the early arrest and imprisonment of numerous criminals.
The support of SISU allows local police agencies more time and resources to address crime in their communities.
In 2008, SISU assisted with 90 investigations across the province. Of those, 23 were homicide cases and 25 were drug-related investigations.
- Ford Police Interceptor Sedan / Utility
- Ford Crown Victoria Police Interceptor
- Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Crew Cab truck
- Ford E-Series Van
- GMC C5500 Transport Van
- Harley Davidson Electra Glide Police Package
The rank structure consists of the following:
- Deputy chief
- Sheriff III
- Sheriff II
- Sheriff I (Only unarmed sheriffs: screening at courthouses and dispatch at SOCC)
- "Fugitive Apprehension Sheriffs Support Team (FASST)". Alberta Law Enforcement Response Teams. Retrieved November 20, 2011.