Calgary, AB,

New Beat Team Part of International Avenue Safety Initiatives

A new Beat Team is being launched in the International Avenue area of Calgary, following the success of a number of other initiatives and operations there.

For several years, the Calgary Police Service and the businesses and residents in the area of 17 Avenue S.E., have worked together to combat crime and social disorder.

Resources have now been dedicated to not only further this work, but sustain it.

Learning from the approach taken in downtown Calgary, the CPS recently charged 39 people with a total of 141 charges after a covert operation.

Between Monday, June 2, and Friday, June 20, 2014, the CPS conducted an operation targeting high-intensity drug trafficking areas, as well as the street-level sex trade operating in the area of 17 Avenue S.E.

The goal of the operation was to disrupt drug trafficking and the solicitation of prostitution along the 17 Avenue S.E. corridor, in order to increase public safety and combat the associated crime and social disorder.

During the operation, officers laid drug-related charges against 16 people, seized a quantity of drugs, charged 23 alleged sex trade offenders and seized 22 vehicles.

This operation was conducted by District 4 officers, with the support of District 1, Vice Unit, Tactical Unit and Drug Unit.

In total, the following charges were laid:

  • Four breaches of firearms prohibitions
  • Six breaches of recognizance
  • Seven counts of possession of body armour without a licence
  • Seven counts of unsafe storage of a firearm or ammunition
  • 17 counts of possession of a weapon dangerous to the public
  • 23 counts of prostitution-related charges against alleged sex-trade offenders
  • 24 counts  of possession for the purpose of trafficking
  • 26 counts of drug trafficking
  • 27 charges of possession of proceeds of crime

Following that operation, agencies and community members came together to clean up area streets. On Saturday, June 28, 2014, a community cleanup and garbage drop was held, using members of the International Avenue Business Revitalization Zone, the City of Calgary Animal & Bylaw Services, Calgary Fire Department, Parks, Waste & Recycling Services and the CPS, as well as volunteers from the Forest Lawn and Albert Park community associations.

In addition to the cleanup day, the Calgary Parking Authority has focused on dealing with chronic parking problems in the area, including abandoned and derelict vehicles.

Animal & Bylaw Services has also been working to clean up businesses and homes that have received complaints. Waste & Recycling Services conducted a lane-by-lane cleanup.

The CPS Traffic Section has addressed community traffic concerns, as well as pedestrian safety, including crosswalks, speeding and jaywalking.

The Public Safety Compliance Team has worked with licensed establishments in the area, to ensure staff and patron safety.

The resources have now been dedicated to sustain the results of these recent efforts, with the deployment of the International Avenue Beat Team (IABT), consisting of 16 CPS Constables and a Sergeant.

Foot patrol officers will be in the International Avenue area for 18 to 20 hours a day, seven days a week. Their role is not only to enforce the law in order to make the area safer, but also to work with the community on crime prevention and reduction strategies.

The Beat Team will be supported by other officers in the district, including the Mountain Bike Team, and other areas of the Service, such as Mounted Patrol, School Resource Officers, Traffic Section and the Support Section.

Officers will each be responsible for liaising with members of the business community, local residents, schools, protective services partners and social and government agencies, to identify problems, collaborate on solutions and provide referrals to those seeking assistance.

The team will interact with children and youth in the area, through schools, recreation facilities and summer camps.

Focused on the area surrounding the International Avenue corridor, the team will be able to respond quickly to crime trends and community concerns in the area, with a goal of a sustained, long-term reduction in crime and social disorder.

All of the officers involved will be working with community members and associations, businesses and schools. They will also partner with Animal & Bylaw Services and Calgary Transit Public Safety and Enforcement.

There will be further initiatives focused towards youth in the immediate area, which will be announced in the fall.

Information on a media availability and photo opportunity has been sent in a separate advisory.