With more than 80 criminal charges, 85 arrest warrants and thousands of dollars of seized property, the Lethbridge Police Service's (LPS) downtown enforcement project is curbing crime in the downtown core.
Sergeant Robin Klassen and Acting Inspector Pete Christos presented an update to City Council on the education and awareness projects the LPS has been conducting in relation to drug activity in the city.
Klassen says the targeted policing unit are actively working towards creating safer spaces in the downtown community.
"Our focus is addressing crime and social disorder downtown," says Klassen. "We're there to act as a dedicated resource for businesses, residents and to help support the at-risk population of our city."
Mayor Chris Spearman says the results presented by the LPS shows real progress is being made in combatting the social issues the city is facing however there is still more to be done.
"We want residents and businesses to know we are doing everything we can to mitigate the negative impacts of drugs in our community," says Spearman. "The coordinated response by the City, LPS, the Downtown BRZ and the Chamber of Commerce is evidently achieving some tangible results and it's encouraging to see."
The LPS's presentation also included additional resources for residents if they suspect drug activity in their neighbourhood. Christos noted while the LPS does monitor suspected drug houses, there are other agencies who can assist in these cases.
Safer Communities and Neighbourhoods (SCAN) is a unit of the Alberta Sheriffs that helps keep communities safe by dealing with problem properties that are being used for specific illegal activity. Residents can confidentially make a report to SCAN via the toll-free number 1-866-960-SCAN (7226) or by heading to alberta.ca/report-suspicious-property.aspx.
Crime Stoppers is another resource residents can use to help "create a safer, more secure community." By calling 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or go to sacrimestoppers.ca, residents can pass along tips about anything suspicious they may witness.
City of Lethbridge