ALERT team begins operation in City

  • May. 22, 2013 3:23 p.m.

The Alberta Law Enforcement Response Teams (ALERT) has introduced its newest organized and serious crime unit in Red Deer.

The Red Deer Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit (CFSEU) has been established through funding from ALERT and the municipality. The unit will serve all of Central Alberta. It includes RCMP members who work together to investigate serious crime, such as drug trafficking networks, gang activity and marihuana grow operations. The team will target street-level gang activity, as well as probe larger organized crime groups both inside and outside Alberta’s borders.

With the majority of officers now in place and a new office to house the team, CFSEU-Red Deer is ramping up its efforts to crack down on organized crime in the area. There are currently 10 officers in the unit and they have been working in Red Deer since November. Eventually there will be about 15 officers on the unit.

“Integrated policing allows us to better leverage our resources across the province to tackle organized and serious crime,” said CFSEU-Red Deer’s Sgt. Gerald Ouellet. “Like all communities across Alberta, Red Deer is impacted by this kind of criminal activity, and we are eager to play a part in further enhancing safety in this region.”

Since ALERT’s inception in 2006, it has set up CFSEUs in Calgary, Edmonton, Grande Prairie, Fort McMurray, Medicine Hat, and Lethbridge. These teams include municipal police, RCMP and sheriffs who work together across all jurisdictions. They lead investigations, as well as provide support to policing partners investigating organized and serious crime.

“Organized crime knows no boundaries,” said Ouellet. “That is why it’s essential to work with law enforcement across Alberta and outside our borders on these often long-term, complex investigations.

“Red Deer is like any other community. We’ve noticed Red Deer is not immune to it. There are organized crime groups that we will be targeting throughout our investigations.”

RCMP Supt. Warren Dosko said ALERT is a welcome addition to the local RCMP detachment.

“The ALERT team is really looking at a regional approach to our organized crime situation in Red Deer. It’s going to be responsible for taking on those complex, serious organized crime-type investigations. We have certainly used ALERT in our serious crimes to date in an assistance role so they have certainly been of significant value in those investigative resources in some of our serious crimes over the past three or four months and we see that partnership growing,” he said. “We believe this approach will address our issues around organized crime and work towards a more safer community.”

Residents who have information related to organized and serious crime are encouraged to contact the local RCMP detachment or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS.

CFSEU-Red Deer is an ALERT team jointly funded by the province and municipality to bring together Alberta’s most sophisticated law enforcement resources to tackle serious and organized crime. Over 400 municipal police, RCMP and sheriffs work for ALERT.