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Premier tasks minister with keeping Albertans safe

Posted on August 17, 2023 by admin

By Al Beeber
Southern Alberta Newspapers

Premier Danielle Smith has laid down the law with Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Services Mike Ellis.

In a letter to the minister on July 31, the premier called on Ellis to work with Albertans to keep their communities safe.

In her letter, Smith emphasized the government’s priority of ensuring the protection of Albertans and keeping communities safe in the province.

She’s asking Ellis deliver on several platform commitments.

The letter says those include:

-Immediately implementing the Safe Streets Action Plan, including adding at least 100 new patrol officers for Calgary and Edmonton and assessing whether more officers are needed.

-Creating specialized sheriff-led anti-fentanyl and illegal gun trafficking teams, including at the Canada-U.S. border.

-Expanding the provincial cybercrime units.

-Exploring opportunities for continued sheriff deployment in Edmonton, Calgary and other communities to assist with patrols and street-level law enforcement.

-Increasing support for Internet and Child Exploitation Teams.

-Creating additional Alberta Law Enforcement Response Team Gang Suppression Units, including increased monitoring of scrap metal dealers and gang connections to reduce catalytic converter theft.

-Working with partners to create a new provincial DNA lab.

-Implementing, with sheriffs, a modern ankle bracelet monitoring program and enhanced 24-hour bail monitoring of violent and sexual offenders.

-Improving awareness of Clare’s Law and other tools to assist Albertans forming close relationships with violent and sexual offenders without knowledge or consent.

Smith also wants Ellis to continue creating and expanding therapeutic living units at provincial correctional units and review the education and training curriculum for sheriffs so they can assist in a broader scope of policing.

Ellis is also being tasked with ensuring that mental health and addictions patients have safe transportation to appropriate health services

He’s also charged with the job of working with Indigenous, mid-sized and rural communities to address rising crime rates, and also modernizing and reforming Indigenous policing programs to address underfunding and gaps.

He’s also been told to work in collaboration with the Minister of Mental Health on ensuring police services have the tools they need to support wellness and recovery of residents while they focus on keeping communities safe.

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