Earlier this week, the Safer Communities and Neighbourhoods Unit (SCAN) of the Alberta Sheriffs shut down another Lethbridge drug house.
During all of last year (2019), SCAN closed up five suspected drug houses in all of southern Alberta, three of those were here in the city.
SCAN Inspector Mike Letourneau said this week that’s an extraordinary number of closure orders for a community this size and notes he can see why City Council is advocating to the province for a permanent SCAN unit to be based solely in Lethbridge.
“They’re busy here,” says Letourneau. “Lethbridge Police Service members are passionate about what they do here and they’re good at it. An addition of a SCAN unit in Lethbridge would be a great addition to this community.”
Letourneau notes right now, SCAN has about 50 outstanding community drug house complaints in Lethbridge.
The latest closure was at 82 Assiniboia Way West, a home authorities say has been on police radar for a very long time.
Letourneau also credits Lethbridge residents for playing a significant role in getting these trouble homes shuttered. “It takes brave people and concerned people about their communities to make these phone calls. It’s important to note when residents make these calls, our legislation protects them 100%. Their identities are protected from the start of the investigation right till the end.”
Mayor Chris Spearman told City Council last August that Lethbridge needs a dedicated SCAN team. “We would be getting an enhancement to the enforcement pillar in the City of Lethbridge if we’re successful. It’s another opportunity for us to advocate for resources in the City of Lethbridge that exist in other cities like Calgary and Edmonton. If we’re going to solve the drug issue, we have to stop the supply.”
Spearman says there are enough issues in the city to warrant a permanent SCAN office here. The Mayor met with Alberta’s Solicitor General a few months ago to advocate on the City’s behalf.