Monday, November 15, 2021
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No Provincial Funds: Lethbridge not getting local, dedicated SCAN unit

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It looks like Lethbridge won’t be getting a permanent SCAN unit here, at least not right now anyway.

Late last year (2019), City Council wrote to the province, asking for consideration of a dedicated Safer Communities and Neighbourhoods (SCAN) team to help shut down local drug houses.

Mayor Chris Spearman says he’s been told the UCP government doesn’t have money for a Lethbridge unit, however they are open to future discussions. “So what we would like to see is a greater SCAN presence. We had offered them office space here in the city to try and encourage them. We think if we could shut down the drug houses and have a regular presence here that would be effective.”

Last year SCAN shut down three drug houses in Lethbridge, something officials says is “extraordinary” for a city this size, especially given the fact the Alberta Sheriffs organization, operated on five closure orders in all of southern Alberta in 2019.

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Spearman says it is encouraging that the Minister of Justice and Solicitor General has said they’re open to further discussions, however the Mayor wonders if the province isn’t prepared to put a permanent SCAN office in Lethbridge, then what’s the middle ground?

Two weeks, ago SCAN officers shuttered a suspected west side drug house which Lethbridge Police had been called to numerous times, saying the house was “very active”.

The Mayor says to have a four to six member SCAN unit in Lethbridge would cost the province about $800,000 a year.

SCAN said earlier this month it currently has around 50 outstanding drug house complaints in Lethbridge. Spearman says the City of Lethbridge submitted a business case to the UCP government indicating at any one time there could be as many as 125 properties under surveillance and 12 to 14 active drug houses.

The Mayor says he wants to see those active houses shut down on a more regular and efficient basis.

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Patrick Siedlecki

Pat has been a mainstay in the CJOC News department from the time the station launched in 2007. He’s been in the position of News Director since then and has been anchoring daily news casts as well as reporting and working behind the scenes.

Community is important to him and keeping CJOC listeners and readers informed about what’s happening across southern Alberta and beyond.

Pat has been in radio broadcasting for the past 24 years, starting in Port Alberni on Vancouver Island in 1997 and then moving up island to Nanaimo for another few years before heading to Lethbridge in 2007.

Pat grew up in the small Saskatchewan farming town of Foam Lake. After high school, he went to Western Academy Broadcasting College (WABC) in Saskatoon prior to moving to the island.

Pat also spent several years broadcasting hockey in the BCHL as well as seven years as the radio voice of the Lethbridge Hurricanes in the WHL.

Pat has been working at Cornerstone Funeral Home in Lethbridge as a Certified Life Celebrant and Funeral Assistant since 2016.

News and sports have always been Pat’s passion from the time he was a teenager and he’s always been grateful to have had the opportunity to make that part of what’s been a fun and long radio career!

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