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Lloydminster RCMP building getting upgrades to house ALERT team

The City of Lloydminster is taking steps to bring in more law enforcement resources to tackle crime in the area.

City council has given the go ahead to develop part of the second floor of the RCMP building to house Alberta Law Enforcement Response Team in the future. ALERT have been in contact with city staff and have agreed to place a full-time team in Lloydminster.

The city will be paying for 30 per cent of the costs up to a maximum of $120,000. The total cost of the project is estimated to be a maximum of $470,000. Mayor Gerald Aalbers says it was a perfect opportunity as there was plenty of space in the building. He praises previous city councils in their foresight to account for future possible expansions.

“Previous councils knew there would be growth and this is an ideal opportunity to take advantage of an offer made at the provincial level to work with us.”

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ALERT is primarily funded by the province of Alberta but also receives contributions from the federal government. It was established in 2006 to combat organized crime and brings together more than 300 municipal police and RCMP officers to investigate drug trafficking, child exploitation and gang violence.

“They’ll be able to dedicate resources to deeper investigation and hopefully deal with the challenges our community and surrounding areas face with organized crime.” 

While the team works primarily in Alberta they do track crime across provincial borders. Last summer, ALERT arrested several people in connection to a drug trafficking network that went through Alberta and B.C. and saw drugs being brought to Lloydminster and the surrounding areas.

Aalbers says logistics are being worked out in between both governments in Saskatchewan and Alberta. He doesn’t see any problems coming from the border issue as RCMP officers are a part of the team and have jurisdiction.

“There’s work being done with the Government of Saskatchewan looking at what might work because of our unique border situation but certainly they will have the ability to work both sides of the border.”

No timelines were given on when ALERT would be fully operational in Lloydminster. Aalbers says there will be a more formal announcement when the team is ready.

ALERT has teams stationed in Calgary, Edmonton, Red Deer, Lethbridge, Medicine Hat, Grande Prairie and Fort McMurray.

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