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Crime

Vegreville RCMP charge seven and seize drugs after search warrants executed 

Published

July 16, 2019

Vegreville, Alta. – On July 12, 2019, the Vegreville RCMP with assistance of the Tofield and Viking Detachments, Eastern Alberta District Rural Crime Reduction Unit, Police Dog Services and Edmonton ALERT executed simultaneous search warrants on two residences in the Town of Vegreville. A short time later a third search warrant was executed on a vehicle.

In total, seven persons were arrested and charged with a number of drug, weapons and other offences.  A total of 70 grams of methamphetamine, 155 grams of marihuana, heroin, cocaine, drug trafficking paraphernalia and numerous edged weapons were seized.

The following persons have been charged:

  • Brendan John Lebid (36) of Vegreville was charged with 28 offences some of which include, trafficking in controlled substances, weapon/firearm prohibitions, breach of court orders
  • Gordon Donald Brown (63) of Vegreville was charged with trafficking in controlled substance (x2) and possession or property obtained by crime (x2)
  • Leon Jordan Tremblay (33) of Vegreville was charged with trafficking in controlled substance (x2), breaching court orders (x2) and a wepons offence
  • Crystal Lea Williams (31) of Vegreville was charged with trafficking in controlled substances (x2) and possession of property obtained by crime (x2)
  • Sherry Lynn Cannan (31) of Vegreville was charged with trafficking in controlled substance (x4) and eight other offences
  • Kevin Duane Vrodlak (49) of Snow Lake, Manitoba was charged with obstruction (x2). At the time of his arrest he was also wanted on outstanding warrants out of Vegreville, Edmonton and Hinton
  • Bernie Patrick Chrapko (63) of Vegreville was charged with six offences which included: trafficking in controlled substances, possession of property obtained by crime and breaching court orders

The accused appeared in Vegreville Provincial Court on Monday July 15, 2019.

“This investigation was over a six-month period and through the diligence of investigators efforts were made to disrupt the illicit drug trade along with reducing crimes that are common within the subculture,” says Corporal Leigh Drinkwater, Vegreville Detachment. “This investigation will certainly serve to reduce a number of crimes in the Town of Vegreville and surrounding areas.”

President Todayville Inc., Former VP/GM CTV Edmonton, Honorary Lieutenant Colonel 41 Signal Regiment, Board Member Lieutenant Governor of Alberta Arts Award Foundation, Past Board Member United Way of Alberta Capital Region, Musician, Photographer.

Calgary

ASIRT says police shooting was reasonable action

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Alberta Serious Incident Response Team ASIRT

From the Alberta Serious Incident Response Team:

Shooting reasonable during CPS critical incident

On Sept. 29, 2017, the Alberta Serious Incident Response Team (ASIRT) was directed to investigate the circumstances surrounding the arrest of a 22-year-old man by members of the Calgary Police Service (CPS) that day. During the arrest, one CPS member fired his service pistol, resulting in the man sustaining an injury.

ASIRT interviewed all relevant police and civilian witnesses, including the 22-year-old man, about the events. Radio communication audio recordings, 911 open call recording, and CCTV video, including video from inside the convenience store where the incident occurred, were secured. The involved officer declined to provide a statement, as is his constitutional right.

Having reviewed the investigation, executive director Susan Hughson, QC, has come to the conclusion that force used during this incident was both reasonable and justified.

At approximately 8:08 p.m. that day, CPS received a 911 call reporting that a man, armed with a knife, was inside the 7-Eleven store located 4604 37 Street SW. The caller reported that the man, who wasn’t wearing a shirt, entered the store holding a can of beer and a knife, and had approached her asking for a lighter. As she spoke with the 911 dispatcher, the man grabbed her cellphone, entered the mailroom storage area and refused to leave.

A CPS officer, who came into the 7-Eleven store to buy something, became aware of the situation and talked to the man through the closed door of the storage room. At the same time, CPS dispatched officers in response to the call and customers were evacuated from the store. The cellphone taken from the 911 caller remained an open line, capturing audio of the incident and the conversation between the man and police. Once additional CPS officers were on-scene, police used the cellphone to continue to speak with the man.

While inside the storage area, the man set fire to the room and refused to come out. The man requested water, and officers persuaded him to exit the room to take a bottle of water. The man left the burning room briefly, still holding a knife. Officers shouted commands to drop the knife and deployed a Conducted Energy Weapon (CEW), commonly referred to as a Taser. It had no impact and the man quickly returned to the storage room. As the fire progressed, it disabled the store’s electrical power and the building switched to its emergency lighting system.

The man again left the storage room, still armed with the knife, and officers deployed a CEW two additional times, but the man was able to return to the room. At this point, it is likely that the growing fire made it difficult for the man to stay inside the room, as he emerged again shortly after. This time, he came out holding the knife and ran toward the officers. An officer fired two rounds from his service pistol, striking the man in the shoulder. The man fell to the ground and began stabbing himself in the neck with the knife. When he ignored verbal commands from officers to drop the knife, officers deployed a CEW again to stop the man from harming himself. While it successfully stopped the man from continuing to stab himself in the neck, it did not cause him to drop the knife. A police service dog was deployed to drag the man into an open area, where he was successfully disarmed. At this point, the smoke in the building was described as being almost intolerable.

Officers carried the man out of the burning building to a waiting ambulance, which provided emergency care and transported him to hospital. The man was treated for his injuries, including burns to his back, chest, and hands, and a gunshot wound to the shoulder. He was subsequently booked into custody at the Calgary Remand Centre. On Dec. 23, 2017, shortly after his release, the 22-year-old man died in circumstances unrelated to his contact with police on Sept. 29, 2017 or the physical injuries he sustained.

Initially, police responded to an armed man with a knife who had stolen a phone from an employee and effectively barricaded himself in a storage room at a public convenience store. His behaviour was erratic, unpredictable and concerning. While he appeared intent on self-harm, he still had the ability to hurt someone else. The fact that he was high and in the midst of a mental health crisis did not make him less dangerous and, arguably, would make him more dangerous as he was not making rational decisions or choices. Initially, all the CPS officers tried to do, was to “talk out” the situation to encourage his surrender. Unfortunately, when the man started a fire, it significantly increased the urgency of the situation for all involved, and limited the options available to police. As well, the limited visibility and the increasingly difficult environment inside the store made the situation even more problematic. Officers tried twice to apprehend him using intermediate force options, but both attempts were unsuccessful. This is the reality of some situations. Plans fail and officers regroup and look for alternate opportunities or approaches. Up until the final time the man emerged from the storage room, there was no intention to resort to lethal force and the plan was still to try and extricate him from the situation as safely as possible, with no loss of life.

Under Sec. 25 of the Criminal Code, police officers are entitled to use as much force as is reasonably necessary to carry out their lawful duties. Furthermore, under Sec. 34 of the Criminal Code, any person, including a police officer, is entitled to the use of reasonable force in defence of themselves or another. An assessment of the reasonableness of force used requires consideration of the nature of the threat presented, the urgency of the situation, and the availability of other alternatives. In this case, the action of running directly towards a police officer, in close proximity, while armed with a knife created a serious and immediate threat. In the circumstances, it would be reasonable for the officer to perceive a threat capable of causing death or grievous bodily harm to himself, other officers or any other person. Accordingly, it is reasonable that he resorted to the use of lethal force.

This incident began and escalated due to the effects of drugs and their interaction with pre-existing mental health issues. In light of these factors, it is extremely unfortunate that the man sustained an injury during his arrest, but the escalation of the situation and the interpretation of his actions following his final exit from the room created a reasonable apprehension that he presented a risk of grievous bodily harm or death to an officer. Considering that assessment, the force used to address that danger was reasonable given all of the circumstances.

As such, there are no reasonable grounds, nor even reasonable suspicion, to believe that the officer committed any Criminal Code offence. All officers were lawfully placed and acting in the lawful execution of their duties. They all attempted to exercise restraint until the armed man, desperately suicidal, forced their hand. The force employed was reasonable in the circumstances. As such, no charges are appropriate.

ASIRT’s mandate is to effectively, independently and objectively investigate incidents involving Alberta’s police that have resulted in serious injury or death to any person.

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Crime

Alberta RCMP celebrate a one-of-a-kind partnership with their Police Service Dogs

Published

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Aug. 21, 2019

Alberta RCMP celebrate a one-of-a-kind partnership with their Police Service Dogs

Edmonton – In recognition of International Dog Day on Monday, Aug. 26, 2019, Alberta RCMP’s Police Dog Services Unit provided a demonstration of their abilities in tacking illicit substances, explosive materials and suspects through adverse conditions.

Police Dog Services Unit handlers Sgt. Troy Raddatz, Cpl. Andy Brown and Cpl. Mike Drenka, with Police Service Dogs Hulk, Echo and Roy showed-off their skills and took questions from the assembled media.

Quotes

“Hulk is the hardest working and most reliable partner I could ever hope to have, but he’s more than that. He’s also a loving member of our family.”

Sgt. Troy Raddatz
Police Dog Services Program Manager
“K” Division RCMP

“I’m very lucky to be partnered with Roy. Our personalities are one in the same. While we both enjoy our backyard leisure time with the family, we can quickly and effectively head off at a moments notice to assist frontline members, whether it be locating a missing person, or apprehending a wanted criminal. I can’t think of another dog, or even person I would rather work with, day in and day out.”

Cpl. Mike Drenka
“K” Division RCMP Dog Handler

“The bond between a dog and their handler is unlike any other relationship. You spend so much time together, constantly at work, training and on your days off, your dog becomes a part of your family.  The biggest part of a team’s ability to succeed in the field relies heavily on this bond.”

Cpl. Andy Brown
“K” Division RCMP Dog Handler

Quick Facts

All RCMP working dogs are purebred German Shepherds that are bred, born and trained in Innisfail, Alta. at the Police Dog Service Training Centre.On average, the Centre will whelp 100 healthy puppies every year.

The responsibilities of police services dogs include locating lost persons; tracking criminals; searching for narcotics, explosives, human remains, crime scene evidence and lost property; VIP protection; crowd control, in conjunction with tactical troop; hostage situations; avalanche search and rescue; and police/community relations.

Currently, there are 19 dogs in “K” Division.

 

 

Backgrounder: Police Dog Services

History

From 1908 to 1935 members occasionally used privately owned dogs to assist them in their investigations.

The RCMP dog section was formed in 1935 with the acquisition of three German shepherds.

In 1937, the Commissioner at the time ordered an RCMP training school for dogs and handlers to be established in Calgary.

The RCMP Police Dog Service Training Centre was established in Innisfail, Alta. in 1965.

Dogs

All RCMP working dogs are purebred German Shepherds that are bred, born and trained in Innisfail at the Police Dog Service Training Centre.  On average, the Centre will whelp 100 healthy puppies every year.

At 7 weeks of age, puppies are put through a structured evaluation.  Only those that display the unique qualities of an RCMP working dog will go forward into the Imprinting Program.

The RCMP Imprinting Program develops puppies and young dogs in preparing them to be successful for their eventual police service dog training.

Imprinters are RCMP members located across Canada, who have career aspirations of becoming a dog handler. They volunteer hundreds of hours every year ensuring our puppies become socialized and confident.

Continuous testing and monitoring is performed throughout the Imprinting phase. Once the dog is 14-16 months old, it will be evaluated for his/her suitability to come into formal training. Basic training is approximately 17 weeks.

Dogs and handlers are validated to the Doghandler Course Training Standard Field Level capability annually.

In addition to training, the Police Dog Service Training Centre also, breeds and sells dogs.

Dog Handlers

Dog handlers are regular members who volunteer for this particular duty.

Candidates must go through a staffing selection process, which involves meeting certain criteria.

Duties

The responsibilities of police services dogs include locating lost persons; tracking criminals; searching for narcotics, explosives,  human remains, crime scene evidence and lost property; VIP protection; crowd control, in conjunction with tactical troop; hostage situations; avalanche search and rescue; and police/community relations.

Currently, there are 19 dogs in K Division.

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