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Frequently Asked Questions

ALL ABOUT ALERT

Read the questions and answers below to learn more about our function, operations, goals and how what we do affects the public? Have a question you don’t see here? Be sure to contact us.

 

Funding for ALERT, including the cost of policing resources, is provided primarily by the Government of Alberta. The Government of Canada also provides funding, while partner police agencies contribute a number of police positions at their own expense.

No. ALERT is a non-profit corporation that operates at arm’s length from the government. Governance is provided by a Board of Directors made of police chiefs from across Alberta. ALERT also has a Civilian Advisory Committee, which is composed of representatives from the Alberta Association of Police Governance, the Alberta Urban Municipalities Association and the Rural Municipalities of Alberta.

Integrated policing is a philosophy that recognizes the value of bringing together the resources of different law enforcement agencies to combat a particular crime problem. Integration is often pursued when the nature of a crime is costly, time-consuming and complex to investigate, and impacts multiple jurisdictions. The concept of integrated policing is central to the ALERT model. It is our defining philosophy and it is what has allowed us to experience great success since our establishment in 2006.

ALERT’s work differs from that of municipal police departments or RCMP detachments. ALERT co-ordinates elite teams of highly skilled police officers who work together to tackle serious and organized crime in the province. Made up of officers from municipal agencies and the RCMP, ALERT teams investigate matters such as drug trafficking, gang violence, and child exploitation. While local police and RCMP are well-equipped to handle crime in their own communities, ALERT adds value by taking a provincial, integrated approach to investigating specific crime problems. ALERT brings together the efforts and resources of individual police agencies to create a more strategic, intelligent response.

ALERT has teams stationed in eight Alberta cities: Calgary, Edmonton, Red Deer, Lethbridge, Medicine Hat, Grande Prairie, Fort McMurray and Lloydminster.

From these central locations, ALERT is able to provide service to Albertans in both urban and rural areas and access a wide range of specialized law enforcement resources.

The Internet Child Exploitation (ICE) Unit is under ALERT’s umbrella and investigates offences related to the exploitation of children over the Internet. This could include but is not limited to: the possession, distribution, importation and manufacturing of any child pornography and any computer-related child sexual abuse materials; luring children over the Internet; and voyeurism involving victims under the age of 18.

Members of the public can submit tips anonymously online at www.cybertip.ca, a website launched in 2005 by the Canadian Centre for Child Protection for reporting the online sexual exploitation of children.

The Canadian Centre for Child Protection is an agency with which the ICE Unit works closely and has lots of good resources on its website to educate kids and parents about online dangers.

Unfortunately, most courses offered by ALERT Training are only offered to law enforcement and related personnel in Alberta.

The Alberta government passed the amended Victims Restitution and Compensation Payment Act in the fall of 2008. This legislation enables the provincial government to ask the courts for a civil order forfeiting to the province property acquired illegally or property used to carry out illegal acts. The law seeks to take the profit out of crime and also remove the instruments that enable criminals to commit a wide variety of offences, such as vehicles. Forfeiture describes the process where a civil court, after the initial restraint, and after all the interested parties have had a chance to make their case, orders that ownership of the property changes. The new owner could be a victim, a group of victims, or the provincial government, who will pay the revenue to victims’ programs.

If you have information about a crime, you can submit a tip anonymously to Crime Stoppers by calling 1-800-222-TIPS (6477) or visiting www.crimestoppers.ab.ca. You can also contact your local police department or RCMP detachment with information.

 

Fort McMurray residents who have information on gang and organized crime activity in that area can call the gang information hotline at 780-788-GANG (4264). Calls are anonymous and kept confidential.

 

Medicine Hat residents can also submit tips anonymously through the Medicine Hat Police Service mobile app, which is free to download and available for both Apple and Android devices.

Board of Directors

Child Sexual Abuse Material (CSAM) involves images and/or videos that depict the sexual abuse of minors – the majority of which involve prepubescent children. Often, CSAM involves explicit and/or extreme sexual assaults against the child victim (Cybertip.ca).

Learn more about Internet Child Exploitation and ALERT’s integrated teams combatting this issue.

Ghost Guns are illegal, privately manufactured firearms or lower receivers. These weapons are often made with 3D-printers, and undermine public safety due to their lack of licensing requirements, serialization and safety controls.

Learn more about Ghost Guns on ALERT’s dedicated Privately Manufactured Firearms info page