“War on Grow Ops” conference showcases Calgary best practices

“War on Grow Ops” conference showcases Calgary best practices

March 26, 2012

City of Calgary, Calgary Police Service, and ALERT host three-day national conference

Banff… A major, three-day national conference focusing on the issue of marihuana grow operations begins today in Banff, AB.

The conference is hosted by the City of Calgary, the Calgary Police Service (CPS), and the Alberta Law Enforcement Response Teams (ALERT).

Law enforcement, government, and private sector delegates from across Canada are attending the conference to learn about Calgary’s best practices in dealing with the investigation, eradication, and remediation of marihuana grow operations.

The conference will provide a forum to explore the collaborative approach developed in Calgary to deal with this public safety issue. Nearly 200 delegates will participate in presentations on health and safety risks, investigative challenges, trends in Alberta, the remediation process, community engagement, and a number of other related topics.

Speakers will include representatives from the City of Calgary, Calgary Police Service, ALERT, Edmonton and Calgary Stop Marijuana Grow Ops Coalitions, Alberta Health Services, Calgary Fire Services, the Real Estate Board, Civil Forfeiture Office, and the Coordinated Safety Response Team.

Marihuana grow operations harm communities. Communities not only face increased fire risk, criminal activity, toxins, and stolen utilities, but once a grow operation is dismantled, unsafe conditions still remain.
Residents of Calgary know all too well the dangers associated with illegal grow operations. In 2009, the Citadel neighbourhood, and a number of families in particular, were devastated when an illegal grow operation caught on fire and damaged seven neighbouring homes. Last year, three house fires broke out in locations that were concealing dangerous marihuana grow operations. Victims of the Citadel fire will attend the conference and share their stories.

Last year, close to 100 marihuana grow operations were dismantled in the Calgary area, 19 of which were fortified to varying degrees. Police seized a total of 31 weapons and 55,715 marihuana plants, and Alberta Health Services deemed 80 of these properties unfit for human habitation. Since 2010, over 200 environmental restoration permits have been issued by The City of Calgary, Building Regulations.

To report suspicious activity or a suspected marihuana grow operation in your community, contact Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 (TIPS) or Safer Communities and Neighborhoods at 1-866-960-7226 (SCAN).


Media inquiries may be directed to:
Candace Cook

Michael Nunn
Calgary Police Service

Lexie Bexon
City of Calgary