The Alberta government has created a team of six Safer Communities and Neighbourhoods (SCAN) investigators, basing some Alberta Sheriffs in Lethbridge. “This is a new regional team that will cover an area roughly bounded by Vulcan to the north, Crowsnest Pass to the west, the US border to the south and the provincial boundary with Saskatchewan to the east,” said Alberta Public Safety and Emergency Services Minister Mike Ellis at a Wednesday press conference. “This team is dedicated to supporting local communities.” Ellis called the SCAN team “a tool in the toolbox to help assist with law enforcement.” Over the past few months, he has spoken about border controls. While drug dealers, organized criminals and human traffickers might try to import crime, the Alberta government will stop them. Having the SCAN team’s jurisdiction go up to two borders will help combat them. He said basing investigators in Lethbridge eliminates the travel times from Calgary, enabling them to respond right away to complaints from residents in southern Alberta. When people call 9-1-1 for help, they expect uniformed officers to show up to offer assistance. With this announcement, he said it means faster responses and resolutions, ensuring concerns are addressed as soon as possible. It is in line with the Alberta government’s plan as announced in Budget 2023 to double the size of the SCAN unit and establish new regional teams. While Lethbridge is the first of these regional offices, the Alberta government will expand them further. Since its inception in 2008, it has investigated more than 8,000 properties and issued about 100 community safety orders. Ellis emphasized this initiative is a testament to the Alberta government’s dedication to the safety and well-being of communities and the collaboration between municipalities. Together, they will do whatever it takes to keep Albertans safe. Alberta United Conservative Party MLA Nathan Neudorf (Lethbridge-East) said Lethbridge and southern Alberta are some of the greatest parts of Canada in which to live and is proud to represent it. “But we are not immune to the major crime issues that have plagued centres all across Canada,” said Neudorf. “And with that, it is our government’s commitment to make public safety a major plank in our platform on this recent election and this announcement shows we are following through on this promise right here in Lethbridge.” Neudorf admitted installing a major SCAN unit in Lethbridge is a significant step towards fighting crime in southern Alberta. While it is addressing symptoms, he said it is about “digging out the root causes of crime in our region.” Alberta Sheriffs Deputy Chief Greg Medley said it is an exciting day for his organization and its SCAN investigators. “As Minister Ellis mentioned, the SCAN unit has done a lot of work in and around the Lethbridge area in recent years, with 363 investigations in this city between 2019 to present,” said Medley. “Nine of those cases have resulted in community safety orders, where SCAN investigators from Calgary obtain legal authorization to close properties for a specific period of time.” In these cases, Medley said they are the ones that make the news. Investigators and crews arrive to board up houses and fence off properties at the end of these investigations. The Alberta UCP said in May it is time to clean up the streets in Lethbridge.READ MORE: UCP vows to make streets safer in LethbridgeThe UCP said its re-election would see it not let crime and disorder continue growing, take a firm approach to make Alberta streets and transit systems safer and support people with mental illnesses and addictions.If re-elected, it said it will take significant steps to restore safety in Alberta’s cities, communities and families through the Safe Streets Action Plan.