While Albertans remain evacuated from their homes, RCMP officers are on the ground in the affected communities to ensure that personal property remains protected.
Officers are employing several different strategies to ensure that communities remain secure.
Policing strategies being employed include tightly controlling the perimeter of communities, conducting roving patrols, establishing quick response and investigative teams, and using various crime reduction techniques.
During the evacuation period, access to communities is being restricted and those who have reason to be in the evacuated community to do any sort of work need to register with perimeter checkpoints. This allows the roving patrols to do their job more easily.
With community access being controlled, officers are patrolling the communities with both marked vehicles and remotely piloted aircraft (drones) to identify criminal activity and anyone within the perimeter who shouldn’t be there. During night-time patrols, officers are making use of night vision technology.
If patrols identify any immediate issues, a nearby quick-reaction team is mobilized to react to the incident. Officers in these teams are specially trained and equipped to deal with sensitive and dangerous situations.
In other cases, if suspicious activity or individuals are identified investigators will be called in with a focus on prolific offenders and known criminal hot-spots using overt and covert techniques to stop those looking to profit from the emergency situation.
As well as the manpower, crime reduction equipment is also in play. “Bait” vehicles and equipment are being placed in some of the affected communities, overseen by specialized crime reduction teams working to catch criminals in the act.
“Until you are able to return to your community, your local RCMP officers are committed to keeping communities that have been evacuated safe and secure,” says an RCMP media relations officer in a written release.
“Please help us keep everyone safe by listening to the advice from local authorities and staying away from evacuated areas until you have been cleared to return.”