Investigators from the Alberta Sheriffs Branch are making a north Edmonton community safer by taking action on a problem property.
The Safer Communities and Neighbourhoods (SCAN) unit has obtained a court order restricting the number of tenants at 11119 94 St. and placing the property owner under strict conditions for five years. The landlord is required to inspect the building every second day and ensure that it complies with all fire, health and bylaw rules. The owner can no longer operate the property as a rooming house and is limited to renting out three suites.
The order is aimed at preventing the return of drug activity responsible for endangering residents of the community, while allowing law-abiding tenants of the property to remain in their homes.
“The partnership between SCAN and law enforcement is crucial in keeping communities safe and secure. This is another example of the important work SCAN investigators do to help protect Albertans.”
~Kathleen Ganley, Minister of Justice and Solicitor General
SCAN first investigated the property in response to a complaint about drug activity in 2014. Investigators substantiated the complaint and issued a warning letter to the landlord in July 2015. The landlord evicted tenants following the warning and the action succeeded in temporarily stopping the drug activity.
In 2017, SCAN opened a new investigation in response to renewed drug activity and a serious escalation in crime. During a one-week period in September 2017, two drug-related homicides took place on the premises. Earlier that year, a woman died of a fatal overdose inside the property.
On March 16, SCAN investigators obtained a Community Safety Order (CSO) in Court of Queen’s Bench giving Alberta Sheriffs the authority to limit occupancy of the property and impose strict monitoring until 2023.
It’s the second time in a week the SCAN unit has taken legal action against a problem property in Edmonton. On Wednesday, SCAN investigators executed a CSO that closed a drug house at 11838 54 St. for 90 days. The order forced the owner and any tenants to vacate the property for the duration of the order.
In the case of the 94 Street property, SCAN investigators opted against a full closure to avoid displacing residents who weren’t involved in criminal activity.
SCAN works with other law enforcement agencies to shut down properties being used for illegal activities. SCAN investigations are conducted by sheriffs with specialized training to enforce the Safer Communities and Neighbourhoods Act, which gives them the option of targeting problem properties via civil enforcement.
Since its inception in 2008, SCAN has investigated more than 4,200 problem properties across Alberta and has issued 72 CSOs. The majority of complaints are resolved informally, prior to legal action, by working with property owners to resolve issues.