Sheriffs Close Calgary Drug House

Alberta sheriffs have shuttered a problem property in Calgary and placed the owner under strict conditions until 2021.

Investigators from the Alberta Sheriffs obtained a court order that gives the Safer Communities and Neighbourhoods (SCAN) unit the authority to close a house at 2000 Cottonwood Cres. SE for the next 90 days. Under the order, the property will be monitored for two years after that.

“We want all Albertans to live in safe and resilient communities. Targeting properties associated with criminal activity is an important tool in keeping neighbourhoods secure. I commend SCAN investigators for their vital work in protecting Albertans.”

~Kathleen Ganley, Minister of Justice and Solicitor General

The closure took effect today, as crews boarded up the house, changed the locks and erected a fence around the property to bar the owner and any occupants from entering for 90 days.

After the closure period ends on Jan. 2, 2019, the order forbids the property owner from having any visitors or tenants for two years without approval from SCAN investigators.

These measures are aimed at breaking a cycle of criminal activity at the property. In the past two years, the Calgary Police Service responded to more than 30 incidents at the home, including two drug overdoses – one fatal ­– in 2018.

The SCAN unit began investigating in January 2018, in response to complaints about drug activity at the property. Investigators confirmed ongoing drug activity and used their evidence to obtain a Community Safety Order in Court of Queen’s Bench.

The SCAN team works with other law enforcement agencies to shut down properties being used for illegal activities. The Safer Communities and Neighbourhoods Act gives sheriffs the option of targeting problem properties through civil enforcement.

Since its inception in 2008, Alberta’s SCAN unit has investigated more than 4,700 problem properties across the province and has issued 72 Community Safety Orders. The majority of complaints are resolved informally, with no need for legal action, by working with property owners to resolve issues.