The Alberta Sheriffs and Security Operations Branch play an integral role in the Ministry’s commitment to promote safe and secure communities throughout the province. With 690 approved resources (2012-13), Alberta Sheriffs have a diverse role within public security in Alberta. Alberta Sheriffs are sworn Peace Officers under the Alberta Peace Officer Act, and they perform a wide range of activities in concert with other law enforcement and policing partners in Alberta.
The Alberta Sheriffs and Security Operations Branch is structured along four business lines:
Court Security and Prisoner Transport (CSPT)
This is the Sheriffs’ Branch largest section and core mandate, where 425 personnel are assigned. From two primary hubs in Calgary (Calgary Courts Centre) and Edmonton (Edmonton Law Courts), CSPT Sheriffs and employees provide court security and prisoner escort services for Alberta’s 73 court facilities across the province, as well as perimeter screening services to Base Court facilities.
CSPT Sheriffs also collect DNA samples under Court Order from out-of custody persons, and perform out-of-Province escorts of prisoners to/from Alberta. CSPT Sheriffs also assist provincial and municipal police agencies with public order and special events in their jurisdictions.
Operations and Protection Services (OPS)
This is the next largest section within the Sheriffs Branch, with 212 personnel assigned, performing a wide range of activities including:
- Legislature and Government Center Security (LGCS): LGCS Sheriffs provide 24-hour security at the Legislature and Government Centre grounds in Edmonton, and McDougall Center in Calgary. Security services are also provided to other key government buildings, and specialized security consultation and audit services are provided to Ministries of the Government of Alberta.
- Sheriffs Operational Communications Center (SOCC): SOCC personnel provide provincial radio communications and dispatch for Sheriffs, and are the Sheriff Branch’s central hub for Canadian Police Information Center (CPIC) data transfer.
- Executive Protection Unit (EPU): EPU Sheriffs provide close personal protection and security to the Premier, the Premier’s family, members of Cabinet and visiting dignitaries. Services are also provided to the Lieutenant Governor.
- Integrated Traffic Unit (ITU): Alberta Traffic Sheriffs work with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) in integrated traffic units to perform traffic law enforcement duties, in addition to education and awareness initiatives. Traffic Sheriffs are deployed to reduce high-risk driving behavior, improve traffic enforcement on our highways, and reduce the incidence of injury and fatality collisions.
- Alberta Security and Strategic Intelligence Support Team (ASSIST): ASSIST personnel manage security information and intelligence, develop threat assessments, and provide a conduit for the flow of information between government Ministries, law enforcement, national security agencies and the private sector as it relates to Alberta's critical infrastructure.
- Energy Security Unit (ESU): ESU personnel provide security services to/for government officials in relation to energy and utilities in Alberta, and in concert with ASSIST, facilitate the flow of information and intelligence to the energy and utilities sector.
- Technical Services Unit (TSU): TSU personnel coordinate and install security alarms, cameras and locks for government Ministries, and facilitate the operational radio system for Sheriffs.
- Security Clearance Coordination Unit (SCCU): The SCCU coordinates the completion of security clearances for Government of Alberta employees and Ministries.
Sheriffs Investigative Support Services (SISU)
Alberta Sheriffs are seconded and integrated with the RCMP and several municipal policing partners within the Alberta Law Enforcement Response Teams (ALERT) model. Led by a seconded Director/Deputy Chief, these Sheriff resources and employees perform duties which include:
- Safer Communities and Neighbourhoods Unit (SCAN): SCAN teams improve community safety by performing investigations under the SCAN Act, targeting properties used for illegal activities such as drugs, gangs and prostitution. The SCAN Act holds owners accountable for what takes place on their property.
- Sheriffs Investigative Support Unit (SISU): surveillance teams provide investigative support to police agencies for major investigations within Alberta.
Head Office for the Alberta Sheriffs Branch is located in downtown Edmonton, Alberta, and is staffed by:
- Executive Director/Chief Sheriff
- Director/Deputy Chief Sheriff – Court Security and Prisoner Transport
- Director/Deputy Chief Sheriff – Operations and Protection Services
- Budget and Finance Officer
- Manager – Operational Support Services
- Executive Assistant to the Chief Sheriff
- Administration and Reception
For more information and general inquiries regarding the Alberta Sheriffs and Security Operations Branch, please call us at Sheriffs Head Office 780-422-3500.