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Alberta Sheriffs are provincial peace officers appointed by the Ministry of Solicitor General and Public Security of Alberta, Canada, under the authority of the Peace Officer Act. Sheriffs are Alberta peace officers and carry sidearms.
There are several divisions currently operating in various areas around the province. The sheriffs can enforce all provincial and Federal acts with active enforcement depending on unit. Training is completed at the Justice and Solicitor General's Training Academy, located in Edmonton. Training is a minimum twelve week basic recruit course, and once on Highway Patrol or other specialized units, a minimum of another 8–12 weeks of training is conducted. Overall Alberta Sheriffs will receive approximately 18–22 weeks of training.
The Sheriffs Branch had its origin in 1988, when the Court and Prisoner Security Branch was formed. At that time, the main function of the Sheriffs Branch was to provide Court Security in the Edmonton and Calgary Courthouses. This role soon expanded to other Court centres, in addition to adding the prisoner transport responsibilities. Since that time their duties and mandates have evolved.
Court Security and Prisoner Transport
This is the Sheriffs Branch largest section and core mandate. 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 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
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, members of Cabinet and visiting dignitaries, and to the Lieutenant Governor of Alberta.
Traffic Sheriff Operations: In collaboration with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) in an integrated team model, Alberta Traffic Sheriffs 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 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 Security Unit (TSU): TSU personnel coordinate and install security alarms, cameras and locks for government Ministries, and facilitate the operational radio system for Sheriffs.
Sheriffs investigative support services
Alberta Sheriffs and employees are seconded and integrated with the RCMP and several municipal policing partners within the Alberta Law Enforcement Response Teams (ALERT) model, performing 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 and organized crime investigations within Alberta.
Corporate security services
Corporate Security Services (CSS) officially joined the Sheriffs Branch in June 2014. In addition to managing internal and external threats to JSG employees, property and facilities, CSS currently has the following roles and responsibilities:
Lead in the development of a strategic framework, with supporting policies and processes, that will ensure a comprehensive and consistent level of security for Ministry staff;
Identify emerging security issues and risks as they relate to staff, and ensure the Ministry is well-positioned to respond;
Identify and coordinate multiple resources to respond to or mitigate threats to employees;
Deliver security information and training for all employees;
Enable security communications across multiple stakeholder groups; and
Manage complex clients potentially impacting the department.
CSS has the following additional personnel:
Corporate Security Manager – Alberta Crown Prosecution Service
Corporate Security Advisor
Security Clearance Coordinator
Sheriffs branch head office
Executive Director/Chief Sheriff
Director/Deputy Chief Sheriff – Court Security and Prisoner Transport Services
Director/Deputy Chief Sheriff – Operations and Protection Services
Director/Deputy Chief Sheriff – Sheriff Investigative Support Services (ALERT)
Director – Corporate Security Services
Manager/Inspector – Operational Support Services
Coordinator/Sergeant – Operational Support Services
Executive Assistant to the Chief Sheriff
Sheriffs Branch Head Office Administration
Sheriffs Branch Head Office Reception
The rank structure consists of the following: