Crime analyst Sandra Bibby (photo by LANA MICHELIN/Advocate staff).

Crime analysts puts ‘puzzle pieces’ together to assist police officers

This desk work is ‘as important as a police officer’s on the street’

When a career criminal moves to Red Deer, Sandra Bibby is tipped off by other police detachments.

If a series of local break-ins starts happening, Bibby analyses computer data from many sources, including parole or probation officers, to see if this guy could have committed these crimes.

If the information she uncovers begins pointing in his direction, Bibby will flag him as a potential suspect to local police officers.

While the Red Deer RCMP must still gather evidence through surveillance, search warrants and other tactics, at least officers have a place to start, said Insp. Gerald Grobmeier, of the Red Deer RCMP detachment.

He calls the desk work that Bibby and the city’s two other civilian crime analysts do in focusing on persons, places and behaviors, “just as important as a police officer’s (work) on the street.”

Crime analysts have had a role in many high-profile local police cases, including the recent seizure of 29 firearms and other stolen property that resulted in 200 charges against a man and a woman.

Bibby is a municipal employee who’s been a criminal intelligence analyst for the City of Red Deer since 2011. While police officers see only part of the picture, crime analysts try to get the general overview, looking for larger-scope patterns and links, said Bibby, who has degrees in strategic studies and psychology.

She feels the most important aspect is keeping her mind open to all possibilities and avoiding pre-determined thinking while searching for links and relationships.

Red Deer is a well-situated city that gets a lot of out-of-town criminals from larger centres and smaller towns dropping in to steal stuff they can later take back and sell, said Grobmeier.

Vulnerable people who struggle with homelessness or mental health problems are also drawn to Red Deer because of its easier access to social agencies. They usually don’t break the law out of criminal intent, but circumstances, said Grobmeier, who doesn’t believe they belong in the justice system.

Bibby did a background analysis of one man who had 150 encounters with the police. She discovered that many of his infractions were break-ins to heated spaces where he intended to sleep.

Bibby flagged this information for police officers, who got the PAC (Police and Crisis) Team involved to connect this homeless person with housing and psychiatric care.

Grobmeier said sometimes these people end up back on the street. “We can deal with one person, maybe 100 times a year. But if we can reduce this to 15 times a year, then we’ve had some success.”

Bibby gets to know a lot about the small group of known local offenders. She’s involved in projects that target break-ins, nuisance complaints, and also does warrants and condition checks on offenders. Through gleaning daily emails from police detachments across Canada, she keeps local officers apprised of crime trends and advisories.

“Sandra tries to point us in the right direction,” said Grobmeier — and he believes she does it with a high degree of accuracy.

Bibby admitted she enjoys working in a “high-stress, action-packed environment… I like putting the pieces of the puzzle together.”



lmichelin@reddeeradvocate.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

WATCH: Red Deer’s noxious weeds are a goat’s dietary delight

Piper Creek Community Garden gets chemical-free weed control

Get your guilty pleasures: Westerner Days food

Traditional sugary treats were served up by the plate, bowl and bucket… Continue reading

Centrefest brings feats of daring to Red Deer’s downtown

Fundraising was a tough slog, but it came together in the end

Count shows slight decrease in Red Deer’s homeless

In two years, the number of homeless in Red Deer has decreased… Continue reading

Redoing hip surgeries are costly, says new study

Redoing hip and knee replacements costs Canada’s health system $130 million a… Continue reading

WATCH: Cirque ZUMA ZUMA puts on a show at Westerner Days

ZUMA ZUMA performs three times a day during Westerner Days

Jones’ punt return TD rallies Riders to road victory over Ticats

Roughriders 31 Tiger-Cats 20 HAMILTON — Brandon Bridge kept Dave Watford on… Continue reading

PHOTOS: Red Deer’s Iron Buffalo rocks Westerner Days

Iron Buffalo opened for Helix and Lee Aaron Thursday at the ENMAX Centrium

Zuckerberg’s Holocaust comment puts Facebook on the spot

NEW YORK — Denying the Holocaust happened is probably OK on Facebook.… Continue reading

Brazilian police arrest ‘Dr. Bumbum’ after patient dies

RIO DE JANEIRO — Brazilian police have arrested celebrated plastic surgeon Denis… Continue reading

Canadian marijuana company Tilray has first US pot IPO

SEATTLE — A Canadian company is the first marijuana business to complete… Continue reading

Dolphins anthem punishment includes suspensions

Miami Dolphins players who protest on the field during the national anthem… Continue reading

Soy “milk” makers may need to find alternative description

NEW YORK — Soy and almond drinks that bill themselves as “milk”… Continue reading

Calgary woman convicted in son’s strep death granted day parole

CALGARY — A woman whose son died after she failed to take… Continue reading

Most Read


Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $185 for 260 issues (must live in delivery area to qualify) Unlimited Digital Access 99 cents for the first four weeks and then only $15 per month Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $15 a month