Community Response Unit cracking down on crime in downtown core

A Red Deer RCMP special unit has made several arrests and laid numerous charges in relation to activities in the downtown core recently.

A Red Deer RCMP special unit has made several arrests and laid numerous charges in relation to activities in the downtown core recently.

The Community Response Unit (CRU) monitors “prolific and habitual offenders throughout the city, offering a consistent police presence in the downtown core, and focusing attention on specific people and areas where issues are cropping up,” Red Deer RCMP said in a press release.

“In Red Deer, general duty RCMP members respond to calls for service, while GIS investigates serious and complex crimes. CRU works in between those two important roles,” Red Deer Cpl. Leanne Molzahn said in the release.

“The Community Response Unit has been busy the last two weeks, arresting a number of people for drug trafficking and drug possession, checking in on numerous people on probation or parole to make sure they are meeting their conditions and, in several incidents, seizing weapons.

“A disproportionate amount of the crime in any city is committed by a small number of people, most of whom police are quite familiar with,” said Molzahn.

CRU monitors a number of people who have been identified as prolific offenders — those who are committing numerous offences, often breaching current court conditions while committing them, and having a significant impact on the community.

The unit also closely monitors a number of people who have been released after serving their sentences but who have been flagged as a high risk to re-offend. In these cases, the crimes more often included violence or the risk of violence.

In both cases, the monitoring includes meetings, followed by regular checks to make sure they are complying with curfews and other court-imposed conditions. It also includes referrals to support agencies that could help them get out of the criminal lifestyle.

On Nov. 13, an investigation of an attempted vehicle theft shortly after 2 a.m. resulted in a weeks-long joint investigation between CRU and the General Investigation Section (GIS). The investigation led to the arrest of two 19-year-old men for a series of theft and vehicle thefts. Charges are pending against the two men on a number of files.

On Nov. 24, the CRU arrested a suspect after he was spotted in the downtown McDonald’s parking lot. The vehicle he was driving had a stolen plate, and RCMP seized cocaine, methamphetamine, cash and items related to the sale of drugs.

A 24-year-old Red Deer man is facing four charges of possession of property obtained by crime under $5,000, fail to comply with undertaking, and two counts of possession of a controlled substance for the purpose of trafficking.

On Nov. 25, the CRU stopped a suspicious vehicle in the Superstore parking lot shortly before 6 p.m. and seized a number of individually wrapped packages of marijuana intended for resale.

A Red Deer man, 31, is charged with three counts of fail to comply with probation order, and possession for the purpose of trafficking.

On Nov. 26, the CRU stopped a suspicious vehicle at approximately 8:40 p.m. in the area of 49th Avenue and 50th Street. Two men in the vehicle were wanted on outstanding warrants and the female driver was in possession of marijuana. RCMP also located a machete in the vehicle.

A 21-year-old Red Deer faces the following charges: possession of a weapon dangerous to the public, assault, uttering threats and fail to appear, all related to the outstanding warrant. Charges are pending against the second man and the woman.

On Nov. 27, RCMP executed a search warrant at 5:40 p.m. at an apartment building in the area of 49th Avenue and 50th Street after investigation identified it as a drug house. Police seized an undisclosed amount of crack cocaine and an undisclosed amount of Canadian currency. They took seven people into custody, most of whom were known to police. Six were later released without charges.

A Red Deer woman, 50, is charged with failing to comply with conditions, possession of property obtained by crime under $5,000, and possession for the purpose of trafficking (cocaine).

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