ALBERTA

Alberta's police watchdog launches investigation around resource deployment

06/26/2015 09:21 EDT | Updated 06/26/2016 05:59 EDT
CALGARY - The Alberta Serious Incident Response Team says it is investigating the circumstances surrounding the deployment of Calgary police resources during the May provincial election.

The province's police watchdog says in a release that it has been directed to determine whether those circumstances provide reasonable grounds to believe an offence has been committed.

ASIRT calls the allegations "extremely sensitive" but does not name any parties involved.

CTV News says it has obtained documents through a Freedom of Information request that indicate former Calgary police chief Rick Hanson committed 22 new officers to District 5 in northeast Calgary his last day on the job.

The next day, Hanson announced he would be a candidate for the Conservative party in the provincial election, and the riding he ran in, Calgary-Cross, includes District 5.

CTV says the documents show that Hanson sent a memo to staff explaining that the 22 positions were being sent to District 5 “to address boundary changes and projected workload.”

Supt. Kevan Stuart of the Calgary police force said earlier this week that no one questioned Hanson’s decisions because of his excellent reputation.

“[Hanson] has served this community for 40 years, and he has served it very admirably with ethics and integrity and I’m not going to question that,” said Stuart.

Edmonton lawyer Tom Engel, chairman of the Alberta Criminal Trial Lawyers' Association's policing committee, called on Solicitor General Kathleen Ganley to initiate an investigation into whether there was a conflict of interest.

Hanson, who could not be reached for comment, lost the election to NDP candidate Ricardo Miranda by just 100 votes.

Ganley issued a statement on Friday calling the allegations "concerning" and saying the government takes them seriously.

(CTV Calgary)

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