A new crime-fighting tactic is being used on the Blood Tribe: its own chapter of Crime Stoppers.
Travis Plaited Hair with Blood Tribe Chief and Council and the Blood Tribe Police Commission said it will help with ongoing challenges the nation is dealing with like drug use.
“I think having more tools in the box to help combat that is good,” he said. “Our success is everyone’s success.”
Const. Samantha Pedersen with the Blood Tribe Police Service helped launch the program. She said it will bring serious benefits to the community.
“It’s definitely a different avenue and I think it’s really important,” Pedersen said. ”
A lot of people do not report crime because of the fear of retaliation, so due to that, this is a way to protect them and keep them anonymous.”
Russ Kramer, the president of Southern Alberta Crime Stoppers, said the not-for-profit organization pays up to $2,000 for information that leads to an arrest.
“About 90 per cent of the cheques we write never get cashed,” he said. “It’s just people being good stewards of the community.”
Blood Tribe Police Chief Brice Iron Shirt said he is proud to lead the way for other Indigenous police forces dealing with similar issues.
“We are very limited in resources, and utilizing this program is going to be a great benefit as our ways of gathering intelligence is basically shot forward now,” he said.
Alayna Many Guns, the Blood Tribe opioid response co-ordinator, feels this new addition to policing will have lasting impacts on the drug crisis.
“We now have an avenue to reflect on, to be active on and to hopefully convict illegal activities in regards to opioids,” she said.
The Blood Tribe Crime Stoppers is already up and running, receiving its first tip the day it launched.