Calgary Police, Tsuu T’ina reserve partner up to fight crime
CALGARY- A special partnership has been struck between Calgary Police and a First Nations reserve, in an effort to combat crime.
While Calgary is a bustling city and the Tsuu T’ina live in the quiet country, both face similar issues.
“Criminals don’t have borders, so if there is a crime trend in Calgary there is that probability it will spill into our nation and our community,” says Chief Keith Blake from the Tsuu T’ina Police. “Our nation shares three borders with Calgary, so Calgary’s criminals could be our criminals and vice versa.”
The reserve has its own officers, and members take a proactive approach to solving problems before they escalate. They’re also getting help from the CPS.
“We have the same problems that every other community has, and I saw the successes Chief [Rick] Hanson was having in Calgary,” Blake explains, of his reasoning to invite the force in. “I wanted to bridge some gaps informationally, so there would be a better exchange of information as it relates to crime, programs issues and problems. We can learn from their successes.”
Sgt. Steve Burton from the CPS has been sent out to partner with Tsuu T’ina officers, and brings a unique background.
“I’m an investigative psychologist but also an active police officer, and I’m the only one in Canada that is doing that work,” Burton explains.
He’s teaching Tsuu T’ina police about behavioural policing—similar to the TV show Criminal Minds.
“People are all about behavior, so you break down the behavior and you come to the solution, and that’s not rocket science. It’s changing your mindset to ‘if I look deeper, there’s a reason to why this occurred.’”
He adds that he’s also learning a lot from his time on the reserve.
“We are all a part of the same community, we just share different borders or services. But at the end of the day, we’re in the same community.”