A new drug treatment court in Medicine Hat will help support addiction treatment and recovery, while increased funding for ALERT will target organized crime.
Medicine Hat will be the location of one of five new drug treatment courts outside of Edmonton and Calgary. This new system is part of a $20 million investment over four years toward expanding the program across Alberta.
The government is also providing Alberta Law Enforcement Response Teams (ALERT) with a budget of $50 million to bolster law enforcement and target organized crime. As part of this funding, Medicine Hat will establish a specialized unit to investigate property crime motivated by the illegal drug trade in partnership with the RCMP and the Medicine Hat Police Service. This team will serve Medicine Hat and the surrounding rural region, providing additional support to tackle the rural crime wave that has affected southeastern Alberta communities.
Brooks-Medicine Hat MLA Michaela Glasgo and Cypress-Medicine Hat MLA Drew Barnes joined Minister Doug Schweitzer at the announcement in Medicine Hat. In his remarks, Schweitzer highlighted the importance of providing treatment to those struggling with addictions and targeting organized crime.
“Drug treatment courts have a profound impact on Albertans with addiction, and can help break the cycle of addiction-related crime. Together with funds for more ALERT officers in Medicine Hat, these investments will help to tackle the rural crime wave and keep communities in southeastern Alberta safe.” noted Michaela Glasgo, MLA for Brooks-Medicine Hat.
“A drug treatment court in Medicine Hat will keep southern Albertans safe by providing access to treatment for people struggling with addiction and helping them break a cycle of reoffending. At the same time, increased funding for ALERT will target criminal activity connected to, and caused by, the sale of illegal drugs.” explained Drew Barnes, MLA for Cypress-Medicine Hat.
Providing fair and compassionate support for those struggling with addictions is an important part of Alberta’s plan to help the province’s vulnerable get back on track. Expanding drug treatment courts will cut down on crime and support those who need it most, while the $50 million in funding to the ALERT program will contribute to Alberta’s fight against organized crime and cut down on illegal drug trafficking. Together, these initiatives will address increasing trends in drug-related crime.