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Facility Dog - Athena

The Medicine Hat Police Service (MHPS) is excited to announce the addition of a new dog to our Facility Dog Program. Athena is a 23-month-old female Golden Labrador Retriever has been provided to the MHPS in collaboration with Dogs With Wings.

The MHPS Facility Dog Program began in May 2016 when the first dog Mulder arrived. Since that time Mulder has assisted many victims by offering short-term animal support to reduce symptoms of stress, anxiety, and other emotions that can result from high-stress situations. Facility dogs are proven to provide great comfort, particularly to children, due to their training and certification through Dogs with Wings and Assistance Dogs International which allows them to function unobtrusively in public places, to ignore distractions, and to be attuned to people’s emotions.

Dogs with Wings Assistance Dog Society (DWW) was founded in 1996 and provides Assistance Dogs in Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba. Dogs with Wings is accredited by Assistance Dogs International (ADI), providing the highest training certification for Facility Dogs across the world. Dogs with Wings’ vision is to transform lives and advance the Service Dog sector. Their dream is wellness and support for all. Their mission is to foster integration and independence for individuals and social service agencies by providing them with highly trained Assistance Dogs. DWW specializes in the training and placement of Service Dogs, Autism Service Dogs, Facility Dogs, and Companion Dogs. For more information, visit: www.dogswithwings.ca.

“Dogs with Wings is proud to place Athena with the MHPS, knowing Athena will be of service to children, families, individuals, the legal system, and their community at large”, says CEO Miranda Jordan-Smith. “We commend the MHPS for adding a second Facility Dog to their force to work alongside Mulder, recognizing the value and vital support Athena will bring.”

The MHPS is thankful for the support and collaboration of Dogs With Wings, without which this valuable service to the community would not be possible. In particular, the MHPS would like to acknowledge and thank the individuals who have contributed to raising and training these amazing dogs. DWW Facility Dogs undergo extensive training before their work begins. DWW relies heavily on the goodwill and dedication of volunteers and donors in their community to train and place their Assistance Dogs. Each dog costs DWW $40,000 to breed, raise, train, and place with a client, and clients like MHPS only pay $1 for their Facility Dog.

Now in Medicine Hat, Athena will continue with her training over the spring and summer months and is excited to get to work. Mulder who is now eight years old, will continue to provide the support he has for several more years, alongside Athena, as this program continues to grow.

Media Contact:

Ms. Carrie Stober
Athena-Facility Dog Handler
Medicine Hat Police Service
Ph: 403-529-8416

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Male Charge with Theft / Mischief

A Medicine Hat man has been charged in connection to numerous vehicle mischiefs that occurred in Medicine Hat, in January 2022 that resulted in thousands of dollars in damage to private property.

Between January 10 to 28, 2022 approximately twenty-five mischiefs to motor vehicles and thefts from motor vehicles occurred in the Crescent Heights and Ross Glen areas of Medicine Hat. Reported damages included seats slashed, mirrors broken, and windows smashed.

Following a request for public assistance, Medicine Hat Police Service investigators reviewed dozens of submitted police reports, tips and video surveillance submissions which led to the identification of a suspect believed to be responsible for the damages.

Resulting from this investigation, Zackary Kearney, age 21 of Medicine Hat, AB has been charged with one count of Mischief over $5,000, twenty-two counts of Mischief under $5,000 and three counts of Theft under $5,000. His first court appearance is set for May 31, 2022.

The MHPS would like to thank the members of the public who provided information to aid the investigation and acknowledge the diligence of the investigating officers for the thorough investigation that was completed.

As a reminder, residents are encouraged to report any suspicious behavior observed in their neighborhoods to the MHPS by calling 403-529-8481 or 9-1-1 in an emergency.

Media Contact:

Insp. Joe West
Operational Services Division
Medicine Hat Police Service
Ph: 403-529-8411

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Assault Investigation

On March 27, 2022, at 11:00 PM the Medicine Hat Police Service responded to a report of a disturbance in the 200 block of 3rd Street NE where numerous people were reported to be fighting. On police arrival all the people involved had left the area. Thirty minutes later a male was located a short distance away with injuries which were because of the altercation. The male was transported to hospital where he received medical treatment and later released.

The MHPS Major Crimes Unit continues to investigate and are asking residents in the area to check security camera footage recorded around this date and time. Anyone with information that could assist in the investigation is asked to contact the MHPS at 403-529-8481 or submit a tip via the MHPS website or mobile app. The app is free to download and is available for both Apple and Android devices.

Media Contact:

S/Sgt Darcy Brandt
Criminal Investigation Section
Medicine Hat Police Service
Ph: 403-529-8421

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Suspicious Fires

On March 27, 2022, members of the Medicine Hat Fire Department and Medicine Hat Police Service responded to three separate fires including a garage fire on Ross Haven Court SE at 6:30 AM, a shed fire on Radisson Place at 8:25 AM and a dumpster fire in the 200 block of 2 St NE at 12:15 PM.

Currently, police and fire investigators are treating all three fires as suspicious and are asking residents in these areas to check their security camera footage. Information that could assist with the investigation can be reported to the MHPS by calling 403-529-8481 or tips can be submitted via the MHPS website (mhps.ca) or mobile app. The app is free to download and available for both Apple and Android devices.

Media Contact:

S/Sgt Darcy Brandt
Criminal Investigation Section
Medicine Hat Police Service
Ph: 403-529-8421

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Motor Vehicle Collision

The Medicine Hat Police Service is currently at the scene of a motor vehicle collision at the eastbound lane of the Trans Canada Highway at 7 Street SW.  The eastboound lane of the Trans Canada Highway is currently down to 1 lane.  There will be traffic delays, so please avoid the area while the investigation continues. 

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FPM Week 5 – Mass Marketing and Phone Scams

March is Fraud Prevention Month (FPM) in Canada. Throughout the month the MHPS Community Safety Unit has been sharing tips on how to recognize, reject and report common frauds and scams. The final week of FPM will focus on mass marketing and phone scams.

Mass marketing and phone scams are one of the most common types of frauds and involve attempts to obtain personal information or be provided money. The difficulty with these types of frauds is that the targets are often tricked into believing they are dealing with a legitimate company, or someone trusted. The fraudsters can be very convincing and work hard to manipulate the people they call.

Whether is it by phone or by email, if you cannot verify the identity of the person/company that you are dealing with, end the conversation and contact the business directly to confirm. Often fraudsters will use phone numbers that a “spoofed”, or copied, to look legitimate or emails that look real but are not. A company will usually use its own name in the email address as a contact such as blank@nestle.ca as opposed to an email ending in Gmail, Hotmail or yahoo. These are easy things to confirm when you contact the businesses directly yourself.

One type of common phone scam is an emergency scam where a fraudster will contact a person posing as their relative. The individual will sound scared and quiet and call the person on the other line by their name or title such as “Grandma” or “Grandpa”, and when the person on the other line calls them by the name of their grandchild they will make up a story that they have been arrested for some sort of crime and are being held in jail and need money. They will often request for the money to be wired to a certain place, often out of province and say that the money is going to a lawyer and they cannot tell their parents. Remember to always check with your family members before transferring money.

Another common fraud is where someone is contacted by phone or email advising that they won a large sum of money or prize or requesting a small amount of money in return for a large investment. The fraudster then requests the person to simply send a small amount of money or gift card numbers to the fraudster in order to claim their prize. If you did not apply to win something, you will not win! Trust you gut and if it appears to good to be true, it likely is. You should never need to pay something in order to get a prize you have legitimately won.

With various types of frauds, the fraudsters will request that an email transfer of money be completed. The targeted person may believe that because they have an email, it must be legitimate. Frequently, once the money is sent by email, it is going to a bank account out of country and the chances of getting it back or identifying a suspect are very low. Once again, be very cautious about responding to these types of requests and never email money to someone if you cannot verify their identity.

Best advice is to always remain vigilant and skeptical. Never provide personal or financial information unless you are able confirm the request is legitimate. A professional will have no problem answering your questions and showing credentials and references to prove they are who they are.

For more information on common frauds or scams and for information on how to protect yourself visit the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre at www.antifraudcentre-centreantifraude.ca.

 

Media Contact:

Sgt. Adam Gregory
Medicine Hat Police Service
Community Support Unit
Ph: 403-529-8451

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Detached Garage Fire- Ross Haven Court SE

On March 27 at, 2022 at approximately 06:30AM, police and fire responded to a detached garage fire in Ross Haven Court SE. Police and fire are processing the scene at this time to determine the cause of the fire and at this time it is being treated as suspicious.

Anyone with information is asked to call 403-529-8481 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS. Information can also be reported by using the Medicine Hat Crime Stoppers Mobile app. The mobile app allows users to submit up to 60 seconds of video, send photos, and directly call or text tip information to Crime Stoppers. As with all Crime Stoppers information, to protect the identity of the individuals providing tips, no personal information is ever collected.

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Drug & Firearm Offences

On March 22, 2022, members of the Medicine Hat Police Service executed a search warrant at a residence located in the 500 block of 4th Street Southwest, which resulted in officers locating and seizing the following items: 4.5 ounces of cocaine, 250 ml of Gamma Hydroxybutyrate (GHB) and a loaded 12-gauge shotgun.

Resulting from this investigation, Luc Reaume, a 41-year-old male from Medicine Hat, was arrested and charged with the following offences;

  • Possession of Cocaine for the Purpose of Trafficking
  • Possession of GHB for the Purpose of Trafficking
  • Careless Storage of a Firearm
  • Possession of a Firearm without holding a valid license


Reaume was held for a Judicial Interim Release hearing where he was subsequently released and scheduled to appear in Medicine Hat Provincial Court on April 21, 2022.

Media Contact:

Insp Joe West
Operational Services Division
Medicine Hat Police Service
Ph: 403-529-8414

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FPM Week 4: Business Fraud

March is Fraud Prevention Month in Canada and throughout the month the Medicine Hat Police Service Community Safety Unit is sharing information to help residents to recognize, reject and report common frauds and scams. This week’s focus is on business and service scams.

Service scams make up most of the face-to-face frauds reported to the Medicine Hat Police Service. Service scams can include home renovation scams by unlicensed contractors, as well as door-to-door fundraising scams which will often target seniors.

With spring in the air, homeowners will often begin thinking about completing renovations planned for over the long winter months. Before engaging a potential contractor, it is very important to ask questions ahead of time and request the names of past clients as references to confirm the quality of their work. Professional contractors will have no issues with providing you with this information and photos of their previous work. Always be wary of contractors who request payment in full prior to beginning any work.

Be cautious with new contractors or service companies who do not have ties to your community, and show up unsolicited, going door-to-door offering services such as; gutter cleaning, eavestrough repair/replacement, siding, and fascia repairs. Often, once they secure a down payment or total payment for a project in advance they will often leave the community and effectively close their fake business and the homeowner will be out the money paid. Once you have paid, it becomes a civil court matter for you to fight to have your work completed.

Always be extremely cautious when hiring someone from an online resource such as Craig’s list, Kijiji, or a Facebook group. Often, these “businesses” will operate on a buyer beware policy and will offer no reimbursement if the deal falls through. Never pay upfront over the internet for services to be completed. These online communities can be an excellent place to locate a potential service provider but always meet with the contractor in person and go through the proper steps to verify their credentials before hiring them to complete any work.

If someone comes to your door, claiming to represent a company or community organization, always ask to see his or her identification badge or supporting documentation before donating funds. Licensed businesses that plan door-to-door sales will be issued photo identification by the City of Medicine Hat. If they cannot produce ID, there is a good chance that it is a scam. Even if they have an ID badge, but something still does not feel right, do not allow yourself to be pressured into donating money and contact the Medicine Hat Police Service at 403-529-8481 or the City’s Business License Department at 403-525-8820 to report the suspicious behavior.

As a general rule, when it comes to your money it is always good to be skeptical!

To learn more about common frauds and scams visit the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre website at www.antifraudcentre.ca.

Media Contact:

Sgt Adam Gregory
Medicine Hat Police Service
Community Support Unit
Ph: 403-529-8451

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Possess Prohibited Weapon

On March 19th a member of the Medicine Hat Police Service conducted a traffic stop of a vehicle that did not have functioning brake lights. While rolling to a stop, the officer observed the occupants appearing to hide something under the seat of the car. The officer spoke to the driver who was breaching a condition of release on previous charges. The male was arrested, and a search of the vehicle resulted the officer locating a loaded, sawed off .22 semi-auto rifle along with a bag containing a mask, kerchief, and a spring-loaded police style baton.

Resulting from this investigation, Tyler Figley (38-years-old) and Ashley Gackle (44-years-old) both from Medicine Hat, have been charged with several offences including possession of a prohibited weapon.

This investigation is an example of the danger officers face frequently when conducting traffic stops.

Media Contact:

Insp Joe West
Operational Services Division
Medicine Hat Police Service
Ph: 403-529-8412

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