RCMP Suppression Teams on the job
April 01, 2020
The next time you take a trip to the grocery store or pharmacy to stock up on essentials, you might run in to something – or someone – unexpected in the aisle.
Red Deer RCMP’s specialized Suppression Teams have been patrolling the city for the last two weeks as part of the force’s COVID-19 response.
“We’re getting a lot of ‘thank-yous’ and ‘we’re so glad you’re here’, and people telling us to be safe and that we’re all going to get through this as a community,” says Sgt. Karyn Kay with Red Deer RCMP’s Community Response Unit.
Two Suppression Teams are patrolling throughout the city on a daily basis to increase police visibility and provide peace of mind for residents facing the newfound challenges of COVID-19.
“We have them in any business that’s open, any grocery store, drug store, any essential service, we will be there walking around,” explains Kay. “We’ve had tons of great feedback from managers saying that having our presence in their stores kind of puts their employees at ease as well as their customers. They find having the police there brings some normalcy to what’s happening.”
Along with essential businesses, the Suppression Teams are also actively patrolling residential neighbourhoods using marked vehicles. It’s hoped the increased presence will deter theft and other property-related crime.
“We’re also working hard in our industrial areas because we know many of them are vacant, so just to make sure police are visible in those areas,” says Kay.
Red Deer police remind residents and property owners to take steps to prevent crimes of opportunity, such as removing valuables from parked vehicles, turning on exterior lights and setting alarms in unoccupied homes and buildings.