by gang to infiltrate police is no surprise, says Chief
won't offer details on investigation
By Richard Cuthbertson And Tony Seskus, Calgary Herald March
be shocked Calgary police are investigating an apparent
attempt by organized crime to infiltrate the justice system.
according to police Chief Rick Hanson, who says it would
be naive to think that gangs, as they grow more sophisticated,
are not trying to influence the justice system.
the police chief is staying mum on details of a Calgary
police investigation involving just those types of allegations.
have investigated one incident," he said Tuesday. "It's
Hanson refused to say what part of the justice system the
police chief also talked about the subject on Monday before
a parliamentary standing committee on justice and human
rights, which was visiting Edmonton as part of a cross-country
set of meetings in various cities.
reality is organized crime is very much sophisticated, it's
increasingly sophisticated, they have proven in other provinces
and other states that they're absolutely endeavouring to
have influence within the system itself," he said Tuesday.
think for anybody to stand up and suggest that they should
be surprised or shocked at the fact that we are doing an
investigation, it's just not the way it is."
of the members of the committee, NDP MP Joe Comartin, said
no one has come forward with any suspicions about the judiciary
being corrupted in Canada.
he said the committee has heard some concerns across the
country about the infiltration, including bribery, of some
clerical staff and police officers by organized crime.
appears that we're at least at some risk currently of that
having happened within police forces and within staff in
the court system, whether it be in the police station or
at the courthouse," he said.
provincial justice minister said she's never had any concerns
about her department and there are no internal investigations
into whether Alberta's prosecutors or judges are being bought
off by gang members.
clearly not the case," Alison Redford said Tuesday.
"We are not dealing with situations where there are
investigations or reason for investigations to be going
Dooks, president of the Calgary Police Association, said
he hasn't heard of any such allegations involving police
expert Cathy Prowse of the University of Calgary said there
appears to be a "predictable evolution" going
on among organized crime groups and gangs.
thinks overt warring between Calgary gangs was reaching
a point where the unwanted attention was becoming bad for
Now, there seems to be a growing sophistication where the
money-making activities are more paramount.
crime is insidious, but it's no less dangerous," Prowse
added. "It's just a different type of dangerous . .
. because it becomes largely invisible and, if it goes on
long enough, it becomes entrenched invisible. And then you've
got an enemy that's very tough to grapple with."
the past, one gang was apparently able to obtain an internal
police document that contained information about one of
police raided a Calgary area house allegedly tied to a gang
in December 2008, officers reportedly found a document that
listed several suspected members of another gang. The police
document had mug shots of 37 purported gang members and
conducted a review, but weren't able to determine the document's
police spokesman Kevin Brookwell said it sparked the creation
of a document control system -- with different levels of
security attached to various documents -- to better protect
are currently implementing a document classification system
that would be similar to what the RCMP and the Canadian
military have," said Brookwell, adding there will be
some confidential documents that won't even be permitted
to be printed.
are hopeful that . . . this new document classification
system will ensure that that type of document doesn't show
up again in a search warrant or in the wrong hands."