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Fraud Advisory

The Medicine Hat Police Service (MHPS) was recently notified that the Service’s phone number was "spoofed" and being used fraudulently to coerce a local resident into providing money into a Bitcoin account.

Spoofing is when a caller deliberately falsifies the information transmitted to your caller ID display to disguise their identity. This way the number shows up as one you may already know and trust. If you answer, they use scam scripts to try to steal your money or valuable personal information, which can be used in fraudulent activity*.

In this instance, the persons spoofed a MHPS phone number and identified themselves as a police officer. The scammer advised the resident that their Social Insurance Number had been compromised. The person then advised the victim to withdraw money from their real bank account and purchase Bitcoin at a local vendor and deposit it into a provided account.

This is similar to other frauds where persons identify themselves as employees of the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA). As a reminder, neither the MHPS or CRA would ask you for your money over the phone, especially in the form of bitcoin, pre-paid credit cards, or pre-paid gaming cards. Anyone who may have been the victim of fraud is asked to contact the MHPS or the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre at 1-888-495-8501.

Some additional tips:

  • If you answer the phone and the caller, or a recording, asks you to hit a button to stop getting the calls, you should just hang up. Scammers often use this trick to identify potential targets.
  • Use caution if you are being pressured for information immediately.
  • Do not respond to any questions, especially those that can be answered with "Yes" or "No."
  • Never give out personal information such as account numbers, Social Insurance Numbers, mother's maiden names, passwords or other identifying information in response to unexpected calls or if you are at all suspicious.
  • If you get an inquiry from someone who says they represent a company or a government agency, hang up and call the phone number on your account statement, in the phone book, or on the company's or government agency's website to verify the authenticity of the request.

More information on common frauds and scam can be found on the MHPS website (mhps.ca or click here )

Media Contact:

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

 

*Information from the Federal Communications Commission: https://www.fcc.gov/consumers/guides/spoofing-and-caller-id

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Grass Fire - 23rd Street NW

UPDATE: The fire is now under control however there are several hot spots on 23rd Street between Division Ave and Box Springs Rd NW. Emergency crews remain in the area and this road will remain closed until midnight or later.   Residents who were on evacuation stand by can return to their homes and will be notified if the situation changes.  Please continue to avoid this area and we thank you for your patience and cooperation.  

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UPDATE: Due to the wind conditions, the fire near 23rd Street NW is moving quickly toward the south.  Emergency crews are working hard to bring this fire under control please avoid this area and please do not stop to watch the fire. Any residences that back onto the prairiie of Ireland Court, Crockford Crescent, Mckenzie Cres, Muir Cres and 14 Street NW to Division should be on stand by and ready to evacuate if the need arises.  

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Medicine Hat Emergency Services personnel are currently on the scene of a grass fire in the area of the 23rd Street NW. Some of 23rd Street will be closed to traffic during this event.  Please plan an alternate route and avoid this area.

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MHPS Adopts Eagle Feather Oath Option

At a ceremony held in Standoff, AB on June 25, 2021 members of the Medicine Hat Police Service Executive Team received the delivery of a sacred Eagle Feather, that will now be offered as an option for swearing to official statements and for providing comfort for those experiencing trauma or a crisis.

The Eagle Feather is a symbol of spirituality used in many Indigenous traditions throughout North America. In the spirit of reconciliation, the MHPS has committed to offering the Eagle Feather as an oath option, in support of numerous calls to action as recommended by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada.  The Eagle Feather will be available to individuals for providing an oath swearing by a traditional Indigenous form of conscience binding. This will be offered in addition to the swearing on a religious text or making a non-religious affirmation.

In preparation for the ceremony the Eagle Feather was customized with bead work in the colors of MHPS by Indigenous artist Charlene Plume.  In Indigenous culture bead work is used as an adornment for items that are culturally meaningful and signifies that the item is held in honour and high regard.  When not in use the Eagle Feather will be stored in a Feather box made of Eastern White Cedar.  Cedar is traditionally used as a container for scared/precious items, and the box has a moose antler button, moose leather ‘hinge’ and tie closure.

Earlier this month the MHPS Indigenous Reconciliation Action Plan was shared with the community, that outlines the Service’s commitment to building a stronger relationship with and improving trust between Service and the Indigenous community of Medicine Hat we serve.  Developing cultural competency and understanding is an integral part of developing effective policies that will improve MHPS service delivery when meeting needs of the local indigenous population.

"The Blood Tribe Police Service congratulates the MHPS in attaining an Eagle Feather to offer people the option in swearing oaths,” say Blood Tribe Police Service Chief Kyle Melting Tallow.  “It is honourable that they used traditional Blackfoot protocol by attending the Blood Reserve to have this sacred feather transferred to them in ceremony."

“On behalf of the MHPS, it is with great honor that I accept the gifted Eagle Feather in our efforts to increase our commitment to reconciliation and building trust with our Indigenous community,” says MHPS Chief Mike Worden.  “We would like to thank the Miywasin Centre, the Blood Tribe Police Service and the Blackfoot elders for supporting this ceremony and for guiding us through this journey.”

To learn more about the MHPS Indigenous Action Plan visit: https://mhps.ca/posts/post/2362

Media Contact:

Inspector Tim McGough
Support Services Division
Medicine Hat Police Service
Ph: 403-529-8415

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Officer Charged with Assault

The Medicine Hat Police Service (MHPS), after consultation with the Alberta Crown Prosecution Service, has charged a MHPS police officer with one count of assault in connection with an off-duty incident.

On April 18th, 2021 the MHPS was informed of an event that had occurred during the evening of April 17, 2021, whereby an off-duty officer allegedly had an altercation with a youth, not known to the officer. An investigation into the matter determined that at approximately 10:00 PM a youth knocked on the door of the officer’s residence and then ran off. The officer exited his house and encountered another youth near by, where the altercation took place.

Upon conclusion, the results of the MHPS investigation into the matter were forwarded to the provincial Crown Prosecution Service for review and it was recommended that the officer be charged with one count of assault. Accordingly, on June 23, 2021, Cst. Myles Steiger, an 11-year member of the MHPS, was charged and has been placed on administrative duties until further notice. Cst. Steiger is scheduled to appear in court on August 4, 2021.

Upon conclusion of the matter in court, it is anticipated that the internal disciplinary process under the Police Act will follow. The disciplinary process will determine whether any discipline, up to and including dismissal, is appropriate.

In order to ensure appropriate oversight, the Chair of the Medicine Hat Police Commission and the provincial Director of Law Enforcement, were notified of the investigation.

No further information on the investigation will be provided as the matter is now before the courts.

Media Contact:

Rita Sittler
Administrative Services Manager
Medicine Hat Police Service
Ph: 403-529-8416

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National Indigenous Peoples Day

Today, on National Indigenous Peoples Day, the Medicine Hat Police Service joins the rest of the country in celebrating the heritage, diverse cultures and outstanding achievements of First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples of Canada. We also join in the collective sorrow resulting from the discovery of children’s bodies found at former Residential School sites in BC and MB. We offer our deep and sincere condolences to residential school victims, survivors, their families and First Nation, Metis, and Inuit peoples of this land and reaffirm our commitment to building trust and a stronger relationship with our local Indigenous community in Medicine Hat.

We understand that Indigenous peoples across the country have spoken repeatedly and tirelessly about the atrocities they have experienced and have often been met with words and promises. We recognize that there is still a great deal of work to do to heal from the past.

Earlier this month we released our MHPS Indigenous Action Plan that outlined several initiatives that we intend to take to further develop our cultural competency and understanding. We recognize that doing so is an important first step and integral part of developing effective policies that will improve MHPS service delivery when meeting needs of the local Indigenous population.

On Wednesday, June 23, 2021, the first MHPS Chief’s Indigenous Advisory Council meeting will be held. The Council will be comprised of the Chief of Police, Chair of the Medicine Hat Police Commission, local Indigenous leaders, Métis Elders, as well as other MHPS staff. The committee will meet four times throughout the year, coinciding with the beginning of every new season, to connect and advise the police service on current issues relating to Indigenous and police relations within the community.

On Friday, June 25, 2021, at a ceremony held in Standoff, AB, the MHPS will receive the delivery of a sacred Eagle Feather, that will be offered as an option for swearing to official statements. The Eagle Feather is a symbol of spirituality used in many Indigenous traditions throughout North America. In the spirit of reconciliation, the MHPS has committed to using the eagle feather in the support of numerous calls to action recommended by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada. The Eagle Feather will be offered as an option for providing an oath swearing by a traditional Indigenous form of conscience binding. This will be offered in addition to the swearing on a religious text or making a non-religious affirmation.

This evening we will join our community at a celebration of National Indigenous Peoples Day at 6PM held at the Saamis Tepee. During the celebration an elder will bless orange memorial ribbons to be wore on the uniforms of our MHPS officers in support of survivors of residential schools and in remembrance of the children who died. Officers will wear these ribbons from June 21, 2021 until July 21, 2021.

We acknowledge these initiatives are first steps in a long road of recovery and are grateful for our local Indigenous partners for their support as we put words into action, through a community voice and vision to build our future relationships.

Media Contact:

Rita Sittler
Administrative Services Manager
Medicine Hat Police Service
Ph: 403-529-8416

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Update on Balmoral Incident

A 34 -year-old Medicine Hat woman is in custody facing several charges including a weapons offence, after a standoff with members the Medicine Hat Police Service concluded safely.

On June 17th, 2021, members of the MHPS attended to a residence located in the 900 block of Balmoral Street SE to conduct checks regarding compliance with release conditions and some concerns over the security of the residence. When officers attempted to speak with the subject of the investigation, she became resistant and made comments to officers about having a firearm and made threats to shoot police. The woman then retreated inside the residence and refused to exit.

After numerous attempts to negotiate with the woman failed, and following more threats being made, the MHPS Tactical Unit and was deployed. The TAC Unit continued negotiations for several hours before the woman was safely taken into custody.

The woman is currently held in custody awaiting a judicial intern release facing charges of; breach of release conditions x 3, utter threats, resist arrest, point firearm, possession of a weapon, and assault with a weapon.

Media Contact:

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

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Male Charged with Assault w/Weapon

On June 18, 2021 at approximately 8:00 AM the Medicine Hat Police Service responded to a report of a male, in the 600 block of 3 Street SE, who was observed striking vehicles and screaming at pedestrians in the area.

A male pedestrian was crossing the street when the suspect male came towards him and punched the pedestrian in the face knocking him to the ground. The suspect then continued towards the pedestrian underpass and came into contact with a second male victim. He struck this male several times, including hitting him in with a weapon, before exiting the tunnel onto North Railway Street.

While police were responding to the first call, another call reported that a second male had been assaulted and that a third male was driving on North Railway Street when he came upon the suspect in the middle of the road directing traffic. The male driver rolled down his window to ask directions at which time the suspect ran at him and punched him in the face. MHPS Patrol members located the suspect a block away and arrested him without incident.

The time that elapsed from the first call to the male being arrested and taken into police custody was approximately ten minutes. All victims are being treated at the hospital for their physical injuries sustained during the attack.

Resulting from this investigation, the suspect, who can not be named at this time, is held in custody awaiting a bail hearing and is facing numerous charges including; assault with a weapon, assault X2, and mischief.

Media Contact:

Sgt Jeff Wieschorster
Patrol Section
Medicine Hat Police Service
Ph: 403-529-8461

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UPDATE: Balmoral Street Incident

The incident that occurred in the 900 block of Balmoral Street has now safely come to a conclusion.  More details will be released at a later time.  Thank you.

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Public Advisory

The Medicine Hat Police is currently dealing with a high profile incident and would ask that the public avoid the area of the 900 block of Balmoral Street SE. Additional information will be forthcoming. Thank you.

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Grass Fire

The Medicine Hat Police along with other emergency personnel are currently on the scene of a grass fire in the area of the 700 block of 3 Street NW.  Please avoid the area if possible.

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