The North West Mounted Police first started its patrols in the Fort McMurray area in 1897. The first detachment was opened in Fort McMurray in 1913.
In 2003, the Fort McMurray and the Fort Chipewyan Detachments were amalgamated to form the Wood Buffalo Detachment. The detachment, which operates out of several different locations throughout the region, provides policing services to the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo and to Wood Buffalo National Park, making it one of the largest geographic policing jurisdictions in Canada.
Alberta Law Enforcement Response Teams – Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit
“Focused Intelligence. Targeted Enforcement. Safer Communities.”
ALERT was formed in 2006 to disrupt and dismantle serious and organized crime in communities across Alberta, including the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo. Help keep your community safe with the Wood Buffalo Gang Information Hotline – report your tips anonymously to 780-788-GANG. www.alert-ab.ca
Community Policing Unit
“Promoting safe communities within the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo through community engagement, public education and crime prevention.”
Community Policing members, often dressed in Red Serge for special events such as parades and ceremonies, are responsible for positive public-police relations. Heavily involved with safety-minded partners and educators, Community Policing gives school talks, as well as facilitates safety-related programs. As active participants in the community, members of this unit get involved in a number of youth initiatives and other community programs.
“Forensic Sciences have been a part of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police since 1911.”
The Forensic Identification Section (FIS) provides support to front line policing. Made up of regular RCMP members with specialized training, FIS assists in diverse aspects of crime scene and exhibit processing. FIS members, located at the Wood Buffalo Detachment, photograph and process crime scenes, search for physical, trace, and fingerprint evidence and regularly provide advice on crime scene management and exhibit handling. Wood Buffalo FIS members are not only trained in the detection and collection of physical evidence such as fingerprints, footwear impressions, and tire impressions, but they are also able to provide expert opinion evidence on the comparison of the evidence.
Police Dog Services
“A police dog can thoroughly search a vehicle in approximately three minutes.”
Across Canada the RCMP has more than 112 dog teams, with 4 of them here in Fort McMurray. Dog teams consist of a police officer (handler) and the dog, usually of the German Shepherd breed. Training is completed at the RCMP Police Dog Service Training Centre which was established at Innisfail, Alberta in 1965. Police dogs start 17 weeks basic training between the ages of 12 to 18 months.
The Wood Buffalo RCMP Dog Service has been serving the community since 1993.
“Education and Awareness are key elements in preventing crimes of opportunity.”
“Working together with our law enforcement partners in a targeted approach to disadvantaging groups and individuals who contribute to drug-related activities in the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo.”
The term ‘drug’ is broad and encompasses many substances that alter a persons’ state of mind. Whether legal or illegal, there exist many different drugs that when used and/or abused can have life-altering effects. Make good decisions.
“Random attacks are rare. Learn to recognize potentially abusive situations and distance yourself from those before they escalate.”
The General Investigation Section and the Domestic Violence and Abuse Team, are both a part of Persons Crimes. The members in these sections are dedicated to investigating serious crimes against people of all ages, backgrounds and gender.
“Promoting road safety through education and enforcement.”
Traffic Services Sections are stationed in various RCMP detachment areas, including the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo.
Road safety is not just a police priority but also everyone’s responsibility. Pedestrians and cyclists are also users of the roadways who need to abide by the rules of the road just as vehicle drivers do. More Traffic Safety Details
Victim Services Unit
“Compassion, Help, Hope & Strength.”
The Victim Services Unit provides victims of crime and trauma with high quality support, information, and appropriate referrals. The primary goal of this unit is to minimize the crisis and to facilitate the victim’s return to stability and an improved quality of life. More Details
Fort Chipewyan Satellite Detachment
Fort Chipewyan is a predominately aboriginal isolated northern community situated in the very north east corner of Alberta.
It is physically located on the north shore of Lake Athabasca, and the southern edge of the Canadian Shield. Wood Buffalo National Park covers a huge area to the west and north of Fort Chipewyan. The closest major centre is Fort McMurray, 280 kilometers to the south. Winter roads connect Fort Chipewyan to Fort McMurray from December to March each year. When the winter roads are not available, travel to the community is by aircraft or boat when possible.
The climate change from summer to winter is quite dramatic. The winters are cold, with very short days and long nights. Conversely, the summers can be very warm with very long days and short nights. Most waterways are free of ice and open for boat travel by the end of May.
Fort Chipewyan has approximately 1200 residents in the immediate area, with about 95% being aborginal, who belong to the Mikisew Cree First Nation, the Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation, and the Metis Local.
The First Nations Bands, Northlands School Division, federal, provincial, municipal governments, and the local Northern Store are the largest employers in the community. Many residents work in the oilsands projects in Fort McMurray, and travel back and forth to work in that area. Many also find employment during the summer months as seasonal firefighters for Parks Canada and Alberta Forestry.
The Mikisew Cree First Nation has two reserves close to Fort Chipewyan. The Doghead IR is adjacent to the community, and the Allison Bay IR is approximately five miles to the northeast. They also have other reserve lands throughout the area, including Peace Point, which is on the Peace River near the centre of Wood Buffalo National Park. In the past there were people residing at Peace Point, but currently no one lives there year round.
The Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation has reserve lands on the south side of Lake Athabasca.
The community of Fort Fitzgerald near the NWT border is in the Fort Chipewyan Detachment area, and is only a short drive from Fort Smith, NWT. There are only a few occupied residences in Fort Fitzgerald. An arrangement exists between “K” Division RCMP and “G” Division RCMP whereby Fort Smith RCMP will respond to calls in Fort Fitzgerald on behalf of the Fort Chipewyan Detachment.
The communities of Fort Chipewyan and Fort Fitzgerald are both in the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo.