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Be The Change Award - Brenda Mercer

On International Women’s Day, the Medicine Hat Police Service (MHPS) pledged to celebrate the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of individuals in the community (Medicine Hat & surrounding area) who lead, inspire, and motivate women and who work to break the bias towards advancing gender equity.

This month, Brenda Mercer, has been chosen as the winner of the MHPS “Be the Change Award.” Brenda is also known for her Dakota, Indigenous name, Wacungu Waste Win; Good Sweetgrass Woman. Brenda holds a position of high esteem in Medicine Hat for her ability to lead, inspire and motivate woman through holistic approaches; to strengthen women’s bonds to family and community.

With passion and humility, Brenda has regularly shared her own story of how the residential school system and the 60’s scoop has affected her life and those of her biological family. Brenda’s story is one which has encompassed prejudice, racism, elements of assimilation, interrupted precious cultural practices and fragmented family relationships.

In Brenda’s own journey of healing and learning, she has chosen to be an advocate for change and to work with Indigenous people, especially woman, through encouragement and support of self-empowerment. Brenda’s biological mother was a residential school survivor but did struggle once becoming a mother. Brenda was removed from her mother and placed in foster care (60’s scoop) at birth and lived with a non-Indigenous family. Brenda understands the importance of mothering across generations and has two daughters of her own. Brenda’s story and the passing of knowledge from one generation to the next is her practice of “love.”

Brenda has been determined to share her story and use Indigenous traditional crafting to bridge the gap and provide opportunities to connect with others in our community. Brenda believes art and story telling are inviting ways to inspire healthy dialogue about healing and reconciliation. Brenda shares her art of drum and rattle making, beading and other leather work regularly in Medicine Hat and online. She has held traditional crafting sessions at the local library and at the Miywasin Friendship Centre to all who are interested. Brenda also started sharing her traditional crafting online being the founder of White Horse Rider Co.

Over the last several years, Brenda has worked with the Miywasin Friendship Centre as the cultural co-ordinator and volunteers with the Sixties Scoop Indigenous Society of Alberta (SSISA). Brenda has spoken in the past at International Women's Day events sharing her life story. Brenda is determined to be a good role model and lead by example; seizing any opportunity to learn and demonstrate her knowledge and skills to others.

MHPS understands this is only a fraction of the impact Mercer has had on the women of our region.

Congratulations Brenda for fostering inclusive collaboration through sharing your journey and passion!

Over the next year, each month the MHPS will select a local individual(s) to highlight and celebrate, with a goal of raising the profile, recognizing, and celebrating the achievements of these individuals who are catalysts for change in our community, and are working to advance women professionally and personally.

Anyone who wishes to nominate a strong role model in our community can submit a nomination via the MHPS website (https://app.mhps.ca/be-the-change-award) or mobile app for consideration. The nominations will be reviewed by a committee comprised of women who serve with the MHPS and each month they will select and arrange to meet with the winner to celebrate their accomplishments.

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MHPS Open House

On Saturday, June 11, 2022 the Medicine Hat Police Service will be opening our doors to the community from 11 AM to 3:00 PM. This event will provide an opportunity to learn more about the MHPS and its operations through information and displays, demonstrations and building tours.

In coordination with the open house, the Medicine Hat Safe Community Association will be hosting a BBQ and 22 local Grade 6 students will be presented with awards from the Chief Gord Earl Leadership Legacy Fund. The Fund was established in 2008 to celebrate Chief Earl’s contributions to the community and to honor his memory. The fund is administered through the Community Foundation of Southeastern Alberta and each year recognizes Grade 6 students that have demonstrated the core values of the MHPS of integrity, respect, courage, and accountability.

Elementary schools identify students from within the local school districts who have demonstrated the qualities of future community leaders. Parents of the scholarship recipients are encouraged to place the awards into an existing or newly opened Registered Educational Savings Plan. Since its inception in 2008, the Chief Earl Leadership Legacy Fund has 187 students with scholarships.

There is no charge to attend this event and no need to pre-register.

Media Contact:

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

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High Risk Incident Concluded

At 5:33 PM, May 10, 2022, patrol team members were dispatched to the 2100 block of 10 Ave NE, in response to a “check on the well-being” call for service. As the investigation unfolded, it was determined that a violent episode had occurred at a private dwelling house, and the suspect remained in the house.

Out of an abundance of caution; taking into consideration safety of the public, the suspect, and the police, a variety of police specialty units were utilized to safely resolve this situation. Those units included the Crisis Negotiations Team, Tactical Team, Drone Team, and K9 Unit.

At 10:22, May 10, PM, police took a 38-year-old male into custody for several offences. The matter is currently under investigation by the MHPS Criminal Investigation Section supported by the Patrol Section.

Prior to the arrest occurring, three distraction devices (flash bangs) were deployed. 

Further details will be released at the conclusion of the investigation.

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High Risk Incident

There is a heavy police presence in the 2100 block of 10 Ave NE. Police are on scene at an emerging high risk incident. Please avoid the area and give us room to work. You may encounter traffic disruptions as a result.  If that is the case, please follow the directions of police officers that are directing traffic.

Please do not post photos of police activity on social media.

Thanking you in advance, for your cooperation.

There will be an update at the conclusion of the police activities.

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Youths Charged with Mischief

On April 30, 2022, two youths were charged in relation to a recent string of graffiti incidents that had been reported in the South Ridge area of Medicine Hat. Areas damaged included public walking trails, city infrastructure and private residences. Some of the graffiti included racial slurs which were offensive language. Both youths have been charged with five counts of mischief under $5,000. The Medicine Hat Police Service would like to thank the members of the community for assistance in reporting and identifying the individuals involved.

City of Medicine Hat Bylaw 3679 defines graffiti as any words, figures, letters, or drawings scribbled, scratched, painted, sprayed, written, drawn, or otherwise applied on Premises without the consent of the owner of the premises.

Graffiti has a significant negative impact on the community – it increases the community’s perception of crime, reduces community pride, and displaces funds which could be spent elsewhere. When you come across graffiti, remember the “3 Rs”:

Record

If you have been victimized by graffiti vandalism you need to record it for evidence and insurance purposes. Take photos of the vandalized area and record when it occurred. This information will be required when you report it.

Report

Graffiti In Progress - If you observe graffiti in progress, immediately report by calling 911.

Property Owners - If a property owner discovers graffiti on their property, the damage should be reported to the MHPS by calling 403-529-8481 or by submitting an online report via the MHPS website (mhps.ca) or mobile app. The MHPS app is free to download and available for both Apple and Android devices by searching ‘Medicine Hat Police Service’ on the Apple App Store or Google Play Store.

City of Medicine Hat Property-If the damage has occurred to City property, citizens are encouraged to report the damage via the City of Medicine Hat website (medicinehat.ca) Report a Problem.

Remove

A well-established measure to prevent graffiti is to remove it as soon as it appears which can decrease the likelihood of additional graffiti from being applied to the same area.

For more information click link to review City of Medicine Hat Bylaw 3679

Media Contact:

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

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MVC Fatality

On April 24, 2022, at approximately 10:11 PM a Honda Civic travelling west in the 1200 block of South Railway Street SE left the road to the right before striking a power pole. The 40-year-old male driver, who was the sole occupant of the vehicle, was fatally injured because of the collision.

The collision caused substantial damage to the vehicle and electrical infrastructure which resulted in a power outage for a large portion of the city. Total damage is estimated to be more than $30,000.

The Medicine Hat Police Service Traffic Unit continues to investigate the collision and the roadway will remain closed until further notice. The MHPS reminds everyone to please drive safely and be mindful of workers in the area. The Medicine Hat Police Service offers our condolences to the family of the deceased and would like to thank all witnesses that provided information regarding this incident.

Media Contact:

S/Sgt Chad Holt
Community Safety Section
Medicine Hat Police Service
Ph: 403-581-1056

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Motor Vehicle Collision - Scholten Hill Closed

Members of the Medicine Hat Police Service are currently at the scene of a serious motor vehicle collision at the bottom of Scholten Hill near Factory Street SE. Scholten Hill and part of South Railway Street SE will be completely closed to the public for several hours while emergency crews investigate this incident. Please avoid this area until further notice.

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Counterfeit Currency

On April 19th, 2022 The ALERT Regional Property Crime Unit (RPCU) & MHPS concluded an investigation into three adults suspected of producing and distributing counterfeit Canadian currency within Medicine Hat. Police were notified of a small number of retailers receiving counterfeit notes throughout the month of April. The investigation culminated on April 19th with a residential search warrant being conducted & three adults taken into custody. Electronics used to produce the notes & a small amount of counterfeit currency were seized from the suspect residence. Denominations of 20’s, 50’s and 100’s were part of the items seized.

2 of the three adults arrested face charges of:

  • Breach of a Conditional Sentence Order
  • Making Counterfeit Money
  • Possession of Counterfeit Money
  • Possession of Stolen Property

The names of the accused individuals will not be released at this time as the charges have not yet been sworn to in front of a justice of the peace.

What to do if you suspect that you have been offered a counterfeit note during a transaction:

Assess the situation to ensure that you are not at risk. Then do the following:

  • Politely refuse the note and explain that you suspect that it may be counterfeit.
  • Ask for another note (and check it too).
  • Advise the person to check the note with the local police.
  • Inform your local police of a possible attempt to pass suspected counterfeit money.

Be courteous. Remember that the person in possession of the bill could be an innocent victim who does not realize that the note is suspicious.

What to do if you suspect that a note is counterfeit after a transaction:

  • Give it to the local police. If it’s real, you’ll get it back.

Either way, the police should be informed of possible counterfeiting activity in your community. Timely reporting helps police and prosecutors bring counterfeiters to justice.

Media Contact:

S/Sgt Kelsey Fraser
Medicine Hat Police Service
Ph: 403-529-8410

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Be The Change Award

On International Women’s Day the Medicine Hat Police Service (MHPS) pledged to celebrate the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of individuals in the community (Medicine Hat & surrounding area) who lead, inspire, and motivate women and work to break the bias towards advancing gender equity.

This month, Chelsea Purves of Crew Training and Sabrina Moore of Kollektiv Cycle have been chosen as the co-winners of the MHPS “Be The Change Award.” Both women have put their blood, sweat (pun intended) and tears into opening their own local fitness studios so that they could not only create a positive work/life balance for themselves, their families, and their employees, but to also create a positive and motivating fitness experience for all Hatters.

Taking the leap of faith to start their own business was scary. Both Chelsea and Sabrina have their own business obstacles to overcome, but together these women have supported, encouraged, inspired, and motivated each other to keep going. When one needs help, the other is there to pull them up. Their selfless collaboration and continuous promotion of each other’s efforts showcase their true desire for the other to succeed. Chelsea and Sabrina are strong, independent woman that have built their businesses based off their steadfast values, which allows them to confidently support other local businesses as they do not fear competition, rather they embrace it.

Sabrina and Chelsea see their instructors as an integral part of the team and focus on ensuring their instructors feel supported to work around varying family dynamics and additional work commitments. Instructors at Kollektiv Cycle and Crew Training are so passionate about being part of and Chelsea’s teams, that they don’t view it as ‘work’ but rather there is a sense of ownership. The relationships built within these businesses are knit together in trust, respect, and value for one another.

Both women showcase a true desire to pay it forward. Chelsea and Sabrina intentionally look for opportunities to support not only their own instructors and clients, but also their fellow business owners. Throughout Covid, Sabrina and Chelsea joined forces knowing they were stronger together and could make a bigger impact on the community when united. That was how ‘Kollektiv Crew Challenges’ were born. These challenges encouraged all Hatters to participate in activities that challenged their mind, their movement, and their community engagement. Money was never the motivating factor, yet the community continued to step up and offer prizes and donations and the list of participants far exceeded the expectations of Sabrina and Chelsea. The challenges raised money for the Root Cellar, Breast Cancer awareness, APARC, Saving Grace Animal Rescue and encouraged Hatters to stop in and support various local businesses. Recently, Kollektiv won the Best of Medicine Hat Award in the sports and fitness category and chose to redirect their $500 Medicine Hat News ‘thank you to voters’ printed segment back to the community by donating it to Covenant Health St. Joseph’s Home. women are adamant there is ‘more meaning, more impact and more longevity in donating to local causes and charities.’ Ultimately, the lengths Sabrina and Chelsea go to give back to their community is inspiring!

Sabrina and Chelsea encourage all women to find employers that make you feel valued; don’t be afraid to pave the road for others; and a reminder that the sky is the limit when you own your own business!

Congratulations to Sabrina and Chelsea!

Over the next year, each month the MHPS will select a local individual(s) to highlight and celebrate, with a goal of raising the profile, recognizing, and celebrating the achievements of these individuals who are catalysts for change in our community, and are working to advance women professionally and personally.

Anyone who wishes to nominate a strong role model in our community can submit a nomination via the MHPS website (https://app.mhps.ca/be-the-change-award) or mobile app for consideration. The nominations will be reviewed by a committee comprised of women who serve with the MHPS and each month they will select and arrange to meet with the winner to celebrate their accomplishments.

Media Contact:

Cst. Michelle Brunet
Medicine Hat Police Service
Ph: 403-594-0562

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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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