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Using technology to protect the public

BARCC Alert system utilized to warn public about a potentially armed man
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The Barrhead RCMP Detachment issued a BARCC alert about a potentially armed man who had been involved in a motor vehicle collision on April 20 in the County of Barrhead and was roaming on foot in the area.

BARRHEAD-The subject of a Barrhead and Area Regional Crime Coalition (BARCC) alert is now facing several charges after he was located by Parkland RCMP.

On April 20, BARCC issued an alert shortly before 9 p.m. asking the public to be on the lookout for a white male travelling with a 10-year-old boy after their vehicle crashed in the County of Barrhead on Range Road 24 near Township Roads 570 and 574. The alert stated that the man was believed to be armed with a handgun and could be potentially dangerous.

Sgt. Bob Dodds said the vehicle, a black Pontiac Grande Prix, was reported to potentially have been a crash in and been abandoned at about 7:30 p.m. in Barrhead. It was involved in a police pursuit after the Edmonton Police Service attempted to stop the vehicle.

He added the chase continued into the Parkland RCMP's area, but it was called off when police noticed a child was in the vehicle. Another motorist also reported to the police that they saw a handgun in the vehicle.

Because of the report of the weapon, Dodds said, members of the Barrhead and Westlock RCMP attempted to contain the area and an RCMP Dog Unit was called in to help locate the suspect.

"He found no [scent] track of the suspect at all," he said, adding the suspect probably called one of his friends to pick him up.

Dodds also noted the vehicle the suspect was driving most likely ran out of gas, saying that it looked like he had pushed the car into the ditch, rather than it being a crash.

He said he decided to issue the alert due to protect the public.

"My concern was that he would walk onto someone's property, attempt to steal a vehicle and end up in a potential altercation. Luckily that did not happen," he said.

BARCC is a partnership between Woodlands County, the Town of Barrhead and the County of Barrhead, as well as the Barrhead RCMP and Rural Crime Watch.

It was formed in the spring of 2018, in part due to discussions Peace River-Westlock MP Arnold Viersen had with all parties, to come up with initiatives to combat rural crime.

Area residents can register to receive alerts free online via the municipalities’ websites or in person. People not only can choose what medium (telephone, text or e-mail) they would like to receive the alerts but the type as well. The choices range from crime and RCMP alerts to events and programming information.

Barry Kerton,


Barry Kerton

About the Author: Barry Kerton

Barry Kerton is the managing editor of the Barrhead Leader, joining the paper in 2014. He covers news, municipal politics and sports.
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