Subsidiary 3 Benchmark
Job Description - 035SH20

Identification Section

Working Title: Surveillance Sheriff
Department: Sheriff's Branch
Division, Branch/Unit: Justice and Solicitor General
Reports To: Sergeant Surveillance
Levels to D.M.: 5

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(Brief summary of the job, covering the main responsibilities, the framework within which the job has to operate and the main contribution to the organization.)

The Sheriff Branch is responsible for several areas that directly support law enforcement agencies, provincial enforcement agencies, and integrated law enforcement agencies in Alberta and plays a lead role in the Ministry’s commitment to promote safe and secure communities throughout the province. These areas include: traffic safety patrols and enforcement on provincial highways, warrant apprehension services, investigations, surveillance services, providing courthouse and “identified or designated provincial critical infrastructure” facilities security, prisoner management and transport services, and executive and judiciary security services. The Branch also offers security consultation for provincial facilities and maintains a 24-hour security control centre at Government Centre. Work is performed within continually evolving, ever-changing, and potentially dangerous environments.

The Surveillance Sheriff provides a complex and highly specialized services assisting other law enforcement agencies in surveillance activities and investigation on people of interest. Work is performed within continually evolving, ever-changing, and potentially dangerous environments.

Reporting to a Surveillance Sergeant and working within applicable legislation, policies, and procedures, the Criminal Code, the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, and all provincial and federal statutes, the Sheriff exercises its authority as a Special Constable (Sheriff) with Peace Officer status under the Alberta Peace Officer Act.

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Responsibilities and Activities

(Purpose of the job can be broken down in different responsibilities and end results.  Each end result shows what the job is accountable for, within what framework, and what the added value is.)

1. Physical (tactical and strategic) surveillance services are provided to support integrated law enforcement agencies and provincial enforcement agencies to gather evidence to prevent criminal activities and investigate crimes.


  • Uses leading edge techniques to perform physical strategic and tactical surveillance of individuals identified as persons of interest in conjunction with other law enforcement agencies in Alberta.
  • Identifies, surveils, and documents activities of individuals who are under investigation by a law enforcement agency for the purposes of determining “lifestyle” so that the investigative team can make strategic decisions regarding the investigation and future surveillance techniques.
  • Identify, surveils, documents, and collects physical evidence (with judicial authority) for an investigative team.
  • Processes evidence collected in the appropriate fashion pursuant to various police procedures.
  • Collaborates with Correctional Services and Warrant Apprehension Sheriffs to actively (covert or otherwise) identify, surveil, and apprehend individuals on a “release” program in Alberta and for whom a warrant has been or will be issued.
2. Positive relationships are maintained with Government officials and representatives, law enforcement and other agencies, Correctional Services and Federal Penitentiary representatives, the judiciary and court employees, and the public as appropriate to assigned function(s) through use of excellent and demonstrated interpersonal, public relations, communication, investigative, and crisis management skills.
3. Security Services standards are met and maintained in the use of the following tools and techniques:


  • Incident Management Intervention Module (Use of Force).
  • Firearm.
  • Defensive Baton.
  • Oleoresin Capsicum Spray (O.C. Spray).
  • Handcuffs.
  • Other specialized training as required.
4.  Interviews, reports, and legal documents are completed in accordance with established policies and standards.


  • Completes reports and legal documents in preparation for prosecution.
  • Conducts interviews and takes statements from Sheriffs, complainants, witnesses, suspects, etc.
  • Maintains and processes exhibits, prepares court briefs and disclosure documents, and gives evidence in

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(Illustrates what internal or external areas the job impacts, and the diversity, complexity, and creativity of the job.)

The Surveillance Sheriff provides highly specialized and complex services in close collaboration with law enforcement agencies, provincial enforcement agencies, and integrated law enforcement agencies to promote the safety and security of citizens and communities within Alberta.

The Sheriff actively contributes to and participates in various training functions, demonstrating commitment to training associated with the specialized assignment and the general competencies associated with a senior Sheriff position. In addition, some Surveillance Sheriffs are involved in curriculum development and course delivery at the training facility, instructing other Sheriffs and stakeholders on a full-time basis.

This position is expected to represent the Branch, Ministry, and Government in a highly professional manner when interacting with stakeholders and partners, including members of law enforcement agencies within Alberta, members of similar agencies from other provinces, and stakeholder organizations. This position also provides guidance and mentoring for other members of Security Services gaining experience in or recently assigned to specialized functions.

The Surveillance Sheriff is expected to demonstrate leadership, initiative, and integrity in relation to performance of all aspects of job responsibilities. This position may function as the “second in command” and may be required to assume the duties of the Sergeant or Manager as required.

The impacts of action or inaction by the position are significant, and can result in physical injury, danger to the public, employees, government officials, offenders, and/or prisoners. Other consequences of action or inaction by this position can include political embarrassment, financial loss, property damage, civil lawsuits, grievous bodily harm, or death.

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Knowledge, Skills and Abilities

(Most important knowledge factors, skills and abilities including knowledge about practical procedures, specialized techniques, etc.; analytical and conceptual skills and abilities; and skills needed for direct interaction with others not only diplomas and degrees. Specific training if it is an occupational certification/registration required for the job.)

2 years of post-secondary study in law enforcement, police science or social sciences is required along with two years of related experience. The position must complete an internal six week induction program consisting of conflict resolution, criminal law, security procedures, court room protocol, defensive driving, defensive tactics, physical training, advanced arrest apprehension, etc.

Surveillance Training

  • In addition to basic induction training (or equivalent), specialized training will include basic and advanced surveillance courses (to the same standard as all Alberta police agencies), advanced or enhanced driving instruction, additional report writing in order to conform to police agency standards and practices, court presentation, and the collection and processing of DNA and other evidence. An apprenticeship program to determine suitability may also be implemented.


  • In addition to basic induction training (or equivalent), specialized training will include basic and advanced intelligence training, strategic and tactical analysis, advanced report writing, court presentation, and threat assessment training.


  • In addition to basic induction training (or equivalent), specialized training will include investigation techniques, practises and principles, advanced report writing, court presentation and advanced law studies with a focus on the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms and case law.

The Surveillance Sheriff must be competent in all aspects of the duties of a Special Constable (Sheriff) with Peace Officer authority, including the use and application of the Alberta Peace Officer Act, the Criminal Code, the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms as well as all other Provincial and Federal statutes.

The Sheriff requires working knowledge of:

  • applicable policies and procedures;
  • Standing Operations Procedures;
  • Emergency Standing Orders;
  • the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act;
  • the Criminal Code of Canada;
  • the radio communication system;
  • the Positive Workplace program, including the ability to demonstrate and exercise this knowledge.

The Surveillance Sheriff will also require in-depth knowledge of:

  • cultural diversity;
  • organized gang behaviour;
  • various police culture, policies and practices;

The position must qualify and maintain:

  • a Class 5 or better Alberta operator's license;
  • a minimum Emergency Level First Aid and Level A CPR;
  • Security Services standards in the use of a firearm, Oleoresin Capsicum spray, the defensive baton, and the Use of Force continuum.

Key tools provided include:

  • firearm, baton, Oleoresin Capsicum spray, and handcuffs;
  • a hard or soft uniform (full uniform with firearm or blazer with Sheriff’s logo and markings or plain-clothes);
  • Peace Officer designation pursuant to the Alberta Peace Officer Act.

The Sheriff must maintain a degree of physical fitness and demonstrate computer skills commensurate with requirements of the specialized function.

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(Main contacts of this position and the purpose of those contacts.)

Main contacts for the position may include any or all of the following:

  • Ministry and Government representatives and officials;
  • representatives of law enforcement agencies, provincial enforcement agencies, and integrated law enforcement agencies within Alberta;
  • first responders;
  • representatives of Security Services and Correctional Services;
  • general public;
  • representatives of outside agencies;
  • offenders;
  • lawyers;
  • judiciary.

The purpose of these contacts is to exchange information; issue traffic violation tickets or summons; seize vehicles; conduct investigations, surveillance, and intelligence; assess risks and/or threats; identify and resolve conflicts or problems; discuss issues; and apprehend and detain individuals; conduct arrests (including high risk).

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(Working titles of positions reporting directly to this position.)

Not applicable.

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Organization Chart

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Last Review / Update: 2016-03-11

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