Calgary Police Service

Calgary Police Service Intelligence Collection

The Calgary Police Service relies on intelligence collected from numerous different sources to be proactive in our efforts to keep Calgarians safe. This can include information gathered from public interactions, officer observations and other intelligence from external sources. 

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Through intelligence-led policing, we collect different types of information that may be of value to police and public safety in Calgary. This can include information collected during:

  • Officer Contacts – these include interactions with the public, including when there is a concern for an individual’s welfare,  or situations in which members of the public are legally required to provide information, such as when an officer is investigating a crime or responding to a call for service. These interactions can be officer-generated or generated as a result of a call from the public.
  • Street Checks – these interactions are voluntary and are regulated provincially by Bill 63. Street checks are not random and are conducted when an officer has reason to believe that a citizen may have information about a crime or suspicious activity. Street checks occur only when officer’s have no other duty, authority or responsibility.
  • Directed Patrols – these are patrols conducted to ensure  that offenders are abiding by their court-imposed conditions or that parolees are complying with their release orders from Correctional Service of Canada. These are incredibly important to offender management.

We do not, and have never, allowed our officers to randomly stop people and ask them for identification, (a practice commonly referred to as “carding”).

Frequently Asked Questions

Why do police collect information about citizens?

Collecting information is an important part of community safety and provides us with street-level intelligence that assists with investigations, crime prevention and maintaining public safety. 

How are street checks different from officer contacts?

During an officer contact, police officers may have a legislated or common law right to lawfully compel an individual to participate. These interactions are not voluntary, and the individual is legally required to provide their information. Officer contacts also include situations where officers have a duty or responsibility to collect information, such as when there is a concern for an individual’s welfare. When there is a concern for welfare, officers do not have the ability to lawfully compel someone to respond, but rather a responsibility to engage. 

Where there is no responsibility or lawful right to compel information, officers may conduct a street check. Street checks are conducted when an officer has reason to believe an individual may have information about a crime or suspicious activity. In these instances, the interaction is completely voluntary, and the individual may choose to disengage and leave the conversation at any time. 

Which situations are not considered a street check?

Street checks are governed by Bill 63 and do not apply in the following situations:

  • While responding to a public-generated calls for service
  • An officer is acting under other lawful authorities
  • During wellness checks of vulnerable persons or community safety initiatives involving strategies to assist marginalized/vulnerable persons
  • When an interaction is initiated by a member of public, or if information is volunteered by that individual
  • When an individual is a victim of a crime
  • When an individual matches the description of a missing person or a victim of human trafficking
  • When information is obtained through observation (no interaction between an officer and member of public)
  • When an individual is being lawfully detained/arrested
  • During the execution of a warrant
  • During interactions with confidential informants
  • The individual is engaged in the administration of justice (i.e. other law enforcement officers)

How will someone know if they are being asked to provide information voluntarily or not?

The police officer will inform you why you are being asked for information and whether or not the interaction is voluntary.

Under Bill 63, when conducting a street check, a police officer must tell the individual that:

  1. The interaction is voluntary.
  2. That the individual is not obligated to answer any questions.
  3. The individual may discontinue the interaction.
  4. The individual may leave at any time. 

What is an example of a situation in which an individual may be legally required to give police their information (non-voluntary)?

When police officers have a lawful purpose and authority, a citizen’s personal information may be obtained. Some examples of this would include when:

  • officers are responding to a public-generated calls for service
  • officers observe an individual commit an offence, such as a bylaw, Criminal Code or Traffic Safety Act infraction

What type of information will police collect about an individual?

During a street check, the collection of data is legislated by Bill 63. Under the Bill, officers can collect personal information about the individual (if they complied) as well as the reason for the interaction. The Bill also directs that during a street check, officers must ask an individual to self-identify their race. This information is to enable the government to assess whether street checks are disproportionately occurring.

During an officer contact, officers may collect an individual’s personal information and/or the person’s circumstances at a particular time and place. 

What legislation must officers follow when collecting information?

During officer contacts and other interactions, police officers may be acting on authorities under common law or other legislation, such as the Criminal Code, the Traffic Safety Act or municipal Bylaws.

When no other authorities exist, officers may conduct a street check, which is governed by Bill 63. 

Are these interactions reviewed?

Yes. Our Intelligence Evaluation Team (IET) reviews all intelligence submitted by officers within 24 hours to ensure the information is legally obtained, collected without bias, and stored properly to protect the privacy of Calgarians. As part of their review, the IET is mandated to report any breaches of our Fair and Impartial Policing practices.

Additionally, as required by Bill 63, any street checks conducted by the CPS are reviewed quarterly. In addition, the CPS also reviews a random sample of officer contacts as well as an any officer contacts involving minors.

Regular reports on officer contacts and street checks are also made available online. 

What kind of policy applies to the collection of information?

SOPs have been developed with the CPS Professional Standards Section and Early  Intervention Office. CPS members are expected to clearly articulate the circumstances of the interaction to ensure that the information is lawfully collected, is not arbitrary, and adheres to the CPS Fair and Impartial Policing practices.

CPS Policy on Collection of Information specifies that personal information shall not be collected to satisfy a performance measure; to randomly document routine interactions; to document political, religious, or social views unless the information relates to criminal conduct/ activity or there is reasonable suspicion the subject of the information is involved in criminal conduct/ activity.

What training do officers receive?

In addition to training specifically in relation to the Bill 63 and its use in policing, we have also implemented training to understand and identify biases as well as prevent discrimination and racism.

Officer Contact Reports

Quarterly reports on our Officer Contacts, including demographic information, are published to be transparent about how we are collecting this information:

Street Check Reports

As reporting on Street Checks is regulated under Bill 63 and was only introduced in 2021, statistics on Street Checks are provided through a separate corporate report to Officer Contacts, as legislated by the provincial government. We continue to work with our provincial partners to standardize this reporting. 

Additional information


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