Operation Desino gang busts worth cost, says police chief
Rick Hanson gave an update on the biggest gang investigation in the force's history
Calgary police say the biggest gang investigation in the force’s history is worth every penny — but the total cost of the operation has not yet been tallied.
Chief Rick Hanson gave an update to the Calgary Police Commission on Operation Desino Tuesday night.
He credited a cash infusion with the spate of recent gang busts.
"The successful conclusion of Desino was the direct result of the city and the police commission recognizing three years ago that resources had to be added in order to put the time and effort into these investigations, otherwise I could safely say these investigations would be unsolved today," said Hanson.
Fifteen investigators were brought in to help crack a string of deadly shootings, said Hanson.
That includes the now infamous News Years' Day triple murder at the Bolsa restaurant in southeast Calgary in 2009.
"I want you to know that this is a reflection of the support we got from you," said Hanson.
Cost not tabulated
But investigators were not able to reveal exactly how much Desino cost.
"'It's an ongoing investigation still, we haven't tabulated the numbers right now but we keep a running tally and those numbers will come out when we're all done," said Hansen.
Mike Shaikh, Calgary Police Commission chair, says it's money well spent regardless of the bill.
"Our goal is to make sure that our streets are safer, and that's what we concentrate on," said Shaikh.
The chair says he trusts the chief when he says he needs more resources, and said the commission monitors results carefully.
Insp. Mike O'Brien, a local gang expert, also stressed that it takes a lot of time and resources to solve these types of cases.
"This was a large investigation," said O'Brien.
"People need to know that this isn't like a one-hour television show where everything is wrapped up in a nice neat bow and you have guilty pleas in an hour."
With files from Neil Herland