The United States Secret Service (USSS) has recognized a member of the Edmonton Police Service (EPS) for his ongoing “assistance and support.”
Secret Service agents from Ottawa and Vancouver presented Detective James Gainor with an award of appreciation during a recent visit to Edmonton. Gainor works in the EPS Cyber Crime Investigation Unit.
“Being a federal agency from the United States, we don’t have any jurisdiction in Canada,” said Resident Agent in Charge Eric Adams. “So having these partnerships with the EPS and people such as Jim is vital to our mission.”
Gainor called the award “a team effort.”
“I’ve simply fostered the relationship, but the investigative team has really done all the heavy lifting and have continued to move things forward.”
The Secret Service is best known for protecting U.S. political leaders and visiting dignitaries. The agency also has offices in 17 countries, including Canada. These field offices liaise with local law enforcement to combat cyber and financial crime that cross international borders.
“It’s been a phenomenal relationship,” Adams said. “You know, anything we’ve needed or anything the EPS has needed, we’ve done whatever we can to help.”
The EPS is part of the Western Canadian Working Group (WCWG) which includes investigators from the USSS, Calgary Police Service, Vancouver Police Department, and the RCMP (E Division.) The group shares information, intelligence, and investigative information.
“In many cases, the investigations are complex. We often have jurisdictional difficulties, and then we have to sort things out with special prosecutions, depending on what province or country the criminals are in,” Gainor said. “So, to help facilitate that, Cyber Crime Investigation Unit relies heavily on other teams across Canada, the United States, and the European Union.”
Detective Gainor joined the EPS in 2002 as a member of Recruit Training Class #100. After working in patrol and other areas of the service, he was instrumental in the creation of the Cyber Crime Investigation Unit, one of the first in Canada.
Gainor said there has been an exponential growth in online crimes, especially those that are financially motivated through extortion, kidnapping and fraud. He said law enforcement agencies are also seeing more cyber attacks perpetrated by third parties on behalf of nation states and organized crime.
“We’re coming up with different strategies. We may not always be able to lay charges locally, but we are relentless on crime and work collaboratively with our local, regional, national and international partners to keep investigations moving forward.”