By Greg Amos
A fully-trained staff of 10 police officers means more patrols at Kinsmen Beach and continued
community engagement are on the agenda this year for the Columbia Valley RCMP, Staff Sergeant Marko
Shehovac revealed during an end-of-year presentation to District of Invermere council on Tuesday, January 22nd.
By the end of April, the detachment’s two cadets will have completed their training, bringing staff to one commander, two corporal supervisors, and eight constables.
The RCMP can expect to face the equivalent of roughly one call for every person in Invermere over the year, as 2012 numbers show the Columbia Valley RCMP fielded 3,252 calls for service in their service area in 2012. (Invermere alone accounted for 773 calls for service.) That reflects a more accurate number than the 2011 figure of 2,136 calls, after a computer data glitch was corrected, explained Staff Sgt. Shehovac,
Through the end of February, senior RCMP members are attending community meetings in order to
determine policing priorities. In Radium, the re-opening of the Canfor mill has prompted more concerns about high traffic speeds of vehicle driving to and from the site.
The detachment used all of the 2012 summer seasonal policing budget of $10,000, and expects to do so again. On the drug and alcohol front, the detachment aimed to lay 10 charges on prolific offenders in 2012, and ended up laying 24 charges, thanks in part to member training that’s resulted in more quality charges arising from search warrants. Continued drug enforcement and education efforts remain the top item on the
detachment’s radar this year.
“If no one is telling me that there’s an issue with drugs and alcohol, then they’re all stoned,” deadpanned Staff Sgt. Sheovac at the council meeting.
Asked about RCMP members’ involvement in “snowboard patrols” at Panorama Mountain Village, Staff Sgt. Shehovac confirmed the detachment does have an agreement with the ski resort, allowing off-duty members to patrol the ski area while enjoying the slopes, dealing with drug and alcohol offences, and occasionally assisting ski patrols with First Aid efforts.