This week the Columbia Valley RCMP responded to about 40 calls for service; last year that number landed around 55. The following is a summary of a couple of the more interesting calls:
On November 20th at about 11:00 pm Columbia Valley RCMP observed a sport utility vehicle leave the Invermere liquor store parking lot and head toward highway 93/95. The officer performed some registries queries on the licence plate and noted the registered owner had an invalid driver’s license. The RCMP orchestrated a traffic stop and identified the registered owner as the person behind the wheel. He was advised of why he was pulled over and as the police spoke further with the man there was some indication that he was impaired by alcohol. He was demanded to provide samples of his breath in an approved screening device; both samples produced a “Warn”. Consequently, the driver was served a 3-day Notice of Driving Prohibition and his vehicle was not seized as the officer used some discretion to not tow and impound the SUV.
On November 22nd at about 9:30 pm Colombia Valley RCMP members set up a check stop on the corner of 7th Ave and 9th Street in Invermere to ensure public safety of pedestrians, drivers, passengers and vehicles. While conducting the check stop a ford fusion approached the police and spoke with one of the responding members. While the male driver was speaking with the police the officer could smell liquor on the driver’s breath and could hear him slurring his speech. He was demanded to provide samples of his breath into a screening device, the driver complied and provided two samples; both were analysed as a “Fail”. Subsequently, the driver was issued a 90 day immediate roadside prohibition and the vehicle was impounded for 30 days.
During the morning hours of November 24th the Columbia Valley Detachment received a call of a suspicious male near the Cenotaph in Invermere. The complainant reported that the male was approaching other pedestrians and looked “high”. RCMP immediately patrolled the area and located the male on 7th Avenue. He was identified and was clearly intoxicated as his eyes were blood shot, he was slurring his speech, his breath smelled of liquor, and members had trouble understanding the circumstances of what led to his current situation. Eventually the members were able to determine that the male was from the lower mainland that he was working in town while staying at his friends place; however, he had overstayed his welcome at his friend’s house and was asked to leave, consequently he was now homeless. Due to safety concerns he was arrested for being intoxicated in a public place. While searching him the members noted a can of vodka in his pocket. He was eventually transported to the detachment and placed in a warm cell until his sobriety could take over. Once sober, he was released and was able to find alternative living arrangements.
On November 25th at about 7:30 pm Columbia Valley RCMP received a report from a local restaurant that a male had departed without paying for his meal. The male had asked about obtaining a job as a dishwasher at the restaurant and gone so far as to leave his phone number prior to leaving the restaurant without paying for his $30 dinner. Along with the phone number the male left a tip for the waitress, the apparent change he had in his pocket. RCMP responded to the report and armed with a number of clues were able to conduct some sleuthing and eventually identify the male. The police then conducted some patrols in hopes they could locate him but to no avail. Although the matter is still under investigation it should be resolved very soon.
This Saturday, December 2nd, the RCMP is partnering with the Columbia Valley Christmas Bureau and the Invermere Canadian Tire to “Cram the Cruiser” with unwrapped and unused toys. Each donated toy will distributed to local families in need of support. I will be at the Cruiser for the afternoon so please come and say hello; I would love to hear about your perception of safety in the Valley and what you might like to see as the winter months come. And if you can, please bring an unwrapped toy to make some kids very happy this Christmas.