Dec. 23: Police Update and 2015 review

Dec. 23: Police Update and 2015 end-of-year review

Downtown speed concern

Establishing a commercial speed zone in Vanderhoof’s downtown core on Burrard Ave. may address current safety concerns, suggested Vanderhoof’s police at its monthly update to the district council on Dec. 14.

The current speed limit at 50 km/h do not allow commercial trucks enough time to stop, and setting a 30 km/h rule would increase safety for all, said Sgt. Svend Nielsen.

“Not to say people are speeding, just thought an adjusted speed will make everyone safer,” he said.

 

Midnight Madness lost and found

A lost iPhone recovered from the festivities of Dec.5 has been submitted to the Vanderhoof police. Phone owner can contact the local detachment for more details.

 

2015 Police Review: staff changes stabilized

Vanderhoof’s RCMP detachment witnessed many personnel changes in 2015, with half the detachment replaced within the year.

The new faces brought in new energies and different approaches to the police’s work, particularly in traffic enforcement where the local detachment’s statistics — in addition to those of the traffic unit — were strong, said Sgt. Svend Nielsen.

For example, with a quarterly target for impaired driving enforcement at six to 12 files, the detachment has already lodged 19 in this year’s last quarter, Nielsen said.

The strong results came as the local police office’s previously high turnover rate stabilized and shortages in the past year have been addressed, he explained.

There were three vacant spots for constables in April, and now the local detachment only has a shortage of two — one is currently off duty due to sickness, and another will be returning from paternity leave in January, Nielsen said.

The recent consistency in staff has led to stability and a positive vibe in the environment, and the additional staff are now able to share the workload, he added.

The consistency will continue, as a large group of the detachment’s RCMP members will remain for a number of years, allowing time for not only the community to familiarize with the police, but also for the staff to develop local knowledge that would lead to better success, Nielsen said.

The police is looking to increase community engagement, such as getting involved with local schools, he added.

“We’re really proud of that,” he said. “We like to send the message that we’re not just working, but we’re part of the community as well.”

He added, “I think we’re succeeding in that.”

 

2015 Police Review: major investigation closures

The successful breakthrough from the local police’s battle with break-and-enter incidents in March and April this year was due to a regional collaboration including detachments of Fort St. James, Prince George, Fraser Lake, as well as Vanderhoof, Nielsen said.

While the police understands that the incidents were frustrating for the community, no more details could be provided as the case remains in court, he explained.

Regarding the two previously outstanding local murders for which charges were recently announced in early October, the police understands that the announcement lifted some anxiety in the community, as the events have now come to a closure, he said.

 

– with files from Sgt. Svend Nielsen, Vanderhoof RCMP