People are scared in town.
I’ve only lived here a year and in that time we’ve had two really frightening things happen. The murder of a young teen and now the disappearance of another young female.
Speaking to people around town, many are overwhelmed and many are scared. A number of women I have spoken to have voiced this feeling to me – one saying she hadn’t been out to the bar since it happened because she was scared of what could happen. She said she was scared of there being someone dangerous out there on the streets.
When I sit and think about what makes sense to try and reduce this fear, the logical starting point would be with the town’s police detachment. I personally believe our own RCMP do a great job with the number of people and resources they have – but it’s not enough.
A full complement of staff at the RCMP office is six constables, one first nations constable, two corporals and a staff sergeant. I don’t think even a full complement is enough to police the area in which they are duty-bound to respond to calls – and as it sits now, the detachment is down three staff members.
I was talking to a friend recently and we were discussing the fact that while our fire department has strict municipal boundaries in which they work – our RCMP do not have the same thing – nowhere near. They respond to calls to the east past Cluculz Lake up to the Bobtail Forest Service Road; west to Willowvale Road – which is about five kilometres past Plateau mill; south their boundary is around 165 kilometres; and north 37 kilometres towards Fort St. James. This area is huge. How can they be expected to police these areas and continue to show a police presence on the streets?
Someone needs to take a look at this ASAP before further tragedy hits the town.