Hello neighbor and welcome back to the Blotter, and what a week it?s been here in the Ridge. Last Saturday I traveled to Fort St. John to write the RCMP promotion exam. Do you remember those answer sheets that you had to fill out in school? They were the ones that had a bunch of little bubbles that you had to darken for each answer. The exam was scheduled for four hours, and by the time I hit the half way mark, I didn?t care much anymore. I then raced through the rest of the exam and filled in all the bubbles. It was then that my self-diagnosed ADHD really kicked in. I looked at the answer sheet and imagined that I was in grade two again. Not wanting to disappoint my teacher, I began to connect the dots. That?s when the excitement really began to build. Was it going to be a lion? A plane? A swing? I couldn?t believe my eyes, only halfway through the puzzle it looked like a sailboat. The boat part turned out pretty good, but the sail sucked. So I started to change my answers so that I would have a pretty sail. The more answers I changed, the more the sail was off kilter. What really hurt the most was that I was trying and the stupid picture was not cooperating. Eventually it all worked out but it was no longer a sailboat, it was more like a pirate ship. I like pirates. I would like to be a pirate, but I don?t want my eye poked out and I don?t want to wear a patch. That?s why I became a policeman. Anyways, it?s pretty safe to say that a promotion is a long way off, and I?ll be here for years to come.

Let?s take a look at some of the things that happened last week. Of course, there were more abandoned 9-1-1 calls from the Rec. Centre. An 8 year old boy learned all about 9-1-1 in school and tested out his new found knowledge. And yes, it worked just the way the teachers said it would. I guess that it?s good to know that some kids are listening to their teachers.

On Highway 52, about 8 kilometers north of Tumbler Ridge , a northbound pickup left the roadway and slid way down into the ditch. The truck had run over several trees on its way down the hill, but it did not roll over. The front axle of the truck was torn off, and there was a considerable amount of undercarriage damage. The registered owner of the truck was from Fort St. John and was no where to be found. The truck was towed and ICBC contacted.

Last week an effort was made to start some type of regular speed enforcement on Highway 52, and Highway 29. One of the first tickets given out was about 35 kilometers north of town. A service truck was clocked at 149 kilometers and hour in a 90 zone. The ticket for this speed was $469. The driver admitted that he was speeding, but couldn?t believe that he was going that fast. The officer dropped the fine by a hundred bucks…. because the guy was driving a Chev. By the way, do you know what the difference is between a Chev and a shopping cart? A shopping cart is easier to push. (Nuk, nuk, nuk, sometimes I just kill myself).

A complaint of theft and damage was filed by a landlord. The landlord states that a renter has moved out of the residence, took furniture belonging to him and the renter failed to pay a considerable amount of money in back rent. If you are the owner of rental property, listen up. When a tenant damages your property, this is considered a civil matter. The police deal with criminal matters, and the civil courts deal with the rest. Even if you have excessive damage to your place, you will have to claim it through your insurance, or you will have to sue the renter. The courts have ruled that no criminal action is to be taken against the renter. Secondly, if the renter fails to pay rent and does the famous ?midnight? move, you?re out of luck. Any of the damage or back rent is to be taken out of the damage deposit. If the damage deposit is insufficient to cover the loss, your only recourse is via the civil courts. Being a landlord ranks high on the ?Pain in the neck? scale, however that?s just the way it is. The taking of furnishings and the like is a criminal matter, but the likelihood of laying a charge is slim to none. The only advice I can give to you, is to be sure you know to whom you are renting your property.

In conjunction with The Canada Firearms Centre, I am looking for some volunteers who would be willing to help verify guns. Since January 1, 2003 all firearms need to be registered and must be verified by an approved verifier. This is particularly important when you are selling a gun or transferring it to a new person. The CFC is requiring that all future transactions be verified. What I am looking for is someone who would be willing to help and can tell the difference between a BB gun and a cannon. Give me a shout at (250)242-5252.

We?ll talk again next week, the good Lord willing.

Keep it between the ditches,

Cpl. Kurt Peats