Hello neighbour and welcome back to the Blotter, and what a week it?s been here in the Ridge. I?m going to depart from the usual Blotter format as there needs to be a few things cleared up. It ain?t no secret that the past couple of weeks have been very busy for the local constabulary. In fact I want to take this opportunity to thank the local constables and some other people for the long hours that they have put it.
Cst. Jenkins: Thank you for taking on a leadership role and helping to mentor the junior officers. Your dedication to duty has not gone unnoticed.
Cst. Graham: Thank you for working tirelessly over the past several weeks and months without complaint and in the face of adversity.
Cst. Thorne: Thank you for your restraint, and for your tactical thinking ability. Without this skill, Tumbler Ridge Detachment would have been investigating a police shooting that in the end would have justified your action should you have chosen that path.
Cst. Harvey: Although junior in service, you have shown maturity well beyond your years. Your potential is huge and you will develop into ?A policeman?s policeman.?
To Val: Thanks for keeping the office running so smoothly. You have been gracious to us and to the public, even though sometimes neither side deserved it.
To Jerilyn of Police Based Victim Services: Thanks for making yourself available 24/7. Your value is far greater than the pittance that you are paid, but fear not, for great will be your reward.
To our COPS volunteers and to out Victim Services workers: Many hands make light work, and you have eased our burden significantly.
To the Guards and Matrons: Thanks for leaving the warmth of your house at all hours of the night to come down to the detachment to look after some very difficult individuals.
To the guys and gals at Prince George Dispatch: Thanks for all your help over the weekend and for keeping a close eye on our timers.
Now, let me fill you in on the background to this edition. You see, there are some Tumbler Ridge residents and some ex-Tumbler Ridge residents who think that this is an old type wild west town. They think that they can come to town, drink some fire-water and shoot out the lights with impunity. When they have bitten off more than they can chew, they assemble a mob of willing participants who run rough-shod over the local law abiding citizens. In fact, I have reviewed several files from previous years and this behaviour is not an isolated incident. I can tell you this, if this type of behaviour ever occurs again, justice will be swift and sure.
The Criminal Code of Canada provides police the power to make ?preventable arrests.? A preventable arrest means that an officer can take a person into custody if the officer feels that the person may go out and commit a crime. It also allows the officer to keep that person is custody until there is no longer any fear that the person may commit an offence.
A week or so ago a house had its windows smashed out. Seems as though the aforementioned bunch, with a belly full of beer and a possum in a sack, decided that they did not like some out-of-towners They surrounded the residence that the out-of-towners rented and the fight was on. A picnic table was thrown through the front window of the house and a lawn mower was thrown through a side window of a new truck. The out-of-towners responded by spraying the contents of a fire extinguisher at the hoodlums outside. Many people on both sides were wielding iron pipes or makeshift wooden clubs. When the police arrived, one individual in particular, charged the officers with a club. The officers had drawn their sidearms and were a breath away from firing. Thank God for well trained officers who, when faced with a mob, had the presence of mind to employ some tactical principles and defuse the situation without a shot being fired. Thank you.
After the crowd dispersed, they went to another residence where a loud party ensued, much to the annoyance of the neighbours. The officers arrived and were greeted by some very mouthy individuals who challenged the officers. This is exactly the type of behaviour that I?m talking about. You know the type: they?re 5 foot 6 – sober, but are 6 foot 5 – drunk.
After this noisy party was broken up, several possum in the sack types re-attended the out-of-towners residence and decided to begin round two. When this melee was broken up, comments were made that the fight was not yet over and that it would continue on Sunday night at the beer gardens at Grizfest. Two officers spent the rest of the night at the rented residence to ensure that round three did not occur.
During the next day, the police received information that the locals who were involved in the incident the previous night were gathering baseball bats and the like, while the out-of-towners were gathering cans of bear spray. These items were to be used on the Sunday night. The employer of the out-of-towners was spoke to and he agreed to relocate his work crew of 30 men to Dawson Creek for a few days in order to cool down tensions. This was done at considerable expense to the company, and I want to thank you for taking this action and for being a great corporate citizen.
On Sunday night, there were 13 RCMP officers patrolling the streets and keeping law and order in town. Sunday night started out busy, but by midnight there wasn?t a soul on the streets. This investigation is not over by a long shot. As more evidence is gathered, more charges will be laid.
Some people think that just because there is a special event in town, that somehow the laws of the country are suspended during that time. They couldn?t be more wrong. There is a old saying in policing; ?It?s easier to maintain control than it is to regain control.? Maintaining control does not solely mean using a heavy hand, although that is certainly part of the equation. Maintaining control is an attitude that starts long before an event, and lasts long after. If you have children who are hell-bent on destruction, you need to have a little talk with them. Because if I talk with them, you won?t like it.
To the law abiding citizens of Tumbler Ridge: thank you for your support in the past, and thank you for your support in the future. It?s because of you that the police do what they do.
Constables, saddle up, it?s time to ride to town.
Cpl. Kurt Peats
Tumbler Ridge RCMP