Hello neighbor and welcome back to the Blotter, and what a week it’s been here in the Ridge. What was the most expensive cup of coffee you ever had? $12 at one of those fancy places on Robson Street in downtown Vancouver? $25 at some rip-off joint in Italy? That’s all chump change. The most expensive cuppa coffee I ever had was right here in Tumbler. You might not have noticed, but the local detachment just received a new Suburban. So I decided to use it as I had court in Chetwynd.
Well, I picked up my coffee, did up the seatbelt and was about to head down the highway when the cell phone rang. I pulled over to the side of the road and talked to a crazy lady for a while. Absent mindedly I put the truck into gear and off it went. The only problem is that I forgot that I put the coffee on the dash of the truck. The cup tipped and spilled all over the electronic controls.
There’s a million buttons in the truck: some for the lights, the sirens, radios etc. Immediately the lights and sirens started to go off all by themselves. I hit every button I could see trying to silence the blasted sirens. At times it felt as if I were playing Whack-A-Mole at West Edmonton Mall. Nothing worked. I shut off the truck and finally achieved silence. The mess was wiped up and off I went.
Somewhere near Gwillam Lake the lights and sirens started by themselves again. This time I was behind a loaded logging truck and you should have seen the fear on his face. As he was pulling the truck over, he was writing in his log book, doing up his seatbelt and trying to find a load slip that showed his load was under-weight. He eventually pulled over and I drove past pretending I was on my way to a serious matter. The lights were possessed for another 5 minutes, but finally demon was exorcized and the lights and sirens finally fell silent. Life was good until I got downtown Chetwynd.
The emergency equipment started up again and once again yours truly was the center of attention. The locals were looking at the Tumbler Ridge Vehicle, and were wondering what was happening in their community that they had to call in the reinforcements, lights and all. When I got back home, I took apart the control panel only to find that the circuit board was cooked. Four hundred bucks for a little green board with some spare transistor radio parts. Had the New Guy spilled the coffee, he would have to answer some hard questions about damaging government property, neglect of duty etc. But since it was me, well, accidents happen and that’s the cost of doing business. Can you imagine, the RCMP almost defeated by a large double-double.
OK, OK, let’s get to work. There has been an increase in damage to property over the past couple of weeks. In fact several signs around town have been spray painted orange, branches have been broken off trees in the downtown core, and some roof damage has been done to the Rec. Center. In addition to this, 32 tires were slashed on 12 different vehicles that were parked at the Monkman RV park. It is very apparent that there is a handful of people who need arresting. If you know who did any of this damage, give me a call, as the Queen has just given us a ton of cash for this type of information. That way you can go wherever you want and say “Super Size It.” without even having to count your pennies first.
Did you know that Tumbler has a very active search and rescue team? The reason I want to bring this to you attention is that they were called out a few weeks ago to a lost hiker in Monkman park. A 60ish male decided to look at a pretty lake that was only off the beaten trail by a little bit. After looking at the lake, the male, try as he might, could not make it back the way he came. He slept over night by the pretty water, and became hopelessly lost the next morning. The TR SAR team conducted a ground search and located the male by noon the next day. Good for you guys! I’m grateful we have a group of volunteers who put in countless hours for the good of the community.
Speaking of directionally challenged individuals, a second call was received several days later from an oil and gas company. One of their crew, after working all day in the bush, failed to show up to the helicopter pad. Four helicopters searched the area until dark, but could not locate anything. The next day, the job was shut down and 100+ employees and the four helicopters continued in the search. The employee was eventually located 6 kilometers from where he was last seen. The location of this event was over 70 kilometers south of town, right in the middle of nowhere.
What do these last two calls have in common? Both lost persons did exactly what they were not supposed to do, they tried to find their way out of the bush. If you get lost, stop, stay, hug a tree, roll over, whatever you do, don’t move. It’s a very difficult task to locate a moving target, and it’s even more difficult for the police to try and identify a chunk of bone or a tooth in a pile of bear poop.
We’ll talk again next week the good Lord willing.
Keep it between the ditches. Cpl. Kurt Peats