Hello neighbor and welcome back to the Blotter, and what a week its been here in the Ridge. Neologisms (n), the coining or use of new words. Isn?t it interesting how the English language changes? New words pop up all the time, mostly out of necessity. Only 70 years ago if I said, ?I?ll phone you.? No one would have had a clue what you were talking about. These changes occur rapidly, and it?s amazing that we can understand one another. I was sent a list of words that have had their meanings changed, and (big surprise) you get to enjoy it.
1. Coffee (n.), the person upon whom one coughs.
2. Flabbergasted (adj.), appalled over how much weight you have gained.
3. Abdicate (v.), to give up all hope of ever having a flat stomach.
4. Esplanade (v.), to attempt an explanation while drunk.
5. Willy-nilly (adj.), impotent.
6. Negligent (ad.), describes the condition in which you absent mindedly answer the door in you nightgown.
7. Lymph (v.), to walk with a lisp.
8. Gargoyle (n.), olive-flavored mouthwash.
9. Flatulence (n.), emergency vehicle that picks you up after you are run over by a steamroller.
10. Balderdash (n.), a rapidly receding hairline. (Not a very funny one.)
11. Pokemon (n.), a Rastafarian proctologist.
12. Frisbeetarianism (n.), the belief that, when you die, you Soul flies up onto the roof and gets stuck there.
13. Circumvent (n.), an opening in the front of boxer shorts worn by Jewish men.
There you have it. You are all now caught up on the latest use of the English language.
OK, OK, let?s get to work and see where we end up this time.
ICBC is madder than a wet hen. Did you know that they send spies to every community in British Columbia to monitor seatbelt use? Tumbler Ridge has the second lowest rate of seatbelt use in the Peace at around the 80% mark. The average rate of seatbelt use in the province is around 96%. Guess what this means? Yes sirreee, increased seatbelt enforcement. The fine for not wearing a seatbelt, or for permitting a passenger without a seatbelt is about a million bucks or so. Seriously, for the foreseeable future, there will be a concerted effort in this area. If caught without a seatbelt, you will get a ticket. You might be able to weasel your way out of other infractions, but not this one.
I haven?t forgotten, I will give you some stats from 2006. This will happen in a future column. However I have just received a report about RCMP shootings for 2005. This national report deals with the number of times the RCMP discharged their firearms at people. It does not include the number of times that the RCMP have discharged their firearms at animals. In 2004 the RCMP were involved in 27 shootings. In 2005 there were 36 shootings. In 2005, four suspects succumbed to their gunshot wounds, and an additional two suspects died of self inflicted gunshot wounds after being involved in a gunfight with the RCMP. Four RCMP officers were killed in 2005, and an additional seven officers were injured in gun battles. The majority of shootings took place in BC in 2005, however all officers who died in the line of duty were from Alberta, as were the majority of officers who were injured. 77.3% of all suspects who were involved with the shootings had abused alcohol and/or drugs.
Of particular note, 37.5% of all suspects were mentally ill at the time of police shootings. This area was studied extensively for the past five years, and roughly one third of all shootings involved mentally unstable individuals. Studies have shown that people with mental illness have killed law enforcement officers at a rate 5.5 times greater than the rest of the population. More than a third of all shootings involve only one shot.
In the next month or two, the RCMP will hold a community meeting, where this and a whole range of topics can be discussed. The last meeting was held in October of 2006, and meetings should be held every six months or so. Once I set a date, I will inform you.
Just a reminder, on February 08, 2007 at 10 am Tumbler Ridge Provincial Court will be held at the Community Center. Court takes place in rooms 4 and 5, and it is open to the public.
By the way, two people responded to the call for more guards. Thank you. We still have room for one or two more people. If you are interested, please attend the detachment and pick up an application form.
We?ll talk again next week the Good Lord willing,
Keep it between the ditches.
Cpl. Kurt Peats