Sergeant gives update to town council

During the first quarter of 2016, Clearwater RCMP detachment members investigated 333 files

Clearwater RCMP and Traffic Services members made 927 traffic stops and other traffic contacts during the year April 1, 2015 to March 31, 2016, according to Sgt. Kevin Podbisky.

“That rivals or exceeds any detachment of our size in the province,” he told Clearwater town council during his quarterly report, which was given April 19.

The general service detachment is now fully staffed with one sergeant, one corporal and four constables, he said.

Corporal Steven Schenkeveld is taking over as NCO-in-charge of the Traffic Services unit in Clearwater from Cpl. Bart Doerr. Schenkeveld, who is coming here from Vernon, is due to arrive in May. Doerr left Clearwater in February.

During the first quarter of 2016, Clearwater RCMP detachment members investigated 333 files, compared to 324 during the same period last year.

Traffic members investigated 40 files, for a total of 373.

General duty and traffic services members issued a total of 320 tickets and warnings from January to March.

A total of 29 drug seizures wee made, nine by general duty and 20 by traffic services.

Clearwater detachment members also investigated and laid 12 criminal charges.

Melody Romeo, program manager of the North Thompson Victim Assistance Unit, had nine new client referrals from the RCMP, provincial agencies and community members.

Detachment members continue to be involved in community activities, including coaching hockey and baseball.

The annual bike rodeo is coming up, Podbisky said, and a DARE (drug and alcohol resistance eduction) program in a local school is a possibility for next fall.


Concern about auxiliary program

On a motion by councillor Shelley Sim, council voted to send a letter to the RCMP voicing its concern regarding the limitations being placed on the police’s auxiliary program.

Merlin Blackwell said it’s “an absolute disaster” that the program is being cut back.

As noted in a letter to the editor in last week’s issue, RCMP senior management has decided to end ride-alongs and firearms familiarization training for auxiliaries.

Sim also moved that town council send a letter of appreciation to Mike Chambers, who served as an auxiliary member for many years before the recent changes caused him to resign.

Sgt. Podbisky noted that RCMP members come and go but the auxiliary members provide local knowledge of the people and backcountry.