By Clare Ogilvie
Whistler continued its growing tradition this year of welcoming in the New Year with a minimum of disruption and violence.
“All in all the crowd was fantastic and it was a great atmosphere,” said Whistler RCMP Cst. Devon Jones who was on patrol in the village New Year’s Eve where more than 5,000 gathered to welcome in 2007.
There were some people drinking in public, said Jones, and for the most part they were dealt with strictly, but it did not mar the celebrations.
Thirty-three people were arrested and spent some time in the local cells in Whistler and Pemberton. That is up from last year when 21 people were taken into custody. However, it is still down significantly from 2001 when over 100 arrests were made.
This year 60 officers were brought up from the city to help out, that’s the same number as were brought up last year and, said Jones, it’s likely that will be the number brought up next year too.
“It just seems to be a good working number for us in terms of how many events we have to deal with,” he said.
“When it comes to an increase in visitors to the town there is of course an increase in events that we have to deal with and having the extra officers makes that possible.
“It doesn’t mean the problems are worse its just that with more numbers comes more calls for service.”
In all police investigated 140 files resulting from both calls for service and police investigation while on patrol.
Members attended 10 noisy parties and four drivers had their licences suspended for 24 hours, three due to alcohol and one for drug use.
There were also some rowdy bus riders but having extra members to attend meant that poor behaviour was generally dealt with.