By Cindy Filipenko
Inspector Norm McPhail, the
officer in charge for the newly formed RCM Sea-to-Sky Regional Police Services,
met with Village of Pemberton mayor and council to discuss community concerns
on Tuesday, June 20.
The RCMP inspector prefaced
his remarks by saying that it has been an unusually busy morning in Pemberton.
The local detachment was in the midst of processing a stabbing incident that
occurred the previous evening and dealing with a garbage bear.
However, crime, whether human
or ursine, wasn’t what was on the mind of council members. One of the big areas
of interest was the impact of security for the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic
Winter Games on the community, the northern portal for the Games.
“What’s the time frame on how
security issues will affect (the town with the) world here?” asked Mayor Jordan
McPhail suggested that the
village be given a presentation by Bob Harriman and Paul Scofield, officers
heading up The Winter Games security.
Pemberton will be the
northern terminus for the games and will see many people travelling over the
Duffy Lake Road into the area. Councillor Mark Blundell suggested that a
possible issue could be that of private transportation unable to travel south
into Whistler once arriving in Pemberton during the Olympics. McPhail
acknowledged that this is a real concern and one that would be addressed with
“Our planning would be in
shortfall if we didn’t have the consideration and consultation of the
community, “ he said. “Policing and security will be representative of what the
people and community require.”
Asked about specific security
measures he said he was not in a position to elaborate but said that
traditional “mag and bag” security would be in place at venues and other
“We’re treating this as a
very large sporting event, not a security event,” he said.
Aside from security issues
around the Games, a big area for discussion pertained to the fate of the Mt.
Currie detachment of the Tribal Police. Since earlier this year a seconded RCMP
officer has been the acting police chief. Councillor Jennie Helmer asked what
would happen once the officer departed from the community.
“The RCMP will put a staff
sergeant in charge of the tribal police for a period of three years at the
request of chief and council,” explained McPhail. “It will bring up training
and get our officers more in touch with First Nations issues.”
The office in charge of the
Sea-to-Sky Regional Police Services see RCMP involvement as a great way to
rebuild the force and strengthen inter-community relations.