Yes, I know it seems that they sometimes don’t care, sometimes they come out and do nothing, sometimes they don’t come even come out. So what the hell? Well, that’s what happens, or doesn’t happen, out here. After our Saturday night adventure on Hilliam Road, I had an interesting conversation with Sgt. Barry Kennedy from the Chase RCMP detachment.

The Chase RCMP (the cops), live under a different reality from us. They only have a certain amount of staff at work at any given time, they have a large area to cover, sometimes they are somewhere else like Pritchard. Sometimes they just can’t make it. It doesn’t mean they don’t care.

As you can tell from the excitement that happened on Hilliam Road Saturday night, when there is danger to life or limb, they are all in. They had SWAT teams from Kamloops and Kelowna, an RCMP helicopter and ton’s of troops on the ground. That’s a good thing. If you’ve had your generator stolen, or your snowmobile it’s a big thing to you, absolutely. And it’s a pain in the ass, and you feel nervous and concerned, and you want that asshat to pay! Absolutely! But think… that’s likely just the tip of iceberg for that particular thief. He’s probably stolen something from your neighbour, or someone in Celista, or someone in Kamloops.

It would sure be nice if that thief wasn’t in the North Shu, can’t we make them leave? Yes and no. Part of the reason the criminals are here is the same reason we’re all here. Large lots, lots of trees, two or three ways to get in or out of a given lot, not many people around. Perfect for us, better for them. If we get rid of one bad apple, soon another will pop up for exactly the same reasons.

So what can we do about it? Keep an eye out. If you see something suspicious CALL THE COPS! You know your neighbourhood, you know your neighbours, you know what cars should be in the area. Keep an eye on things. Every call that is received by the RCMP in Chase is logged, and details taken. The cops love video or pictures. But one call, one picture, one video, does not build a case against a thief. As the number of calls build and consistent descriptions come in, a picture of who, what, where gets built. Eventually, with enough information the cops can go to a judge, get a warrant, and knock on the potential thief’s door. As Sgt. Kennedy says, ‘This is not a TV show’, an arrest doesn’t happen in an hour.

So once they get a warrant, they’ll go visit the thief and hopefully find the stolen merchandise. And that stuff will be evidence for the courts. But the guys they might catch from any given warrant will go to court and likely get let out pending a trial. They just can’t keep them all in jail awaiting trial, so they’re let out with conditions. Conditions like: not out after 11pm, no alcohol allowed, no firearms allowed, not allowed in a vehicle, etc. When there are conditions like these put on, the cops have the right to drop in to a house and check that that person is inside after 11 and hasn’t been drinking, or whatever. If they’re picked up in a check-stop being in a car when not allowed, they are taken to jail again. Sgt. Kennedy says they can, and do, stop in at 2 o’clock in the morning to check on people. Ensuring compliance is what that’s called, and the thief hopefully gets tired of being woken up. At some point, these thieves have their day in court, the cops have hopefully assembled a case that will get them convicted, and they’ll then go to jail for a long time, and be out of our hair.

And why have we had some high profile busts here lately? It’s because the cops have built a case on an individual or location over a period of time, because their neighbours have been diligent, kept their eyes open and CALLED THE COPS, when strange stuff has happened. I’m told there is a lot of stuff going on out here. Well, we knew that. And the cops are working on it. And every call, every tip, contributes to the case where at some point, they’ll do something about it.

What can we do to help? Be aware of your street, neighbours, neighbourhood. Pay attention to what is happening. If you see something weird, CALL THE COPS! If a Community Watch is wanted out here, great. Let’s get together and set it up. The Chase RCMP are happy to come out and give us some pointers and tips and some idea of what we can do, and more importantly, what we can’t do.

At the end of my conversation with Sgt. Kennedy I asked him if there was one message the I could give to the community. He said the one message he would like to get out there is


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