September 09, 2013 - 12:40 PM
PENTICTON - The new top cop wants to remove the worst prolific offenders from the crime equation.
Supt. Kevin Hewco is the new RCMP regional commander in charge of the Penticton, Summerland, Oliver, Keremeos and Princeton detachments. The 27-year-vet says 40 or more per cent of crimes are committed by a fraction of the criminal community.
By catching them and putting them away for longer and longer stretches it will force them to either leave the community on their own or in handcuffs dressed in prison orange. Removing them will also have a dramatic impact on crime statistics.
Hewco's recent installment fills a gap left by Insp. Brad Haugli who departed to serve in the lower mainland.
Former mayor Dan Ashton said a police chief needs "a thundering hand and a velvet touch." Hewco says he understands what those qualities are.
"I feel I have an advantage," he says. Like Haugli, Hewco is aware of the needs of tourism communities, having served in places like Whistler and the coastal communities of Oceanside.
"I understand the balance of people wanting to come to a community and have fun," and then keeping the community safe he says. "We need to have a visible presence but not an overbearing presence."
Hewco also brings his command experience. He was the boss of a small, two-person detachment when he was a corporal and has served as a detachment commander at every rank since. He says as cliché as it sounds he joined the RCMP to make a difference and quickly discovered being in a leadership role exposed him to the bigger picture.
One of the things he learned was crime reduction philosophy which encourages officers to look at who is causing what crimes and out of them who are the most prolific. It is these high-level offenders officers will target and remove from the streets.
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