Busy times for Penticton RCMP detachment - InfoNews

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Busy times for Penticton RCMP detachment

Penticton RCMP detachment's Municipal Traffic section was out in force last week.
July 11, 2019 - 6:00 PM

PENTICTON - Summer is here and the RCMP detachment is keeping very busy these days.

Penticton Detachment Superintendent Ted De Jager said today, July 11, Penticton RCMP received 60 calls for service just during yesterday’s day shift.

“Officers are responding call to call to call,” he says, adding there is little time these days for police to have a public presence except as they drive between calls.

De Jager says Penticton is the busiest detachment in the province when it comes to caseload per officer, at 106.

“The provincial average is 56. We’re the busiest detachment in the province for criminal case burden,” De Jager says, according to the 2017 statistics from B.C.'s police services division.

He says that’s why the detachment has created special teams such as the street enforcement unit, which recently got up and running.

The specialty teams will help get drug dealers and other major criminals off the streets, hopefully reducing the number of cases ultimately handled by the detachment through a trickle-down effect.

He said the specialized unit will be working with the detachment’s Targeted Enforcement Unit to ‘kick down doors and bust drug dealers.’

“You can expect to see a lot more of them in the coming months,” he says.

De Jager said recent reports of reduced transient traffic and social issues downtown is tough to quantify, saying the only real way to know what happened to those who were downtown is to ask them.

He said the detachment spent 300 hours working foot patrols with city bylaw downtown so far this year, noting bylaw officers have also increased patrols.

De Jager says summer itself might be responsible.

“It was the same thing last summer, pickers left for the orchards and came back in late August,” he says.

“It was no one thing that made them leave. There was a ‘full court press’ from everyone,” he says.

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