Kamloops News

Kamloops police chief says more training needed for officers catching pot impaired drivers

FILE PHOTO - Kamloops RCMP Supt. Syd Lecky addresses reporters for the first time on July 13, 2018.

KAMLOOPS - Kamloops RCMP don't yet have the tools to deal with cannabis-impaired drivers as legalization looms large.

Kamloops RCMP Supt. Sydney Lecky was asked about the detachment's readiness once recreational marijuana becomes legal next month during his presentation to city council today, Sept. 15.

“The legalization of cannabis is going to be on us before we know it,” Coun. Tina Lange said. “Are we up to speed on training for roadside checks not only for alcohol but for cannabis as well?”

Lecky said the short answer is not yet.

“We don’t have tools in our hands (yet),” Lecky told council. “The (tools) that have been announced through the federal government, that is not something we have seen locally.”

He added local RCMP members will focus on traditional drug recognition until more training is announced for police officers.

“It is going to be a challenge for us moving forward,” he said.

During today's presentation, Lecky also touched on the RCMP's focus on mental health, specifically the Car 40 program. The program was started in 2013 to help officers deal with mental health crises around the city more successfully.

“In Kamloops, we have had five calls in my three months here where we relied on the emergency response team,” Lecky says. “Three out of five of those calls related to mental health, so Car 40 is something I would fight to keep…it is a very valuable tool for us.”

Some of the other areas of focus include traffic controls, disrupting organized crime, reducing drug trafficking, crime reduction, First Nations policing and how the detachment works with vulnerable persons.

Lecky came to the Kamloops RCMP detachment after former Supt. Brad Mueller was promoted to a position in Alberta. This was the first time he has gone before city council. 

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