RCMP volunteers putting eyes on high crime areas in Kelowna - InfoNews

Current Conditions


RCMP volunteers putting eyes on high crime areas in Kelowna

Image Credit: wikipedia.org
November 02, 2016 - 10:49 AM


KELOWNA – For the last two months local RCMP have been using specially trained volunteers to help go through hours of video surveillance footage and scout out problem areas in the city.

The Auxiliary Constable Program is a nationally supported network of citizens who help local law enforcement with various tasks like public outreach. Since August, however, Kelowna has been using some of its 55 Auxiliary Constables in a very different way.

In a report to council this week, Police Services Manager Stacey Jackson says the Auxiliary Constable Video Review Team has helped with one of the most time-intensive aspects of evidence gathering and investigation.

“One of the many tasks, of a homicide investigation, is video review,” she says. “Depending on the specifics of the crime scene, video surveillance, from surrounding businesses, for example, is gathered and reviewed, with the goal of gleaning any potential evidence or information from that video.”

Her report includes a description of the role the groups played when they were first used in early 2016 during an unspecified homicide investigation. Members were briefed by the lead investigator, given goals and specifics of what to look for as well as training and equipment.

“The contribution made by the Auxiliary Constable team was invaluable,” she says. “Since then, the Auxiliary Constable Video Review Team has been utilized several times and remain a valuable resource in this type of investigation. To date, in 2016, the video review team has committed 992 volunteer hours to this initiative.”

Members of the Auxiliary Constable Program were also chosen to fill a second role that is unique to Kelowna.

Members of program have been used by plain clothes surveillance teams and members of the Kelowna Detachment Crime Analysts Unit to help identify high crime areas in the city. They are dressed in civilian attire and drive unmarked vehicles.

“The focus of the patrols is to collect licence plate numbers, vehicle and person descriptions at, or near, the various 'hot spot' locations,” Jackson says. “This is not a surveillance operation.”

Jackson says members of the Urban Patrol have no contact with the public but information they report is compiled in a database accessible to all areas of law enforcement.

“The value of the street check cannot be overstated,” she says. “The ability of an investigator to place a specific vehicle, or person, at or near, a recent crime scene, via the street check, can often be the missing piece of the investigative puzzle. Having the Auxiliary Constable teams on the street, in this capacity, not only puts extra eyes and ears in these targeted crime areas but dramatically increases the number of street checks submitted during a shift.”

The report says local police submit an average 85 street checks per month but since the inception of the program in August the Urban Patrol Teams spent 432 hours of volunteer time to complete 327 street checks.

“The Kelowna Detachment Senior Management Team fully supports the Urban Patrol Project, they recognise value of this initiative and feel it can contribute to Kelowna Detachment’s crime reduction strategy,” Jackson says.

The federal government suspended the Auxiliary Constable Program across Canada in January of this year pending a review and are asking local governments to essentially vote on whether they want it to continue or not.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Adam Proskiw or call 250-718-0428 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

We welcome your comments and opinions on our stories but play nice. We won't censor or delete comments unless they contain off-topic statements or links, unnecessary vulgarity, false facts, spam or obviously fake profiles. If you have any concerns about what you see in comments, email the editor in the link above. 

News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2016
InfoTel News Ltd

  • Popular kelowna News
  • Comments
  • Police search for missing Kelowna woman
    KELOWNA - Kelowna RCMP are asking for the public's help in finding a missing 27-year-old woman. RCMP say Joenna Saunders was last heard from on Nov. 27. She was reported missing on Dec.
  • Girl opens Christmas present she gave to boy when she dumped him in 1971
    ST. ALBERT, Alta. - A man in Edmonton who made international headlines for holding onto a wrapped Christmas gift from a high-school girlfriend who dumped him nearly 50 years ago finally learned wh
  • Water quality advisory in effect in North Okanagan
    NORTH OKANAGAN - The district has issued a water quality advisory for the North Okanagan. The Regional District of North Okanagan Silver Star Water Utility in conjunction with Interior Healt
  • Kamloops Fire Rescue respond to McDonalds deep fryer fire
    KAMLOOPS - A Kamloops McDonalds was temporarily closed last night due to a small deep fryer fire. Kamloops Fire Rescue arrived at the McDonalds location in Sahali at about 11:30 p.m. last ni
  • Vernon fast food restaurant held up by man with syringe
    VERNON - RCMP are on the hunt for a suspect after a robbery at a Vernon restaurant earlier this week. A man threatened staff with an allegedly contaminated needle on Wednesday, Dec. 5, at Wr
View Site in: Desktop | Mobile