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REPORTING · 17th June 2014
Walter McFarlane
Staff Sergeant Phil Harrison presented the monthly policing report to Council on Monday, June 16. He explained that a lot of things have happened. One of which is they now hold the bragging rights in the Chili Cook-off.

“We are now fully staffed on paper. Unfortunately, we have one member who is on maternity leave. But my Sergeant has finally arrived,” said Harrison. He added there is going to be a vacancy next month.

Harrison introduced Sergeant Graham Morgan who came in from White Rock. He expressed he was pleased to come to Kitimat during this time of change. He has served for 13 years. Mayor Joanne Monaghan welcomed him to the community.

“I’ve been following Kitimat for a while and it’s very progressive district,” said Morgan. “At this time in its history, it’s a very exciting time to be here.”

He expressed he has met many of the people who were in the Council Chambers already and enjoyed the engagement which takes place in a municipality the size of Kitimat.

May had 403 calls. There was one sexual assault in May. Common assaults are up to 83, and are up from where they were last year at this time. Criminal harassment is staying the same, up slightly. Break and enters and theft of vehicles are down compared to where they were last year. Shoplifting is up to 11.

Mischief to property is both up and down. There were more for May 2014 then there were last year while the total for the year is down compared to where they were last year. Impaired driving is up. Harrison expected it was because the new members are starting to show their knowledge. They doubled their motor vehicle act tickets and warnings are similarly up.

“We’re on the road a little bit more, which is where we need to be as well,” said Harrison.

Councillor Phil Germuth expressed he had the pleasure of meeting one of the new members when the red and blue lights came on behind him. He was issued a warning. He wanted to know what was being done by RCMP and the District of Kitimat about where they were on the protestors coming to Kitimat.

Harrison stated they met with the Deputy CAO on this topic and it was hard to plan for people when they do not know how large this would be. They are working on an operational plan. They have talked about where they would be accommodated, sanitation, garbage collection and similar topics.

“We do encourage any leaders of any organization that is going to be demonstrating to come and chat with us if you could. Demonstrations are fully legal in Canada, we have no problems with those. Our concern is when it comes to the safety of the public,” said Harrison.

Deputy CAO Warren Waycheshen stated they have met with the RCMP and they have looked at options. They will get direction from Council. They have talked to their suppliers for things like porta-potties and made them aware they may need it on short notice.

They also talked with the Emergency Plan and suggested this could be a point where the EOC is activated, not as an emergency but for quick reaction. “You do all that pre-planning, and now it’s just a matter of whether it comes or not,” said Waycheshen.

Councillor Edwin Empinado wanted the Food Bank and the Food Share information communicated to people who shoplift food. Morgan told him they held a stakeholders meeting where they talked about social chronics in the community. The RCMP is trying to partner with these groups to address those.