The Officer in Charge of the Williams Lake RCMP detachment cannot say enough about the work performed by all agencies including the Canadian Armed Forces that permitted RCMP to achieve their objectives and mission this wildfire season.
Inspector Jeff Pelley says July has been an unprecedented setting in Williams Lake for us all.
“It was invaluable assistance in assisting with the evacuation checkpoints and informing the public as well during our pressures of different alerts and orders occurring within the community. I can’t express how invaluable they were and their assistance was much needed.”
Pelley adds that the collaboration between the City of Williams Lake, Cariboo Regional District, Williams Lake Fire Department, BC Wildfire Service, and all other emergency services permitted our community and rural communities to remain safe and evacuate more than 22,000 people.
The Canadian Armed Forces camp which was stationed at the Cariboo Memorial Complex was moved to the former Glendale Elementary School last week. Members continue to assist with mop-up of fires west of Gang Ranch road in the Chilcotin Fire Zone.
Pelley says that he is also proud of his own detachment members.
“Everyone had worked long hours, went above, and beyond their duties in addition to evaluating their own families and returning to the community. The length and the period and the dedication of all the members here at this detachment, I couldn’t be prouder of what they have done to date.”
BC RCMP Senior Communications Officer Staff Sgt. Annie Linteau says as the fire season continues they will continue to work with their partners and determine what their needs are and put the right number of resources in the right areas. Over 2,000 RCMP members from across the province, as well as additional members from Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Yukon, and the Northwest Territories, have been deployed since July 7 in support of the wildfire activity.
“I’ve been approached by many officers inquiring about some of the policing dynamics within Williams Lake and that are interested in exploring future potential postings so I was very pleased to hear that from some outside members from all over the Division,” says Pelley.
Core policing efforts were supported by the Division and District to allow some members of the Williams Lake Detachment to have some downtime, as well as transitioning back to regular duties within the community.
Crime trends in Williams Lake from January 1,2017-July 31, 2017 have shown significant reductions although Pelley says RCMP are fully aware that there is a correlation in respect to the period that the City was evacuated.
There are currently 30 individuals identified as being bound by curfews within the policing jurisdiction of Williams Lake.