Sergeant Dave Uppal of the Prince Rupert RCMP was in Port Edward on Aug. 11 to discuss the steps the detachment is taking to create a greater presence in the community.
As well as having the RCMP marine vessel docked in Port Edward for a night in July, Uppal said having members visible in Port Edward is a priority for him.
“We are looking at how we can provide better service … at least every couple of days we have someone doing patrol and I encourage all of my members to come out when they can, even if it is just to stop at the district office or do a quick drive through town,” he said, noting those efforts will likely grow as Port Edward itself grows.
“As the population increases, our calls for service will also increase. What we want to do is increase our presence.”
The additional sightings of RCMP members and cruisers in the community did not go unnoticed by those on council.
“I have seen more patrols in the past few months and very much appreciate the members coming out,” said Coun. Grant Moore.
While some have raised concerns about response time, Uppal said it is important residents call the RCMP to make their concerns known, regardless of how big or small those may be.
“We want people to call us. A lot of people won’t call if it is a minor offence, but if we can get some forensic evidence, such as a fingerprint or DNA, we may be able to link multiple minor offences together because those type of crimes can often be related,” he said.
“If needed, we could be here in 10 minutes if we have our sirens and lights on going down the highway. We could be here 10 minutes after we get the call if there is an emergency.”
In terms of the number of calls, Uppal said the last quarter has seen an increase coming from Port Edward to the Prince Rupert detachment.