Two significant events kept Cranbrook RCMP very busy in 2017.
Staff Sergeant Hector Lee is looking back at the year that’s past.
Lee suggests the homicide of Waneta Hock in March and the subsequent five month investigation was taxing on his detachment.
He says it was a tragic incident but he’s satisfied they were able to charge a suspect who has pleaded guilty for manslaughter.
“Lucky” isn’t the right word according to the Key City’s top cop, but Lee says to solve the case within a year is pretty unique.
Almost immediately after manslaughter charges were laid in August, Cranbrook Mounties were called to guard Moyie which was evacuated due to wildfires.
Lee admits as resources were stretched thin they noticed in a spike in local property crime.
However, he counts it another success because no looting or property damage taking place and obviously no property was lost to the blazes.
Decreases in impaired driving and mental health calls were other highlights for Cranbrook RCMP in 2017.
In the first nine months of this year motor vehicle incident involving alcohol was one third the amount during the same time in 2016.
The Staff Sergeant says one of the detachment’s goals was trying to bring down the number of crashes involving impaired driving and believes the numbers are a result of that.
In November, Lee also reported mental health related arrests are down more than 50 per cent in Cranbrook, a year after RCMP added a new position to the force.
He lauds the efforts of Constable Erin Stevenson who has worked to create a collaborative network with all the local services.
Another significant achievement for Cranbrook RCMP according to Lee was it’s continued attempts to develop its relationship with the community it serves.
Lee says they saw major success with fundraising events such as Cops For Kids and Cram the Cruiser and believes that’s a sign of the generosity that exists in the Key City.
He also points out they saw a lot of staff turnover in 2017, hiring eight new members, with some of them having ties to the area.
The detachment commander suggests that will pay dividends for the community because these officers have a vested interested in Cranbrook before they even arrive.