Report to Regional District of Kootenay Boundary Christina Lake Reserve Constable Deployment Summer 2013

Posted on Jan 11, 2014

Executive Summary:
During the Fall of 2009 S/Sgt. Harrison and Area C Director, Grace McGregor entered into discussions along with John MacLean, Chief Administrative Officer for the Regional District concerning the need for enhanced security and policing in the Christina Lake area. A presentation was also made to the Christina Lake Parks and Recreation Commission.
In the summer of 2009 the Regional District of Kootenay Boundary (RDKB) contracted with the Corps of Commissionaires to provide roving security patrols. RDKB concluded after this that their goals had not been fully accomplished and they were searching for other options.
S/Sgt. Harrison suggested the RCMP Reserve Program may be the option they were looking for. An agreement was reached regarding the funding and deployment of a RCMP Reserve Constable to work solely in the Christina Lake area for a period of two months.
Three primary objectives were established; The objectives remained the same for 2013.
1. Increase visibility of Police and enforcement on the water at Christina Lake
2. Reduce Thefts from vehicles
3. Reduce disturbances related to public consumption of alcohol

The RDKB Christina Lake Rec. Commission agreed to provide funding to operate this program for the third year.
Reserve Constable (R/Cst.) Chris Cottrill was deployed for duty at Christina Lake on June 28th, 2013 and was scheduled predominantly on weekends and night shifts. His deployment ended on August 23rd, 2013
To compliment this partnership initiative the RDKB and RCMP sponsored, trained and coordinated the establishment of the Christina Lake Citizens on Patrol (COP). This motivated group of volunteers commenced patrols on July 1st as well. In addition to this approximately $8,000 of Seasonal Policing funding provided South East District RCMP was expended to increase presence at Christina Lake. This funding had been decreased from 2012 from $10,000 to $8,000. In fact, on the August Long Weekend there were 5 police cars on patrol at the Lake. All three initiatives have proven successful. There continues to be a significant decrease in criminal activity and disturbances since 2009. Increased Police presence on the water contributed to a boating season with no reported accidents.

Director, Grace McGregor and S/Sgt. Harrison have received very positive feedback from residents and seasonal visitors to the area.
I am pleased to report to the Regional District that in our opinion this Summer Reserve Constable Deployment continues to be success.
Every indication exists that it was an operationally effective use of resources that resulted in decreased crime and increased visibility and safety.
I think it is fair to say, that the three objectives are continuing to be met.
Reserve Cst. Cottrill has indicated he is willing to participate again in 2014. Director McGregor has indicated her support for deployment in 2014.
I am recommending the continuance of this partnership initiative in 2014.

J.T.J. Harrison, S/Sgt.
NCO i/c Boundary Regional Detachment
Kootenay Boundary RCMP

The issues that gave rise to this program remained the same in 2013.
Christina Lake is a tourist and seasonal resident destination area. The area is a renowned recreational site during the summer months. There is a large influx of people into the area at Provincial and Commercial campsites on the Lake. The population is generally believed to quadruple in July and August. There are also a large number of seasonal residents who own property, including water access only cabins and properties.

Historically there have been issues with outdoor parties and disturbances on public lands. Most of these incidents have been related to youth and alcohol consumption. In many cases these disturbances have led to violence related offences and willful damage. Also, of concern is bon fires lit at these gatherings during fire bans. This type of activity presents a danger to people and property.
The frontage road within the village area of Christina Lake has been a gathering point for people consuming alcohol in public and causing disturbances. There has been a history of young adults from Trail and Castlegar attending the area and ending up in drunken conflicts with Boundary area young adults around the local Pub. There were few incidents of this nature in 2013.

The Water access cabin owners Association, at their 2009 Annual General Meeting expressed to both RCMP and RDKB representatives present, that there was a lack of police presence and enforcement on the water. Their concern was that without enforcement and Police visibility, dangerous operation of vessels, impaired operation of vessels and marine related accidents and injuries would only increase.
A previously annual un-sponsored event entitled AThe Booze Cruise@ had been known to take place on the August long weekend. There were concerns that this event promotes unruly behavior and impaired operation of vessels that could lead to marine incidents causing injury or death. This event did not occur in 2013.

In past years there was a growing trend regarding Thefts from parked vehicles. The largest concentration of thefts has been at the Texas Creek Provincial Campground area and parking areas near public boat launches, where water access only seasonal residents park their vehicles for extended periods of time.

Three primary objectives were established for the Reserve Constable in 2010, these remained the same for 2013, they are;

1. Increase visibility of Police and enforcement on the water at Christina Lake
2. Reduce Thefts from vehicles
3. Reduce disturbances related to public consumption of alcohol