On Wednesday April 6 we held our third Information Session with the local RCMP. Before the COVID-19 pandemic really hit, we were able to have one in person session in the south of the RM. The second session was strictly virtual as it was right in the middle of the pandemic and was targeted at residents/seasonal residents in the north of our RM. And this third session was a hybrid between in-person and ZOOM and was offered to the entire RM. We are hoping to have one more in person session in Grand Marais once the seasonal residents are out.
Earlier this month RCMP Insp. Darryl Dawkins, Sgt. Chris Lambert and Sgt. Kent McEachern joined us in our Council Chambers along with our Mayor Debbie Fiebelkorn, Councillors David Horbas and Dave Sutherland and our Chief Administrative Officer Deepak Joshi. Councillors Robert Belanger, Scott Spicer and Sandra Strang joined us via ZOOM.
Insp. Dawkins jumped into the meeting with some stats. From January to March of 2022 they responded to 347 calls for service which was actually down from this time in 2021 when they responded to 554 calls. Some inquiries were made into sharing these type of stats from the RCMP and what exactly they are responding to. We actually already receive these stats from the RCMP and share them on our Public Council Agendas but we will be looking into making them more widely available.
Grand Marais Detachment
The RCMP announced that they will be reopening the Grand Marais Detachment for the summer months. Office staff have been hired and a regular members is being transferred and will be posted to work out of Grand Marais with the anticipated start date being the end of May/first week of June. The RCMP is anticipating that for now there will be a regular member stationed at the detachment for the summer months, however office staff may remain there year round – be advised that this could change. If plans come to fruition and they see additional members, they would like to staff this reopened detachment year round, that being the end goal.
Off-Road Vehicle Patrols
Throughout the winter the RCMP patrolled much of our area on snowmobile and they are anticipating more routine patrols off highways during the summer months with the new quad they are adding to their inventory, which should be delivered fairly soon. Make sure to keep your eyes peeled!
Busy Summer Ahead
The RCMP shared that they are anticipating an extremely busy summer, especially in our lake/cottage communities. They are aware of some major events that will require additional resources and as management, they’ve sat down and began planning of those activities. They will also be further exploring their traffic initiatives for the summer months.
“We are happy with how operations are running at the moment. Of course we want to hear from the community because we know there is always areas we can improve, so that is why we love coming to these types of forums, to hear what is at the top of everyone’s agenda and what they would like to see from us.”
Insp. Darryl Dawkins
When to Contact the RCMP, Distinguishing By-Law vs. RCMP
The RCMP want to remind the community that phoning in a complaint to them is not considered bothering them. In their words, it is their ‘bread and butter’. They seek out community involvement. If they are receiving a lot of complaints from one specific area, then they know they need to look into it further. They respond to all complaints they receive and even though you may not physically see them with their lights flashing, they are out there operating in numerous unidentifiable vehicles.
“Never hesitate to call us – if questioning whether you should or not, call us and we will steer you in the right path.”Insp. Darryl Dawkins
Some residents are unsure of whether to phone the Municipality or the RCMP. Normally, the RM By-Laws are dealt within the RM and you have the opportunity to call us during our office hours, Monday to Friday 8:30 am – 4:30 pm, or you can call our line after hours and on the weekend and leave a message that would then get sent to the applicable department. The number to reach the RM of St. Clements is 204-482-3300 or you can reach us by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
RCMP has full authority to enforce all laws whether it is Municipal, Provincial, Criminal, etc. but we encourage not to send Municipal By-Law issues to the RCMP as they have quite a lot on their plates as is. However, “When in doubt – if you are trying to decide whether to call the RCMP or the Municipal Office, call RCMP” Sgt. Chris Lambert.
The main police detachment is located in Selkirk at 1019 Manitoba Ave and is a 24 hour location.
- For non-emergency calls you can call the RCMP Selkirk Office at 204-482-1222.
- If it is an emergent situation, please call 911.
- If you are in a situation where you are not sure if it is an emergency or not, call 911 and dispatch will transfer you to the non-emergency line if necessary based on the situation.
The RCMP is constantly looking for different ways to make it easier for individuals to report crime. If you are at all hesitant to contact the RCMP, they do have an online reporting tool.
Be aware and communicate anything out of the blue
Rural areas tend to be hot spots for thefts and anything that is easy to resell, has an easy dollar value and is hard to track are items that are more common to be stolen.
Some important tips from the RCMP:
- Make sure to lock vehicles, garages, doors and windows
- Secure belongings if you need to keep them outside, such as bicycles, lawn mowers, ATVs
- Do not keep valuables in your vehicles
- Keep outdoor lights on and consider installing motion lights around your home
- Consider investing in a motioned alarm system
- Be diligent, keep an eye out for suspicious behavior or anything out of the norm for your area
- Keep an eye out for neighbors and their properties
- Call the RCMP to report, it is very important for them to know. Often crimes like the above happen in a string of events, so something that you report could be a critical piece of the puzzle in solving a crime
We want to thank the RCMP and members Insp. Darryl Dawkins, Sgt. Chris Lambert and Sgt. Kent McEachern for taking the time to attend the forum to provide further information to our community and help answer questions that our residents have. We are appreciative for everything they do for our community and the enthusiasm they all share in educating those within it.
You can watch the full information session here.