RCMP presence to increase on Mount Washington
After meeting with three strata councils and Resort staff in the past couple of months, the RCMP have agreed to enhance patrols for better police presence once the winter season opens in December. " We're also going to be having members stationed up on the hill on a full-time rotating basis," Mount Washington liaison officer Constable Dean Maxwell said.
While uniformed officers won't necessarily be on the hill every day, they will be there for peak event times and during heavy traffic times, Maxwell said. "We have an excellent working relationship with the stratas up there," he said. The RCMP is interested in homeowners' concerns and how they can be solved.
"We're hoping to go with a team concept by identifying problems and coming up with mutual solutions," he said. The RCMP will target any problems the residents see is most prevalent.
For example, right now youth drinking is a big concern to year-round residents and property owners. To minimize these incidents officers will ride with snow-cat operators through the Village on patrols.
The RCMP will specifically be targeting drinking and driving, mischief in the Village and theft prevention this year, as well as other issues as they crop up. For theft prevention they may set up a table at the main lodge and offer a free engraving service from time to time. Maxwell asks skiers to record the serial number of their skis, which helps in identifying stolen property.
Maxwell has also designed a new form this year to streamline theft reports when there is no officer on the hill. The forms will be available at Guest Services and can be faxed directly to the RCMP station in Courtenay, where they will be entered into the computer system. The forms have space for skiers to describe exactly what type of equipment was stolen, also for better identification of stolen property. More RCMP will patrol the Resort on New Year's Eve and Citizens On Patrol will assist them as in past year. "The hill has been outstanding in offering services such as snowmobiles, ski equipment and anything that will make our day-to-day existence (better)," Maxwell said.