Dec 1, 2003 | Marmot, Winter 2003

RCMP Presence to Increase

Policing will have a higher profile on Mount Washington when the Alpine Resort opens for the snow season. The Courtenay RCMP Detachment has dedicated two members – Constable Dennis Flint and Const. Scott McLennan -- to policing on the mountain this winter.

“Both are outdoor enthusiasts,” Community Liaison officer Const. Dean Maxwell said. “We have also received two snowmobiles this year. We will be taking extensive patrols through the village area, as we realize there have been past problems with excessive drinking … and vandalism,” he said.

The members will be on the mountain full time, although not quite 24 hours, seven days a week, Maxwell said. “I think people will notice a visible presence … it will enhance security that much more.”

Flint and McLennan worked with Resort staff prior to opening day, training them in counterfeit detection and other issues. They intend to conduct extra patrols and the RCMP will provide extra manpower when required, for instance, during events like New Year’s Eve and hill-sponsored events.

Mount Washington Resort has accommodated all the RCMP’s requests, and the officers intend to repay them in kind.
“There’s a good working relationship between us,” he said.

In addition to Constables Flint and McLennan, the North Island Traffic Division will be visible on the mountain during periodic road checks and other enforcement campaigns, along with assistance from ICBC and the RCMP auxiliary officers. “Police are also reminding the general public to have proper snow tires and chains,” Maxwell said.

“The primary cause of accidents (on Strathcona Parkway) is excessive speed and driving beyond one’s capability due to weather conditions. Buckle up; be safe.”

Other prevention campaigns that the RCMP will conduct at the mountain this year include “Lock It or Lose It”, a crime prevention program; ski marking; security surveys for homeowners to detect vulnerabilities in their homes.

The RCMP will have use of an office above the General Store for the winter – the same set-up as last year, with overnight facilities for the two officers. Eventually, when an Emergency Services building is constructed, the RCMP will have a permanent office and holding cell on the mountain.

The resort staff also has forms to fax to the RCMP on behalf of people reporting stolen items.

“People are reminded to engrave their skis and buy a ski lock,” Maxwell said.

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