RCMP tells council crime trends not rising in Kimberley
By Nowell Berg
On February 10, City of Kimberley council held its regular bi-monthly meeting.
Councillors Kyle Dalum, Kent Goodwin, Nigel Kitto, Jason McBain, Darryl Oakley and Sandra Roberts were present along with Mayor Don McCormick.
RCMP Q3 Report
Kimberley RCMP Detachment commander Sgt. Chris Newel presented the third quarter report on RCMP activities for October to December 2019. As the RCMP is a federal government agency, they operate on the April to March fiscal year.
Newel reports the detachment has a new vehicle. “We waited two years for that,” he said. There is no additional cost to the city as it comes out of the existing budget.
The detachment will spend “about ten grand” on a new sign for the building. Also, not a cost the city will have to cover. (Pictured above is the current sign.)
“We’ve been short members since as long as I’ve been here. This will be the first time in eight years we’ve had a full complement of members,” said Newel. There will be some increase in policing costs that Newel will be discussing with the city.
During Q3, there were 382 calls for service, down 37% from Q2 (July, August, September when there were 610 calls). For the same quarter in 2018 there were 452 calls.
“The most interesting stat is calls for service; the last quarter was the lowest calls for service ever since I’ve been here.” He added, “Our crime trends are not rising that’s for sure.”
Newel also reported that 74 traffic contacts were made in Q3 with “16 impaired drivers removed from the road.”
Fire Department 2019 Report
Kimberley Fire Chief Rick Prasad presented his 2019 report to council.
Last year, the fire department responded to a total of 183 alarms. In 2018, there were 195 alarms.
Prasad said, “Numbers were down for the year (six per cent). That’s a two-year trend so far.”
“As much as our firefighters like to get out to calls,” he hopes the trend of decreasing alarms continues.
Despite the decrease, there were a number of categories that saw an increase in alarms. They were “ambulance assistance, back yard burning, false alarms, grass and brush fires, and natural gas leaks.” The Chief speculated the latter was caused by the increase in construction.
A number of alarm categories decreased; they were, automatic alarms, carbon monoxide alarms, first aid and motor vehicle accidents. “As the frequency of these events [alarms] remains low our response demands remain low, yet our training demands become higher to compensate for the lack of operational expertise.”
The Chief summed up by thanking council and city managers for “maintaining the department’s operational readiness through your backing of the training and equipment programs.”
Animal Control and Bylaw Enforcement
Between dogs at large, an entangled deer and wild turkeys, January was another busy month for the Bylaw Enforcement Officer (BEO).
The BEO wants dog owners to remember that license renewal was due on January 31. It’s not too late to stop by City Hall to renew or get a license, as they are required by law. A licensed dog is easier for the BEO to return to its owner. Be sure the license is attached to the dog’s collar.
Six verbal warnings and two written notices were issued for dogs at-large or off-leash.
The deer entangled in Christmas lights was rescued and released “unhurt.”
The BEO pointed out that feeding wild turkeys is, technically, not against the Bylaw. However, the city “discourages” residents from providing food. “Feeding wild animals is not in their best interest.”
Last month, parking infractions (38) topped the list of items dealt with by the BEO. By the numbers, five verbal warnings, 10 municipal warning tickets and 23 municipal tickets were issued. Angle parking was right behind at 36 infractions.
Residents should be aware they are not allowed to “stop or park a vehicle so that it interferes with the removal of snow from a street.” Two people found out the hard way as their vehicles were “towed, ticketed and impounded.”
Thirty-three residents were cited for removing snow from their property and dumping it on city streets. The BEO noted several complaints were received about snow piled up around fire hydrants. The city suggests a “three-foot radius surrounding the hydrant” be kept clear of snow. “Minutes spent digging out a hydrant in the event of an emergency could be the difference between life and death.”
The city reminds all business owners that license renewal was due on January 31.
As of that date, 303 of 558 business licenses had been renewed. There have also been 11 new business licenses issued.
Kimberley city council meets twice monthly starting at 7 p.m., open to the public.
The next scheduled Council meeting: February 24 at City Hall.