RCMP applies for more officers

New Year’s Eve proved to be one of the busiest on record for the Port Alberni RCMP detachment, which responded to 72 calls over a 14.5-hour period.
The majority of calls (40 per cent) were alcohol-related, Staff Sergeant Lee Omilusik said.
Of the 72 calls, five were charges of impaired driving and seven were 24 hour suspensions. There were eight assault investigations and three domestic disputes. Beside the impaired driving investigations, road checks resulted in 35 motor vehicle act charges and 25 written warnings.
The Port Alberni and surrounding regional RCMP are also hopping to keep up with an escalation of calls over last year that has now bled into 2007. There were 16,600 calls for service last year compared with 15,945 in 2005.
Omilusik said that the Valley sees more criminal activity every year. He cited the arrival of a new Crown counsel as proof of this. The criminal activity goes in waves, and Omilusik blames repeat offenders as well as substance abuse.
The RCMP has applied to the city for more money to pay for more officers. Omilusik says that although the current staff of 47 can handle the increase, it is an extra burden on their workloads.
“We have enough officers to do our job properly,” says Omilusik. “We have enough to ensure that the public is safe.”