FALL RIVER: RCMP officers can’t be everywhere despite people, like residents in District 1, wanting them to be.
That’s one comment that Councillor Cathy Deagle Gammon gave The Laker News during an interview where she was asked about concerns from residents, including those organizing a community meeting for Sept. 20 at the LWF Hall in Fall River, about “inefficient police presence” and crime in the area.
“It’s not that they’re not there, it may be that they’re not visible,” she said when asked about police not being visibly seen. “It might be not a marked cruiser, or it could be that they are a distance away from where an event is. It could be that something else is going on.
“It is such a fluid environment that the RCMP work in, and they have such a huge geography. It’s challenging.”
Deagle Gammon said like she’s told residents in the past, send her emails with the concerns.
“I meet with the RCMP on a monthly basis, if there is something in between that, I send them emails,” she said. “I’ll tell them listen, there’s been some concerns on this road.
“I’ve asked people, when is it? Is it morning, evening, weekend? They told me and I gave those details to the RCMP, so they have an awareness of it there.”
She said like she did at the community meeting she organized at the Waverley Legion, where much the same concerns was expressed as what she’s expecting at the Sept. 20 meeting organized by community members, RCMP will be present to answer questions. The meeting will cover a slew of other concerns as well.
“I had the lead inspector come for that meeting in March to talk about how the RCMP actually patrol within this district,” said Deagle Gammon. “Again, at this upcoming meeting I will bring the RCMP, and they can respond directly to people who say are they available? Where are they? Etc.”
Deagle Gammon said it is fully true that police can’t be everywhere at all times.
“But people do need to feel their presence, and so it is incumbent upon the RCMP to make themselves visible, too,” she said. “So we’ll talk about how that happens, or it doesn’t happen.”
She said when they at HRM look at budgeting, one of the things she did at last budget was to vote in favour of increasing officers.
“Boots on the ground is the one way that we get to change things,” said Deagle Gammon. “When it comes to budget and policing again, it’s the digging in I have to do.
“Some people say don’t increase policing until we fix policing. Other people say you can’t fix policing unless you have more officers.
“It is that kind of interesting conversations that people have to deal with.”
She said as for the stats for the area, those answers are best left to the RCMP to provide.
“As to where are they, is there more crime, all of those kinds of things,” said Deagle Gammon. “Those are answers that statistically the RCMP will be able to give us.”