City Council begins with moment of silence

Council, S/Sgt Lee honour Cpt Clayton Murrell before meeting

  • Feb. 6, 2018 2:34 p.m.

City Council meeting the night of Monday, February 5 opened on a somber note.

“This has dealt a huge blow to our community. We’ve lost Cpt. Clayton Murrell. His wife Joan, who was head lifeguard at the pool, is in Kelowna fighting for her life,” began Mayor Lee Pratt before commencing a moment of silence.

S/Sgt Hector Lee also began his RCMP report by addressing the tragedy that has befallen the community:

“Obviously I bring this forth to you with a heavy heart today. I can honestly say that we have a one of a kind relationship with our fire department and that’s due to people like Clayton. He made it very, very easy,” Lee said.

“Our thoughts and our prayers are with Joan for a speedy recovery. Obviously it’s going to a be a long process for her, but we’ll get through this, we always do. So on behalf of the Cranbrook RCMP Detachment personnel we express our condolences to the Cranbrook Fire Department for their loss — our loss.”

Lee discussed statistics from the past year, noting that the homicide file and numerous other complex investigations they undertook as well as the wildfires, made for an especially challenging 2017 for Cranbrook’s RCMP detachment.

Lee said that overall they experienced an increase of five per cent in calls for service between city and rural jurisdictions. He believes this is due to the population growth in Cranbrook and the high amount of turnover in their detachment.

“We’ve had a lot of turnover in this detachment and a lot of people just finding their feet in the past year and things are starting to roll in a better direction that way with the familiarity with the area and with the people around them,” Lee said. “And the understanding that they come to a place where their roll in this community is important.”

There was a 26 per cent increase from last year in the number of person-crime offences which include assaults, assaults causing bodily harm, sexual assaults, uttering threats and other personal-type offences.

Property offences have also seen an increase. While the number of break-and-enters went down 55 per cent from last year, the amount of mischief and petty thefts that have occurred has increased, due to the complex year the RCMP faced, Lee explained.

“We weren’t able to totally focus our efforts in some of these areas that we normally would focus on. That allows certain crime groups to come forward and wreak a little bit of havoc on our city. In the end eventually we were able to latch on to them, but like I said we’ve got some growth, we’ve got some new people, I’m sure you’ve all noticed, there’s a lot of new faces in town, a lot of new people, and not everybody is savoury.”

There was a decrease in the number of drug-related files they’ve undertaken and Lee said that the good news on that front is that the amount of drugs and money they seized surpassed last year’s totals, and he believes they have made a good dent on what has been happening.

Motor vehicle accidents that have taken place in the city saw an increase. However Lee said that one of his goals for last year was to decrease the number of alcohol-related accidents and they have achieved that, with a substantial 63 per cent reduction.

Lee said that in response to the increased accidents he will be increasing enforcement by working with East Kootenay Traffic Services to create a two to three person municipal traffic unit which will take effect at the beginning of their fiscal year, April 1 with added cost to the city as it is just a reallocation of existing resources, combined with additional resources provided by EKTS

“I’m hoping that the increased level of enforcement will help squelch those numbers down when it comes too the number of motor vehicle accidents that we have.”

He added that distracted driving will be a big target for them, as it has surpassed impaired driving as the number one road killer.

Lee also described the positive impact that Mental Health Liaison Officer Cst. Erin Stevenson has had, stating that mental health related calls for service have gone down 16 per cent and a 39 per cent decrease in the amount of apprehensions.

Just Posted

Know it All

Weekly entertainment listings

Art goes public thanks to new Trust program

Columbia Basin Trust commits $750,000 to help communities increase public art

Bold Steps for Change: Kimberley Students Celebrate Earth Day

Since the first Earth Day in 1970, the third week of April… Continue reading

Seven deer translocated from Kimberley now in Canal Flats

Biologists continue to track the movement of deer from translocation sites.

Cranbrook vet receives Quilt of Valour

Local Quilts of Valour representative Cindy Postnikoff presented another quilt this week,… Continue reading

Who’s gonna save the world?

A new song from local musicians who are standing up to support change.

How to keep local news visible in your Facebook feed

Facebook has changed the news feed to emphasize personal connections. You might see less news.

Inquest set 10 years after B.C. woman shot, left to die

Lisa Dudley, and her partner, Guthrie McKay were shot in their Mission home in September 2008

B.C. hockey team to retire Humboldt Bronco victim’s number

BCHL’s Surrey Eagles to retire Jaxon Joseph’s No. 10 in light of bus tragedy

B.C. Hells Angels invited to rally by anti-SOGI organizer

The Culture Guard group has helped Hells Angels in the past, said its executive director.

B.C. bill aims to keep Indigenous kids in communities, out of care

Changes to Child, Family and Community Service Act could connect MCFD, Indigenous communities

Condo contract rules target B.C. property flippers

Regulations to prevent property transfer tax evasion

Turning vehicles into deadly weapons is easy and cheap, expert says

Not all recent vehicle attacks have been linked to terror groups, says Candyce Kelshall

Canada not properly managing fish farms, environment commissioner says

Better standards are in place in British Columbia, meaning less fish have escaped, reports show

Most Read