The summer is getting busier for Grand Forks police officers.
“We had a quieter spring, so I guess it was only time,” said Grand Forks Detachment Commander Sergeant Darryl Peppler. “From mid-March to June we definitely saw a decline, pretty much across the board. Violent offences, property offences, call volume, prisoner count, everything.”
In July of this year, officers attended 374 calls for service, with 281 in Grand Forks and 93 in Christina Lake. This is a 15 per cent increase compared to July last year, where officers attended 323 calls for service, with 237 in Grand Forks and 86 at Christina Lake.
Sgt. Peppler attributes part of the increase in calls due to people eager to get out of the house after months of lockdown, as well as traditional summer increases.
“My thoughts are, between the nicer weather, people feeling cooped up for all those months, the news reporting that we’ve flattened the curve… If you look at Christina Lake, during the fall, winter, and spring, it has a population of around 1,400 yearlong residents. In the summer it goes up to about 5,000.”
With that increase in people comes an increase in calls, particularly about travellers on the highways and pets in vehicles during the summer months.
“We expected it. Around June or so we start seeing an increase in call volume, with nicer weather, the same thing,” said Peppler. “When we had that cold spell of weather, it does us a break as far as there’s not as many people out on the lake or outdoor parties.”
For the August holiday weekend, officers saw a 30 per cent increase in calls compared to 2019. Over the past long weekend, officers attended 74 calls for service, with 35 in Grand Forks and 39 in the Christina Lake area. In 2019, RCMP responded to 57 calls for service, with 34 in Grand Forks and 23 at Christina Lake.
Not all of the calls were for noise complaints or animals left in vehicles.Officers also attended: 12 wellness checks, 11 assaults, 15 cases of mischief under $5,000, 23 suspicious persons, 12 causing a disturbance, nine thefts under $5,000, 24 abandoned 911 calls, and 20 false alarm files. In addition, officers dealt with 26 separate driving complaints, eight noise bylaw matters, 11 property loss files, and 15 situations related to animals.