Mission Insp. Ted De Jager speaks before a large crowd that turned out to Thursday night's police forum.

Mission Insp. Ted De Jager speaks before a large crowd that turned out to Thursday night's police forum.

Public pose questions about Mission RCMP priorities

Mission RCMP forum draws large crowd seeking more patrols, better response times and more police presence downtown.

More patrols, a larger presence in the downtown core and consistent response times were the main concerns expressed at a Mission RCMP public forum held last week.

More than 200 people came to the Leisure Centre to ask questions of Mission RCMP Insp. Ted De Jager. The event was designed to allow the public input in the process to set 2015 policing priorities.

At times, people were lined up four and five deep waiting for their opportunity to speak.

One subject that kept coming up was dealing with drug addiction and mental health issues in the downtown core.

“We’re not going to find an immediate solution to something that’s going to take a long time to resolve,” explained De Jager.

He said homelessness and drug addiction is not something police can solve by themselves. The whole community has to be involved in finding a solution.

“If their issue is mental health or addictions, then it’s not criminal.”

Many people at the forum wanted to see more of a police presence in the community.

“Do you have plans on having regular foot patrols in the downtown area?” asked Jamie Hayes of the Mission Downtown Business Association.

“Yes, we are,” replied De Jager. “Last year, since downtown was one of the priorities, one of the initiatives that we had that was supported by the community was the downtown foot patrol,” consisting of police officers and auxiliary members.

Other criticisms included a lack of response by police to reports by Block Watch or other calls.

De Jager explained that not all calls can be addressed immediately.

“Our call response, like any police force, is based on priority,” he said, adding that violent crime will always have a higher priority than property offences. Calls are prioritized by the RCMP’s operational communications centre in Chilliwack.

“Bear in mind that we have limited resources. We have to find the balance between a police officer always coming – because that is the most expensive way to address the problem – and the whole  community being involved.”

Domestic violence, property crime and problematic youth were also discussed.

While many people asked questions, several others voiced their approval of the work the police have done.

Following the meeting, De Jager continued to answer questions on a one-on-one basis. He said he was pleased with the number of people who took an interest in the forum.

“We were certainly prepared for any type of questions that were going to come. That’s the whole point in having this – to get a very clear picture of what the community concerns are. That’s going to help us set our priorities for the next year.”

One initiative he wants to discuss is setting up an advisory committee, similar to police boards that municipal forces have.

He also wants to address the notion of visibility in the community.

While he believes visibility is important, it has to be balanced with intelligence-led policing.

“We don’t do a lot of good being where the crime is not.”

De Jager will now meet with his senior management team and “digest” the information and feedback received. Then he will present the findings to council and the public.


Just Posted

Kalyn Head, seen here on June 4, 2021, will be running 100 kilometres for her “birthday marathon” fundraiser on July 23. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
Woman’s 100-km birthday marathon from Chilliwack to Abbotsford will benefit Special Olympics B.C.

Kalyn Head hopes run raises awareness, advocates for inclusion of people with intellectual disabilities

Missing Abbotsford man Adam Hobbs was found deceased on Thursday evening (June 17).
Body of missing Abbotsford man Adam Hobbs found

Hobbs was reported missing Monday after leaving his job site in Langley

UFV athletes were honoured for their strength and perseverance during the pandemic. (UFV photo)
Fraser Valley athletes recognized in year without sports

UFV Cascades athletes honoured for strength shown during the pandemic

Mission students hold rally, say everyone welcome at school

Ecole Christine Morrison Elementary School hosted an Anti-Racism Day on June 15

Abbotsford council has given permission for Chilliwack to use the JAMES wastewater treatment plant for the disposal of trucked liquid waste until the end of September.
Chilliwack gets exemption to Abbotsford bylaw prohibiting liquid waste from other cities

Process in place until September while new facility under construction in Chilliwack

A small pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins pass by close to shore in Campbell River June 16, 2021. Still capture from video courtesy of Kimberly Hart
VIDEO: Dolphin sunset captured from Vancouver Island shore

Spectacular setting for view of travelling pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins

A North Vancouver man was arrested Friday and three police officers were injured after a 10-person broke out at English Bay on June 19, 2021. (Youtube/Screen grab)
Man arrested, 3 police injured during 10-person brawl at Vancouver beach

The arrest was captured on video by bystanders, many of whom heckled the officers as they struggled with the handcuffed man

Surrey Fire Service battled a dock fire along the Fraser River late Friday night (June 18). It was on Musqueam Drive, near Industrial Road, around 10:45 p.m. (Photo: Shane MacKichan)
VIDEO: Fire engulfs pier on Surrey side of the Fraser River

Dock has reportedly been unused for a long time

People in Metro Vancouver can expect to experience a short wave of heat just in time for Father’s Day, according to Environment Canada. (Black Press Media files)
Short-lived heatwave headed for Metro Vancouver this weekend

Temperatures are expected to be up to 10 degrees higher than average Sunday and Monday

Bruce Springsteen performs at the 13th annual Stand Up For Heroes benefit concert in support of the Bob Woodruff Foundation in New York on Nov. 4, 2019. (Greg Allen/Invision/AP)
Canadians who got AstraZeneca shot can now see ‘Springsteen on Broadway’

B.C. mayor David Screech who received his second AstraZeneca dose last week can now attend the show

New research suggests wolves can be steered away from the endangered caribou herds they prey on by making the man-made trails they use to hunt harder to move along. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Culling cutlines, not B.C. wolves, key to preserving caribou herds: researcher

The government has turned to killing hundreds of wolves in an effort to keep caribou around

Gary Abbott (left) and Louis De Jaeger were two of the organizers for the 2014 Spirit of the People Powwow in Chilliwack. Monday, June 21, 2021 is Indigenous Peoples Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of June 20 to 26

Indigenous Peoples Day, Take Your Dog to Work Day, Onion Rings Day all coming up this week

Gwen Spencer Hethey with her uncle and mentor Major Frederick Richardson. (Courtesy of Greater Victoria Sports Hall of Fame)
‘She was a killer’: The B.C. woman who pioneered female sharpshooting

Gwen Spencer Hethey made military men ‘look like turkeys’ says her son

Most Read