Sooke RCMP Staff Sgt. Jeff McArthur is looking to 2019 as another challenging year for the Sooke detachment. (File photo)

Sooke Mounties look to another challenging year

Looking ahead to 2019

Although the talk in the coffeeshops may, focus on the “old-Sooke vs. new-Sooke” phenomenon and the impact of growth on the community, the changing face of Sooke has little impact on the way RCMP Staff Sgt. Jeff McArthur approaches his job.

“We really just have to focus and do our job,” said McArthur.

“We really don’t focus on that sort of discussion at all. There are more important issues.”

Those issues include the improvement of dialogue with the First Nations community and ways to improve service.

“It’s something we started focussing on in 2018 and we intend to continue to improve in that area.”

Another area of concern that McArthur said is a focus of his force is the management of prolific offenders.

“Like any community, there are a small number of residents that create a disproportionate number of calls. We’ll be working with those people … reaching out to get them into contact with someone who can help them with their issues.”

That approach, he said, has had some success and he hopes those successes will continue in 2019.

“If it doesn’t work, we then have to work with the courts to try to get them an extended sentence. It’s about keeping the community safe.”

RELATED: A diverse and challenging job

With all the attention to the question of homelessness, McArthur was quick to point out that the homeless in Sooke are not the drivers of crime in the community. He doesn’t expect that to change in 2019.

“The homeless in Sooke don’t increase crime. They are homeless for any number of reasons. We have vets, people in transition, some with mental challenges but they aren’t generally criminals,” said McArthur.

On the issue of the legalization of marijuana, McArthur doesn’t anticipate that his force will see much change in 2019.

“Sooke council really did the right thing in letting the shops operate in the past. Those operators were actually very responsible and, now, with legalization, there really is very little change,” said McArthur.

“We will be spending our time on the traffickers of hard drugs. When people are dying of opiates and other hard drugs, that’s where we will put our resources.”

One challenge that McArthur anticipates in the coming year involves manpower.

“The population has been growing locally and the fact is that we’re just not keeping up with those increases. We have increased tourism as well, and all of that means we need more officers.”

But even if more officers can be secured, McArthur noted that the building housing the RCMP is already at capacity.

“We’re growing out of our building, and the face is we’ll be looking to the district, not only to increase manpower but to address our facilities here as well.”



mailto:tim.collins@sookenewsmirror.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Ginormous 10-foot dragon towers over Saanich yard

Artist Dan Iochelli spent seven years crafting the metal beast

Popular corn maze at North Saanich’s Pendray Farms out of operation

No Halloween-themed activities taking place this year at local farm

Return of the undead: Victoria Zombie Walk hits the streets

Hundreds of zombies expected for annual event Oct. 26 in Centennial Square

Access: A day in the life using a wheelchair in Victoria

Black Press Media teamed up with the Victoria Disability Resource Centre to learn about barriers

Popular food truck to open restaurant on Oak Bay Avenue

Dead Beetz Burgers adds brick-and-mortar restaurant

ELECTION 2019: It’s so close, it could come down to who turns out to vote

Black Press Media’s polling analyst on the origins of predictive seat modelling in Canada

Zantac, the over-the-counter heartburn drug, pulled in Canada, U.S.

Health Canada also investigates possible carcinogen in some ranitidine drugs

B.C. public safety minister says cannabis edibles not in stores til January

Mike Farnworth says he wants regional issues considered when it comes to licensing

Greta Thunberg calls for climate action in Alberta, but doesn’t talk oilsands

Swedish teen was met with some oil and gas industry supporters who came in a truck convoy

Scheer denies spreading ‘misinformation’ in predicting unannounced Liberal taxes

Conservative leader had claimed that a potential NDP-Liberal coalition could lead to a hike in GST

Chilliwack man pleads guilty in crash that killed pregnant woman

Frank Tessman charged under Motor Vehicle Act for accident that killed Kelowna school teacher

LETTER: Bring medicine into our public health-care system

Let’s implement a universal single-payer public pharmacare system, says reader

Sooke Region Museum hosts Halloween ghost tour

Tales of hauntings and disasters in the offing

Kawhi Leonard, former Toronto Raptor, welcomed back to Vancouver at pre-season game

Fans go wild at pre-season game between L.A. Clippers and Dallas Mavericks at Rogers Arena

Most Read