Re­newed po­lice pres­ence

Bay Roberts RCMP de­tach­ment re-open­ing

The Compass - - FRONT PAGE - BY NI­CHOLAS MERCER

Bay Roberts Mayor Philip Wood ad­mits he was caught off guard by words spo­ken by Darin King in Bay Roberts last week.

The jus­tice min­is­ter was in town to let peo­ple know about the town’s new pumper truck for the fire depart­ment.

Mo­ments af­ter he had an­nounced plans to pur­chase the new ve­hi­cle, King in­for­mally an­nounced the re-open­ing of the Bay Roberts de­tach­ment of the RCMP. For the last num­ber of years, it has been op­er­at­ing as a satel­lite of­fice for the Trin­ity-Conception branch of the RCMP.

“I was pleas­antly sur­prised about the an­nounce­ment,” said Wood. “It was some­thing I was anx­iously await­ing.”

For the record, the mayor knew there were plans to re­open the de­tach­ment as a stand­alone en­tity. He just thought word would come out once the fed­eral elec­tion was fin­ished.

The an­nounce­ment was orig­i­nally sched­uled for Aug. 12, but was post­poned once Prime Min­is­ter Stephen Harper called the elec­tion for Oct. 19. It is ex­pected a for­mal an­nounce­ment will be made af­ter it con­cludes.

“It is very pos­i­tive news,” said Wood. “With the growth in the area, we felt the need was greater to­day.”

There are still a num­ber of de­tails to fi­nal­ize, in­clud­ing when the de­tach­ment will open, how the Trin­ity-Conception re­gion will be di­vided and how many of­fi­cers will be as­signed to the sta­tion.

Those ques­tions, amongst oth­ers, should be an­swered when the sta­tion re-open­ing is for­mally an­nounced some­time in the fall.

The de­ci­sion to re-open the Bay Roberts de­tach­ment came af­ter con­sul­ta­tions with the town and the pro­vin­cial gov­ern­ment, ac­cord­ing to Trin­ity Conception RCMP Sgt. Greg Hicks. Those plans are still be­ing fi­nal­ized.

“It was done based on a study of our re­sources and an as­sess­ment of the needs of that com­mu­nity,” he said. “We look for­ward to strength­en­ing our ser­vices to the com­mu­nity and the sur­round­ing area of Bay Roberts.”

Hicks also men­tioned that the RCMP will con­tinue to work hard in the Trin­ity-Conception re­gion.

The re-open­ing of the de­tach­ment in Bay Roberts could be just what the area needed, ac­cord­ing to the mayor.

“It pro­vides se­cu­rity that all fam­i­lies ask for,” said Wood. “The public has been call­ing for an in­creased pres­ence. It gives an ad­di­tional sense of con­fi­dence amongst cit­i­zens.”

Port de Grave MHA Glenn Littlejohn said the re-open­ing of the de­tach­ment is “great news.”

“It is some­thing we’ve been work­ing on for quite some time with the RCMP and the Depart­ment of Jus­tice,” he said. “We were slowly mov­ing it for­ward. I think (the re-open­ing) is im­por­tant to the peo­ple in the area.”

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