Six RCMP officers injured on the job in Southern Interior in four days



a van parked in front of a car: According to RCMP, six front line officers were hurt on the job in B.C.'s Southern Interior in a span of four days.


© THE CANADIAN PRESS
According to RCMP, six front line officers were hurt on the job in B.C.’s Southern Interior in a span of four days.

Six RCMP officers in B.C.’s Southern Interior region have been injured on the job in a span of 96 hours, according to the RCMP Southeast District.

All of the front-line officers that got hurt were carrying out arrests of volatile individuals at the time, said a news release issued by the RCMP.

“Each of these dangerous situations has not only deeply impacted these extremely dedicated police officers, but has also had lasting implications on their families and colleagues,” said Chief Supt. Brad Haugli, RCMP Southeast District commander.

Read more: ‘I lost my soulmate’: Widow of Calgary officer strives to eliminate workplace fatalities

According to RCMP, the first incident on Oct. 3 in Grand Forks involved emergency paramedics responding to a report of an intoxicated man lying face down outside a home in the 6400-block of 18 Street.

Ambulance paramedics approached the individual, at which time RCMP said he sprung to his feet and suddenly became aggressive.

The paramedics called the Grand Forks RCMP for help.

RCMP said a front-line officer arrived and approached the man who continued to yell aggressively.

The suspect allegedly grabbed onto the officer and forced them to the ground, where he continued to assault the officer.

The suspect fled on foot before the officer could make an arrest.

Read more: Man in hospital after allegedly shooting at Surrey RCMP officer, turning gun on himself

The suspect, a 35-year-old Grand Forks man, was apprehended without further incident by another front-line officer who was responding to the scene to assist.

The police officer sustained non-life-threatening injuries and was medically assessed at the scene by the emergency paramedics who had initially called for support. The officer was later examined in hospital.

On Oct. 7,  Salmon Arm RCMP responded to a report of a disturbance inside a home, where a distraught man was reportedly experiencing a mental health crisis and causing property damage.

RCMP said a pair of uniformed officers responded to the home, and arranged to have emergency medical crews staged nearby.

According to the RCMP, they managed to de-escalate the situation and convinced the man to exit the home to obtain medical attention for the lacerations and abrasions he sustained.

RCMP said that’s when the 41-year-old Sorrento man suddenly lunged at both officers, who required the use of a Conducted Energy Weapon (CEW) to subdue him.

Both responding officers received medical treatment for non-life-threatening injuries following the arrest. One officer sustained a lower arm fracture.

Read more: Huntsville OPP search for suspect after officer injured at R.I.D.E. stop

Also on Oct 7, three officers in Kamloops suffered injuries while working together to apprehend a dangerous offender, who led police on a dangerous pursuit.

One officer sustained injuries as a result of the suspect allegedly side-swiping the officer’s cruiser.

A second officer sustained a lower arm injury after jumping out of the way

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Pressure building on Interior Health to provide nurses for RCMP mental health units


Kamloops Mayor Ken Christian

(BRIE WELTON / iNFOnews.ca)



September 08, 2020 – 8:00 AM



Kamloops, Kelowna and the RCMP are all trying to convince Interior Health to fund more nurses to work with police officers dealing with a growing number of calls that involve people struggling with mental health issues.


So far they’ve hit a brick wall.


“I think what happens is the people who are making those decisions really don’t ride around late at night on the streets of either Kelowna or Kamloops and get a first-hand view of what kind of situations police are dealing with,” Kamloops Mayor Ken Christian told iNFOnews.ca. “Unfortunately, the pandemic has just exacerbated a lot of those circumstances.”


Both cities have a team that partners the RCMP and nurses to respond to some of their mental health calls but each has only one team operating four days a week. It’s called Car 40 in Kamloops and PACT (Police and Crisis Team) in Kelowna.


At the Aug. 25 Kamloops council meeting, Coun. Dale Bass reported that Car 40 calls went up almost 36 per cent to 488 this year from 360 in the first half of 2019. That’s just the calls handled by that team on its four-day-a-week shift.


No comparative numbers were provided to iNFOnews.ca by Kelowna staff or RCMP.


Karen Bloemink, vice-president for clinical operations for Interior Health, told iNFOnews.ca in July that the program was not necessarily the best use of their resources.


READ MORE: Interior Health isn’t yet on board with expanding mental health teams with RCMP


Christian’s been told by Interior Health that they’re “looking at their model for outpatient mental health.”


But city and RCMP say that’s not good enough when there’s such a growing need for more help in this area and Christian has been pushing for an expansion in the service for more than two years, as has Kelowna.


“We’ve had the police car and the police person and we have a need to roll because a lot of the police calls we’re attending to have a serious mental health overtone to them,” he said. “Having a mental health professional there is very helpful in terms of defusing a situation that could otherwise lead to an escalation in terms of the physicality of it.”


An investigation was launched in June after a Kelowna RCMP officer doing a wellness check on UBCO student Mona Wang was video-taped dragging her down a hallway and stepping on her head. That report has been sent back to Kelowna RCMP with instructions to do more investigation.


READ MORE: Kelowna Mounties have criminal investigation into Const. Lacy Browning returned to them


But it’s not just the physicality of the arrest that’s of concern. It’s also about getting people the help they need.


“When you do make an arrest either under the Mental Health Act or under the Criminal

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