District-wide effort to keep South Cariboo safe

Staff Sgt. Svend Nielsen, with the 100 Mile House RCMP, says it’s important for the various detachments in the area to have a co-operative working relationship in an effort to keep the South Cariboo safe. (Melissa Smalley - 100 Mile Free Press)Staff Sgt. Svend Nielsen, with the 100 Mile House RCMP, says it’s important for the various detachments in the area to have a co-operative working relationship in an effort to keep the South Cariboo safe. (Melissa Smalley - 100 Mile Free Press)
A 100 Mile RCMP officer stands watch at the intersction of Highway 97 and Horse Lake Road. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)A 100 Mile RCMP officer stands watch at the intersction of Highway 97 and Horse Lake Road. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)
The RCMP arrest one of the suspects on Highway 97 courtesy of cell phone footage shot by a bystander. (April Thomas photo)The RCMP arrest one of the suspects on Highway 97 courtesy of cell phone footage shot by a bystander. (April Thomas photo)

When it comes to keeping our community safe, a strong sense of teamwork at the 100 Mile RCMP detachment is essential.

But who do our local RCMP members turn to when they need a hand?

Depending on the circumstances, geographical location and scope of an event to which the 100 Mile RCMP is responding, other local detachments will often pitch in to help, according to Staff-Sgt. Svend Nielsen.

There have even been a few occasions over the past year when a major incident has spread over several jurisdictions, prompting a response from two, three or even four detachments.

In October of last year, a vehicle first spotted in Kamloops driving erratically made its way through Clinton, 100 Mile House and 150 Mile House before finally being stopped by a second spike belt just outside of Williams Lake where a suspect was arrested.

In March, two suspects were arrested after a high-speed chase that started after a suspected break-and-enter and shots fired in the Loon Lake area.

READ MORE: WATCH: Two suspects arrested after multi-jurisdictional chase

That pursuit stretched from Clinton all the way to 140 Mile and involved the Ashcroft RCMP, the Provincial Support Team, Central Interior Traffic Services, the 100 Mile RCMP and the Williams Lake RCMP.

“We are one organization, even though we are in different detachments,” Nielsen said. “Criminals don’t know those borders.”

While major events like the two this past year are rare for the area, Nielsen said it’s not uncommon for both Clinton and Williams Lake RCMP to assist the 100 Mile members.

“Typically if Clinton needs some assistance near the edge of the border, we will always go and help,” Nielsen said. “Williams Lake is a bigger detachment, so they generally will support us more than the other way around.”

100 Mile RCMP covers south to 83 Mile and north to Maze Lake Road, but Nielsen pointed out that the boundaries to the east and west are a little harder to define.

“It all really depends on what’s going on, because of the files that occur in those areas, or lack thereof, it’s not as clear cut,” Nielsen said, noting that cooperative files with Clearwater RCMP to the east aren’t as common.

In addition to support from the neighbouring detachments, 100 Mile also benefits from resources associated with the Cariboo-Chilcotin Crime Reduction Unit (CC-CRU), based out of Williams Lake. Implemented in May 2017, the CC-CRU is meant to complement current detachment resources and allow for a more “comprehensive approach to enforcement.”

There is also a Williams Lake-based crime analyst, hired in 2020, who supports 100 Mile House when needed, Nielsen said. Their role includes monitoring crime trends and emerging problems, mapping and interpreting data and identifying any intelligence gaps.

Any support is welcome to the 100 Mile detachment, normally staffed with 14 members and responsible for a coverage area of 8,800 square kilometres.

“That’s a lot of ground to cover,” Nielsen said, noting that the detachment being called “100 Mile RCMP” is a bit misleading considering the area they are responsible for.

“We should really be called the Southern Cariboo RCMP.”

And with no sign of things slowing down for the detachment – Nielsen said in 2014 they fielded around 3800 files per year and are now close to 5000 – the cooperative relationships with Clinton, Williams Lake and other detachments are more important than ever.

“The cohesiveness we have as a district is extremely important for us to communicate properly and be able to share information and intelligence between members,” Nielsen said. “We are all working towards the same goals, trying to keep our communities safer.”


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