A city councillor wants to know whether Kamloops needs a specialized anti-gang police unit, similar to those serving larger regions.
The squads make up the largest integrated police program in the country, composed of police officers from more than a dozen agencies, with the aim of disrupting and dismantling organized crime groups.
“From everything I’ve been able to find online, it was a lot because of the gang problems, but also the brazenness of the attacks and gun violence they were seeing,” Coun. Mike O’Reilly said.
“Broad daylight shootouts, kind of sort of what we’re starting to see now.”
O’Reilly posed the question to Kamloops RCMP Supt. Syd Lecky during the latter’s recent presentation to council.
“So, I’m wondering with your expertise, do you think we’re at the point where we need to ask for our own enforcement unit in Kamloops or are we getting enough support from the provincial resources, having them shuttled in when needed?” O’Relly asked.
Lecky said the detachment will take any support it can get, noting the units are dispersed throughout districts in the province, on Vancouver Island, in the Lower Mainland, in Prince George and in Kelowna.
“We do not have a presence, a permanent presence, here in Kamloops,” Lecky said. “But we get occasional assistance on a case-by-case basis and, certainly, of late we have had to enlist the support of the uniform gang enforcement team and others.”
Lecky said other supports are working behind the scenes that “nobody sees or hears from.
“If I had the opportunity to get the team here, or a contingent here, I would welcome it,” he said.