‘The main ones that I really wanted to focus on are the road safety ones'
TRURO - From homicides to armed standoffs, highway protests, floods and tanker fires, Colchester County's RCMP officers have been kept active over the past year, a top official says.
© HARRY SULLIVAN - TRURO DAILY NEWS
RCMP Staff Sgt. John Berry of the Bible Hill detachment is shown giving a briefing to Colchester County council on police statistics taken from the past year.
"A very busy year," RCMP Staff Sgt. John Berry told Colchester County council during a recent presentation.
"Overall, for 2013, 7,378 calls responded to from the Bible Hill office," he said.
Add in another 1,109 calls from the Stewiacke area and 755 calls through the Tatamagouche office and the total number of callouts for Colchester Mounties since the beginning of April (the start of the fiscal year) clocks in at 9,242.
For the same period in 2012, the Bible Hill office responded to 6,930 calls while the Stewiacke and Tatamagouche offices responded to 1,043 and 971 calls respectively, for a total of 8,944.
"In all we're looking at a difference basically of 298 calls," Berry said.
"The main ones that I really wanted to focus on are the road safety ones," he said.
In many categories, the detachment sets out goals for its officers to achieve, including for such offences as distracted driving.
"Above and beyond those numbers that you see, we have a team effort in our office saying what are some of the goals that we're trying to achieve," Berry told council. "It's a marker for us to be able to achieve or to work towards."
For distracted driving, the goal was 140 charges. RCMP officers in the district managed to lay 118 charges in that category.
Another primary target area is nabbing drinking drivers and Berry's numbers indicate there were no problems filling the set objective of 71 (based on historic numbers).
"We had already hit 71 by the end of our third quarter," he said. "And we still have another quarter to go."
In addition to the officers who work out of the Bible Hill detachment, however, there are also upwards of 30 RCMP members who are attached to the provincially funded Northeast Nova Traffic Division, which is based out of AgriTECH Business Park in Bible Hill.
"They've written 2,015 tickets in 2013," he said.
That includes 1,087 speeding charges, 363 non-moving traffic offences, 349 seat belt tickets, 82 other moving charges, 50 charges for impaired driving and 38 tickets for driving while disqualified.
"So, that's on top of what we have," Berry said.
Other charges laid by the general investigation section include 25 sexual assault files.
As well, the integrated street crime unit, which consists of a partnership between the RCMP and the Truro Police Service, laid a number of drug-related charges and involved the seizure of illegal substances that carried an estimated street value of more than $50,000 and a number of guns were seized.