Mayor unhappy with policing report
TERRACE MAYOR Dave Pernarowski says the BC Civil Liberties Association report into local policing in northern and rural B.C. failed to tell every side of the story.
The statement came after association executive director David Eby presented Pernarowski with a list of complaints including allegations of excessive force, racial profiling, harassment, illegal arrests and illegal searches and seizures.
“In response to this catalogue of issues, the Mayor expressed concern that the BCCLA was presenting an unfair view of the issue for failing to adequately consult business owners in downtown Terrace, who would have a different view,” Eby wrote in the report.
The report includes an excerpt of Pernarowski’s response and information about a 2009 public order bylaw.
“You’re suggesting that we are in some way, or rather the RCMP are, acting inappropriately in the community with people that are homeless. I’m quite concerned,” wrote Pernarowksi.
“I unfortunately wasn’t able to attend the actual date that you had set up for this public input, but I’m just concerned that there would be comments made particularly by yourself right after the Terrace event if you don’t have any corroborating evidence.
“You need to be talking to people in the business community. Certainly those prolific offenders, completely intoxicated, vandalizing windows, public fornication, all those things that nobody in the community wants to see, those [business owners] are the people you’d want to speak to. See if there has been an improvement in those types of offenses.
“I don’t know if you had too many business owners show up to your inquiry or whatever, but the business owners are pleased with how it looks.
“It’s safer for people. I don’t have anyone coming to me to say they’ve been abused, or treated more forcefully. What they like is the downtown is a safer place for people to come out and shop.
“There may be a person who is in fact an alcoholic but is very cooperative with police and happy to move along, and understand that they can’t be drunk in public. Or sleeping on a public piece of property. And there are some when the RCMP approach, immediately be aggressive, be resisting arrest and would need to be treated differently, like handcuffed and taken to the jail.”