Crime prevention is the goal of local RCMP officer

A new policing position in Terrace, B.C. is taking a different approach to crime

A new policing position here is taking a different approach to crime.

Instead of reacting to crimes after they’ve happened, it involves being proactive and working on prevention.

“Investigators are always investigating an incident that’s already happened,” said Cpl. Mike Dame of the Drugs and Organized Crime Awareness Service (DOCAS), a new position here in Terrace.

“This focuses on stopping an incident from happening.”

There is a similar position in Prince Rupert but it doesn’t extend its area of service to here.

When more money came from the provincial government for more positions around the province, this position opened up and Dame grabbed it. There are 13 DOCAS positions in the province.

In all of Dame’s nearly 20 years of policing, he’s done every aspect of the job from general duty to major crimes and drug files but says that this is the first chance he’s had to get information out  into the public ahead of time so people can make choices to prevent unhealthy behaviours.

“It’s an exciting position and I’m enjoying it,” said Dame.

The position involves getting community groups together with police to get a proper message out to young people, families, community on healthier lifestyles and healthier choices with the main focus on substance abuse, says Dame.

He covers off drug education and the WITS program so if a school needs information, he has it or will seek out and provide the needed resources.

His job also involves helping communities put together their own Community Prevention Education Continuum, drug prevention that involves prevention and uses the strengths of the communities.

“It’s easier to build stronger children than repair broken adults,” said Dame.

The position is very broad and the big thing is to get people information so they can make good choices, he said.

Dame has spent a lot of time researching information.

To start, he’s working with a project with the middle and high schools up to New Aiyansh to provide the community with information to promote healthy choices.

His area includes New Aiyansh, Terrace, Kitimat and out east to Houston and Granisle.

And it’s a federal position so he doesn’t answer to the local RCMP detachment, but rather to his boss who is in Vancouver.

Dame’s former position at the detachment here, officer in charge of the general investigation section, crime reduction unit and drug squad, has been taken over by Cpl. Mark Alexander.