Police talk

WHO would take the opportunity to question the officer commanding their local RCMP detachment?

Or learn more about how the regional traffic services unit (more commonly known as the highway patrol) does its job?

Judging from the reaction to the BC Civil Liberties Association’s report on small town policing, there’s room for improvement in relations between the civilian population and their police force.

Leaving aside specific allegations concerning heavy-handed tactics toward street people and aboriginals on the part of Terrace Mounties as these should and need to be addressed in another type of forum, there appears to be a general air of mystery and suspicion among segments of the public when it comes to policing.

A first step toward fixing the situation is information and it might take some good old-fashioned town hall meetings to knock down some stereotypes and clear away some misunderstandings.

One opportunity for a townhall session could come after the commanding officer of the local detachment’s annual report to city council.

A wide-spread distribution of that report giving time for people to digest its contents and formulate questions for the several weeks prior to a question and answer session would be worthwhile.

A police force can only do its job if it has the support of a well-informed civilian population.