RCMP members get a place to stay overnight in Tsiigehtchic, N.W.T.
Community's bylaw officer, senior administrative officer welcome the help
RCMP members could be spending a lot more time in Tsiigehtchic, N.W.T., now that they've secured a two-year lease on a building that will allow officers to stay overnight.
It comes after years of calls for a more permanent police presence in the remote community of fewer than 200 people.
Mackenzie Delta MLA Frederick Blake Jr., who has long advocated for the change in the legislative assembly, shared the news Friday on Facebook.
"It took a couple years but we now have the RCMP in their own unit, in Tsiigehtchic," he wrote, appending a photo of an RCMP truck parked in front of a home.
Since Nov. 12, police have made three overnight patrols to the community, according to RCMP spokesperson Marie York-Condon. "RCMP hope to plan another patrol before the end of December," she wrote in an email.
When police aren't in the community, calls are handled from Fort McPherson, 60 kilometres away.
"I'm glad they're here," says the community's senior administrative officer Bill Buckle. "We're one of the few communities with no RCMP [detachment]."
The last time Tsiigehtchic had its own RCMP detachment was "sometime in the late 1960s, early 1970s," according to comments Blake has made in the legislative assembly.
Bylaw officer welcomes the help
Bylaw officer Peter Ross says he's happy to see the RCMP come back.
"I'm glad that finally the police are going to make a presence here," he says.
"The people of the community… like to see the presence of the RCMP. They feel safe when they see them around."
Ross says there were 42 calls made to RCMP last year. Responding to those calls can take the RCMP 45 minutes, sometimes leaving Ross to deal with situations without any help from police.
And without police ready to respond, "it could be hours before something happens," says Buckle.
"When they're around, they can deal with things," he says.