Creston RCMP commander thanks community for support

Web Lead

To the Editor:

I would like to thank the many residents of Creston and surrounding area for the kind words and emails that you have given to me and my members over the past week. As you can imagine, it has been a very stressful week for us and it is difficult to express how much these comments of support really mean to us. As you have stated, you don’t know the circumstances of the incident that occurred on Oct. 6, but you do know the young men and women who work in our office by different names than the ones that are currently being thrown about by our established media and social internet sites. Some of the names that you know these members by are neighbors, friends, coaches and parents.

You also know that when these same community members go to work they put on a uniform that carries a lot of authority, but with this authority also comes even more responsibility. This responsibility is to keep our homes and community safe from a small percentage of our population that seems to think it is OK to prey on the rest of us. That these same young men and women wear this uniform with pride and with a determination to help keep you safe, so that you feel comfortable to allow your kids to go to a movie in the evening and to not get run over by a drunk driver, so that you feel safe to go to a local watering hole to socialize with your friends and not get assaulted by local bullies, all you have to do is read the local police beat to see the numerous ways we help our fellow community members. We do not join this profession to be bullies and rogue cops as seems to be portrayed in the current mainstream media, we all join so we can make our communities and country a better place to live.

I would be remiss if I did not thank our mayor and council who expressed their support for our office and their belief that once a fair and impartial investigation is conducted that the truth will come out, and to the Creston Valley Advance, which has not jumped on the bandwagon to print stories based on rumours and hearsay.

I would especially like to thank the many people who were at the bar when this incident took place and have come forward as they are completely shocked on how mainstream media is currently relaying a completely warped and untrue rendition of what occurred that night. They are coming forward with the true version of what occurred and are providing this to the Delta Police investigative team. This true version of the facts is verified by the security video tape that shows the entire incident. Unfortunately, we as members of the legal profession are restricted in what we can release, as we have to ensure that subjects who are ordered to appear before our justice system do not have their rights violated, in that they have a right to face their accusers before a court of law. So we keep silent until all of this evidence can be presented at their trials.

These “pillars of our community” have the right to say anything they want and we currently have a mainstream media that is prepared to air these untruths without verifying any of what is being said. These hurtful statements carry a huge impact on our young members and their families. We have wives, husbands, and children who are hearing what terrible people their loved ones are and in some cases they are now scared to take their children to the local parks due to the numerous threats made on many social Internet sites. We are offering what support we can to these family members, but what would really help is if these threats and name-calling stopped and that you continue to let these young men and women know how much you appreciate what they do.

Finally, I would like to advise you that as the supervisor of the two young police officers that attended the liquor establishment that night, I have had an opportunity to speak to both of them, to read several statements from that night and to view the security footage. I have no hesitation in stating how proud I am of the actions of these two members, as they handled a call of help from one of our local business establishments. They put themselves in harm’s way to answer this call, they handled a group of very confrontational and angry subjects in a way that brings credit to this organization, and as for the one member who was tasked with dealing with the subject who ended up in the hospital, he did everything in his power to deal with him using only his voice and presence. Unfortunately, it escalated to a point where he was forced to rely on his training and skills to resolve a violent situation using the least force possible. Once the incident was over he immediately went into a protection role to ensure that this same subject received the medical care he required. I can only hope that if I am ever faced with this same type of situation that I will handle it with the same professionalism and calmness that he exhibited.

So to end, it is for people like you that I still put on this uniform. Even after 30 years I still get that sense of pride every time I am able to make a positive change in someone’s life, and the kindness and understanding that you have shown to me and my staff is one of the many reasons that I am happy to say that I live in this community.

Staff Sgt. R.M. Gollan

Detachment Commander

Creston RCMP