It was hot, sweaty, cramped and loud.
But for all the discomfort felt by those attending the Coffee with a Cop event last Wednesday, there is a positive takeaway. The people of Hope still care. And they care a lot.
While the point of the meet and greet was just an informal chat with your local police force, many residents showed up with burning issues they want resolved. Meanwhile, there are communities not far from here where residents and business owners have thrown their hands up and given up on even calling the RCMP when they are victimized by a criminal.
But here, at least among the dozens who showed up at the meeting, there seems to be a desire to know that justice will be served. It’s not enough to have an RCMP attend your house, take the notes, and leave. People want follow up. They want to know who stole their car. They want to know the sentencing.
And frankly, they deserve to know it.
The RCMP know better than anyone that it’s often a small number of prolific offenders that commit the bulk of the crime in a community. To know that one of them is locked up for a while, is to know that incidents of crime should fall accordingly.
But the RCMP are run off their feet chasing down criminals these days. Catching them, doing the paperwork, and forwarding onto Crown counsel, is all important work. And there are ways residents can find out what happens after that takes place, one officer said during the meeting.
His advice? Get a file number. Go to the police station. Find out who was on duty. Talk to that officer. Follow the case online through the publicly-accessible court services website.
And yes, call the newspaper. The thieves, arsonists and other criminals certainly aren’t telling us what they’re up to, and the police are busy catching them. If you have been the victim of crime and you want to share your story, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Help us shine a light on the criminals, and maybe they’ll crawl back into the darkness.