Two Trail cops to assist in fire-ravaged Fort MacMurray
Of the roughly 150 B.C. RCMP members being sent to Fort MacMurray, Alta., in the wake of a devastating wildfire that saw the entire community evacuated, two officers are from our own Trail detachment, according to Trail top cop Sgt. Darren Oelke.
“Constable Eva Harding left Monday, and will be there until about the (May) 21,” Oelke said. “She’ll be replaced by Const. Chris Elwood, who will also be deployed for about two weeks.”
Both members boast TAC training, a specialized skill set that demands they be very mobile and ready to deploy anywhere in the country, if necessary.
Oelke said there will be no disruption of service or reduction of coverage here in our region during the deployment.
When asked why so many officers were needed in Fort MacMurray, he explained, “Once an evacuation is ordered, we’re responsible for the security of the city. We need to protect people’s property. And now that people are trickling back in, there will be concerns about looting and theft.”
“We’re really proud of our people for helping out in Alberta during a time of crisis.”
Staff Sgt. Rob Vermeulen said the redeployment comes at the request of the Alberta government, and that they will also be redeploying traffic services officers to help with the influx of residents returning to their homes. Members will be chosen from across the province to ensure no detachment is left shorthanded.