Call the Police?  What the Heck For!!


A couple of incidents in the past month (the recent just last week) led me to writing an article to our local newspaper, as it's totally useless to rely on our local Law Enforcement to do diddly squat over it!  Here's my article, self explanatory:


Talk to the Police?  What’s the Point.


A recent incident while the wife and I were driving to Kamloops has brought me back writing the paper and letting them know what’s happened.  On the last couple of complaints I made to the police personally, I was brushed off and had the feeling that no one really cared about public complaints anymore, so here it is.


We were headed to Kamloops, from Sicamous, on the 15-08-02, at approx. 0800 hrs. .(not the officious manner in which I type, ex RCMP do that).  We were just coming around the last corner before you hit the first Canoe turnoff and we noticed a small silver sedan in front of us, weaving in its own lane.  I accelerated to try and catch up to the vehicle but it was going approx. 115-130kmh judging by the speed I was going.  As we rounded the long sweeper corner at the west Canoe turnoff the vehicle went entirely off the right hand side of the road, and was less than 2’ from going right over the embankment!  It did this around the entire corner and finally corrected and got back onto the roadway, weaving while doing it.


As we crested the hill on the 3 lane portion I still had the vehicle in sight, and it had to slow down for traffic in front of it.  We caught up to it at the lights where it again accelerated into the “fast lane”  and went right across the roadway and into the oncoming lanes of traffic!  Luckily there were no cars coming.  It again corrected itself and got back into the west bound lanes just missing the cement curbing in the middle of the hwy..  We came up behind it at the first set of lights in Salmon Arm and I took a picture of it with my phone (ya, illegal, I know, but the Mrs. didn’t know how to work it and we were stopped).  My wife then tried dialing 911, 3 times, and could not get through, it didn’t even ring!  So I took the phone and tried, again it didn’t go through.  By this time we were past the RCMP Det. and the car was still weaving in the slow lane, almost rear ending a car in front of it.  It finally turned off the hwy at the Super Save Gas station, hitting the cement curbing, stopping, then trying to turn again, hitting the curbing again, and then pulling up to the pumps.  The “gas jockey” signaled her to move forward to a different pump, which she didn’t do, at this point I managed to get through to 911, my phone log showed 0830hrs.  I explained to the operator about a possible impaired driver and she then transferred me through to Salmon Arm Det..  I spoke to someone, I’m assuming a Member, and gave them the story.  I even asked if they wanted me to stay there with the vehicle and keep an eye on it, also to keep “continuity” of the suspect vehicle and the driver, court stuff.  The response I got?  “No, that’s fine, you can carry on if you want, we don’t have anyone available right now.”.  I told the person that this driver was going to kill someone if the police didn’t do something, again, they had no one available, and the call was concluded.


My wife and I looked at each other in utter disgust, here we had a classic impaired (or driver with a medical condition) all but in custody and no one was around to help.  Now, I’ve been in Salmon Arm Det., as a working Member, at 0830, on a Saturday morning, during my career, and I don’t remember anything so pressing that it would negate me from responding to such a call.  I believe the word is “prioritize”.  In other words, if your sitting around Det. having a coffee and shooting the BS, or maybe writing up a B and E file , I’m thinking that this particular complaint would warrant at least one Member to go Code 2 to nab this bad guy/woman.  Maybe someone did respond to the complaint, but I was certainly never advised, isn’t that a part of the investigation is advising the complaint of the action taken?  It used to be and was a very important part of the file, especially to the complainant who took the time to report it!


This is very similar to a complaint I made to the Sicamous Det. a short time ago and where I got into a heated argument with the Cpl. There.  It was over a complaint I was making of a dangerous boater, the Member looked at me like I was from space and just said, “What do you want me to do?” .  I have no idea what has happened to policing since I’ve retired, but from my past two interactions with them I must say its gotten pathetic.  These two incidents were classic (and simple!) complaints that I used to respond to with the intention of either solving or remedying the problem, apparently this means nothing now.  When I was still serving I would make a big thing out of telling people to report such incidents to the police, otherwise don’t complain.  I can see now what they couldn’t be bothered reporting anything to them, when you get the response’s I did.  At a time when organizations such as MADD are on the band wagon to clean up impaired drivers and the carnage they cause on our hwys, responses like this are unsettling at best.  Talk to the police?  What’s the point.  Talk to the news, you might get some response there……….Sheldon Sherman, Sicamous, B.C.