Penticton RCMP detachment Inspector Brad Haugli presented third quarter performance data to the regional district board of directors during the Protective Services Committee meeting on January 5.
In the discourse of his report, Haugli received several instances of praise from directors for improvements to local police services, with CAO Bill Newell’s comments probably being the most telling.
“We have noted the positive changes that have taken place since Brad Haugli took over command two and a half years ago,” he said. Several other directors echoed similar sentiments.
The directors are right. Three years ago, there was widespread dissension within the regional district with respect to policing, with many residents feeling that common problems like vandalism and the local drug trade were being ignored by a police agenda that seemed to have other priorities.
Under Haugli’s watch, several of the regional district’s detachment have undergone personnel changes at the commander level. We in the media are seeing more openess in terms of press releases and accounting of police activities. In Keremeos, detachment commander Mike Gallagher was recently seen on foot patrol with auxiliary officer Troyce Beglaw on Seventh Avenue – a rare but welcome sight for citizens looking for more visibilityand closer contact between themselves and those who “serve to protect.” Gallagher, who has been in Keremeos for barely six months, has come before Village Council twice to review quarterly statistics and make himself available for questions.
The increased focus on public accountability has not been lost on the public – good news for both the RCMP and residents of the South Okanagan – Similkameen.