Police officers vigilant over long weekend

Police and conservation officers want to make sure everyone has a safe May long weekend.

Extra officers have been added to help patrol the Falkland area, which is getting set for the 93rd annual stampede from Saturday to Monday

“Because of the Stampede, we’ll have our traffic services officers assisting, and the highway will be shut down Sunday for a short period because of the big parade,” said Gord Molendyk, RCMP spokesperson.

“We’ve activated auxiliary and reserve constables for the weekend. We want everybody to remember the drinking and driving laws, and have a fun but safe weekend.”

At least seven conservation officers will be patrolling the waters of North Okanagan and Shuswap recreational lakes.

The officers will be out on Okanagan, Kalamalka and Wood lakes making sure they are safe for all users.

“We’ll be doing recreational boat enforcement,” explained Sgt. Josh Lockwood of the conservation service.

“We’ll be checking licensing, registration, boating under the influence, doing operator’s competency card checks and, of course, we’ll be checking for lifejackets.”

Conservation officers will be joining RCMP members in patrolling provincial parks and forestry recreation campsites for noisy partiers.

Two problem areas in the past – Cottonwood and Noisy Creek forestry sites, both on Mabel Lake – will get extra attention.

“We’ll be conducting road checks on the way to the sites and we’ll be dumping out alcohol,” said Lockwood.

Checks of provincial parks and forestry camp sites will also include patrols for environmental infractions, and officers will also patrol wetland areas for people using off-road vehicles in areas where certain at-risk species inhibit.

Patrols for both RCMP and conservation officials will run today through Monday.