Simultaneous North Okanagan festivals placing pressure on officers

Three large events running over the same time period will challenge the Vernon-North Okanagan RCMP.

Three large events running simultaneously will challenge the RCMP.

Police will be on hand for the Sturgis North Music Festival, Trade Show and Motorcycle Rally Wednesday to Sunday at the MotoPlex Speedway in Spallumcheen; and at the 23rd annual Salmon Arm Summer Stomp Thursday to Sunday at a rural property on Salmon River Road.

And they’ll be at Armstrong Metalfest Friday and Saturday at the Hassen Arena and Interior Provincial Exhibition grounds.

“It creates a challenge for us for sure,” said Sgt. Dave Evans, who heads up the Vernon-North Okanagan RCMP’s rural operations.

“We’re here to provide policing service to the area, and these three are happening at the same time.”

Evans expects a significant number of people coming to the region for the events, but maintains planning for all three has been a combined approach, and not done in isolation from each other.

“With the influx of persons expected at the size we’re expecting for these events, it requires not only operational planning, but the bringing in and increasing of on-duty resources,” said Evans.

Regular on-duty members will be utilized as will additional regular members on overtime.

Citizens On Patrol and auxiliaries will also be used, giving the RCMP presence at all three functions.

The detachment’s North Okanagan Traffic Safety and Integrated Road Safety units will be utilized on the highways and roads near the events to ensure safety.

Evans said planning has also been done to make sure there are police resources available to cover the communities during the time of July 18 to 22.

“We’re taking measures to make sure we have sufficient resources to deal with regular core policing responsibilities that we do all the time when there are no events.”