It’s been a difficult few months for local law enforcement, search and rescue and other emergency services. Not that they have done anything wrong — in fact it is quite the opposite. They have done a fantastic job of trying to right the wrongs done by, and done to, others.
Just think for a minute about what has occurred in the past few months. Three teenagers were involved in a serious accident. One youth, a member of the Nelson Leafs, died from his injuries.
A string of armed robberies in Nelson, Castlegar, and Salmo put the area on edge. A pair of suspects were eventually arrested and charged after a hectic police chase. On the day one of the accused robbers appeared in court, a bomb threat took place, shutting down the court house and city hall for hours.
Let’s not forget the series of missing person reports in the past 60 days. Some ended tragically while others had a happier outcome.
One incident that did not have a happy ending was the tragic loss of four young people after a canoe tipped over in Slocan Lake.
One body was recovered immediately while three boys remained missing. Searchers looked in vain for 10 days before the endeavour was called off. It appears now, 18 days after the mishap, that the remaining bodies may have been found, hopefully bringing some form of closure to the families and those who took part in the search.
Now there’s more violence taking place. A Nelson grocery store was held up. The owner was assaulted with pepper spray as the two suspects walked out with cigarettes and cash.
This kind of frequent crime and tragedy is not the norm for Nelson and West Kootenay.
Let’s hope this unusual cycle of violence and fatalities ends soon for the sake of the community and its defenders.