Protection without fear

To serve and protect: it’s at the core of police work. It’s one of the aspects of Canadian society that makes us the envy of so many.

To serve and protect: it’s at the core of police work. It’s one of the aspects of Canadian society that makes our quality of life the envy of so many.

Sometimes people forget that the officers who patrol our streets are there to help. Even if you are the most upstanding citizen, the sight of a police car in your rearview mirror can produce small pangs of panic. It’s human nature to get nervous in the presence of authority. It’s actually not a bad thing because it shows respect.

Unless you’re a bad person or have committed a crime, there’s really no reason to fear police. Though they wear a uniform and carry a gun, these men and women are really no different than anybody else.

The recent scare across the province about a new form of the drug ecstasy is an example of when fear of authority can lead to tragic outcomes.

Last week Nelson Police Department Sgt. Paul Burkart told the Star that local officers are taking this threat seriously. What jumped out of the Friday story was the approach Sgt. Burkart gave to the situation.

Sgt. Burkart said some of the deaths which have occurred because of this strain of ecstasy could have been prevented. But instead of alerting authorities, those around the people who found their body in distress chose not to call. Because of that apprehension, funerals were held.

“The message we would like to get out there is that in these cases when the ambulance is called — and in most drug cases — the police are going to show up, but in that particular case we are not interested in pursuing charges against the user that’s in trouble. At that particular time we are concerned about the person’s health,” Burkart told us.

The police know people are going to do drugs. If people are producing or selling drugs, they are going to do their best to arrest them. But officers in this community are not kicking doors down to arrest the casual user. That’s never going to be a priority.

Local police don’t encourage drug use, but they also don’t want people to die. Accepting that police are here to help can go a long way towards avoiding needless tragedy.

 

Just Posted

Snowfall warning issued for Kootenay passes

Up to 35 cm of snow expected Monday night and Tuesday.

Business Buzz: The Buzz is Back in Nelson

Bob Hall is the volunteer director on the Nelson District Chamber of Commerce. His column appears in the Nelson Star once a month.

Avalanche Canada issues special public warning

Very weak layer buried under recent snow a cause for concern

KBRH on watch for bed bugs after two recent cases

Spokesperson Mandy Lowery says there has not been a bed bug sighting at KBRH since Dec. 8

Coffee card donations return at Wait’s News

The program supplied over 200 cards last year

‘Are we going to play?’ Alberta boy with rare illness no big deal for classmates

Porter Stanley is one of 30 people in the world to be diagnosed with Beare-Stevenson syndrome, a craniofacial disorder.

The prize was wrong: Man turns down trip to Manitoba

A New Hampshire man won the prize on “The Price is Right”, but turned it down because the taxes were too high

Publication ban on name of girl killed in Abbotsford school lifted

Reimer’s family had supported an application by Black Press to lift ban

B.C. securities regulator probes ‘most expansive’ alleged trading scheme in its history

Liht Cannabis Corp states it’s doing internal investigation, welcomes BC Securities Commission probe

Air passenger rights: 6 things about what the Liberals are offering

For 3- to 6-hour delays, compensation is $400. Between 6 and 9 hours, $700. Over 9 hours is $1,000

RCMP, civilian vehicles rammed in North Okanagan incident

Police attempt to stop truck near Enderby, thought to be tied to alleged Salmon Arm armed robbery

New biker gang with ties to Hells Angels crops up in Lower Mainland

The Street Reapers were formed late last year and have been seen in Fort Langley.

Couple caught up in B.C. Legislature bomb plot to learn their fate

John Nuttall and Amanda Korody were arrested as part of an undercover RCMP sting on Canada Day 2013

10-lane George Massey bridge too big, B.C. study says

Consultants say replacement tunnel cost similar to new bridge

Most Read