PORT HARDY – The new RCMP staff sergeant wants to build on the work of her predecessors to reduce crime on the North Island.
St. Sgt. Anna-Marie Mallard formally introduced herself to Port Hardy council Feb. 22.
“My passion is smaller communities,” said Mallard, who has worked in the Arctic, Alert Bay, Bella Bella and Campbell River before coming to Port Hardy just before Christmas. “I am still tapping into how people live here, but it’s still just dealing with people.”
How she and her officers deal with North Island people was the theme of her report to council.
“I want to continue some of the work that has already been done,” said Mallard. “The immediate roadside prohibitions (for impaired drivers) is making our job easier. People are starting to conform a bit more. I seeing us doing bar walks in the future. We want to be more known in the community, not just stand at the door.”
Domestic violence is another area of concern.
“We release on the first offense, but we move them into the justice system (impose conditions) on a second offence,” said Mallard. “We also want to do this for repeat intoxicated people. Hopefully we can help people in the long term.”
Coun. Nikki Shaw asked about the prevalence of illegal drugs.
“It does surprise me the number of drugs coming into Port Hardy, but then it always surprises me in small towns,” said Mallard. “There’s not any more than anywhere else, given the size of the community.” She added that at least one, possibly two, DARE programs for school children would be conducted this year.
In conclusion, Mallard assured council Port Hardy currently has a full contingent of officers. Cpl. Ed Nugent will be leaving in the spring, but another member is already expected from Prince George, she said. And while Mallard said she prefers a balance of male and female members, she is not concerned about currently being the only female member in the Port Hardy detachment.
“One more woman will transfer in in July,” said Mallard.