Fewer calls, more prisoners last year in Port Clements

  • Feb. 17, 2010 6:00 a.m.

Police calls to Port Clements were down in 2009 from the previous year, but the number of prisoners was up, Sgt. Grant MacDonald told Port village council Monday night (Feb. 15). The Masset detachment received 71 calls for service from Port during 2009, Sgt. MacDonald said, a decrease from the 80 in 2008. Calls from Port are a fraction of the total number of calls the Masset detachment deals with, with about 72 percent of calls coming from Masset, about 23 percent from Old Massett, and 4 percent from Port. The number of prisoners from Port is also a fraction of the total, but showed a dramatic increase in 2009. The RCMP locked up someone from Port 11 times in 2009, compared to just four prisoners in 2008. Sgt. MacDonald told council the detachment is spending as much time in Port as possible. Sgt. MacDonald makes weekly visits and also has a constable working regularly in the elementary school. He’s also started a discussion about policing issues on the village’s Facebook page. “We’re trying to come up with some innovative ways to connect with people in Port Clements,” he said. Sgt. MacDonald wrapped up his presentation by giving a certificate of appreciation to Port resident Jim Sherritt for helping police out during a high-risk incident in November. Mr. Sherritt lives close to Jasper Street, where a suspect had barricaded himself with what was believed to be a firearm the night of Nov. 22, after fleeing from police. (He surrendered after six hours and has been charged with several offences.) Sgt. MacDonald said Mr. Sherritt allowed police to use his house during the incident, a big help given the adverse weather conditions. “Thank you very much for the use of your place that night, it was instrumental,” Sgt. MacDonald said. Councillor Wally Cheer thanked Sgt. MacDonald, and said he was especially impressed by the open lines of communication he has established between the RCMP and the village.