Staff Sgt. Scott West helps tour new immigrants to Canada around the Salmon Arm RCMP detachment in January to get an inside view of police operations. (Contributed)

Salmon Arm RCMP, new immigrants get acquainted at police station

Tour of detachment provides opportunity to explore differences in judicial systems

What began as a complaint turned into an opportunity for Salmon Arm RCMP and new immigrants to the community.

Salmon Arm Citizens on Patrol, who are RCMP associate volunteers, carry out many duties to support the work of police, including setting up Speed Watch displays to slow motorists and being the eyes and ears of police by patrolling areas of Salmon Arm and Canoe.

Cpl. Luiz Sardinha liaises with the group and heard that citizens at a local centre were alarmed when they saw individuals in uniforms in the parking lot. Sardinha said it happened to be a place where stolen vehicles and property are sometimes stashed by people other than those at the centre.

The complaint highlighted the need for police to talk to different agencies, one being the Shuswap Immigrant Services Society. A visit there was set up to offer details about volunteer opportunities as well as provide information to help newcomers integrate into the community.

A 20-minute visit turned into two hours, Sardinha said, with much interest in policing.

The language class was then invited to tour the police station, so about 20 people from countries including Japan, Romania, Italy, Syria, Mexico and Germany participated.

Read more: Salmon Arm council to lobby for highway improvements, police officers and more

Read more: 2018 – Salmon Arm police hit the street with foot patrols

Sardinha and Staff Sgt. Scott West were two of the officers involved in the visit.

“They really enjoyed learning more about the judicial system from the policing perspective as well as being able to try on some of the bullet-proof vests and the equipment,” West said, adding with a smile: “There might be the odd picture with somebody in handcuffs dangling in front of them.”

Sardinha said the participants were able to talk to police officers who helped, in some cases, to dispel fears.

“What we were trying to get out of it was to get some people volunteering for citizens’ patrol, and just get to know their police department and know police aren’t bad,” he said. “I told them I live in the same community as you do. If you see me, wave at me, say ‘hi’ to me. I’m not a policeman when I’m out walking with my family.”

Mehrnaz Kobari, a settlement worker with Shuswap Immigrant Services Society, said relationships in different countries can be very different with police.

“The visit to the station is the first step in introducing them and getting them connected with the RCMP.

She notes the introductions and information-gathering go both ways.

“So the community partners will know there is a lot of diversity in Salmon Arm…”



marthawickett@saobserver.net

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

#Salmon ArmRCMP

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

Staff Sgt. Scott West helps tour new immigrants to Canada around the Salmon Arm RCMP detachment in January to get an inside view of police operations. (Contributed)

Just Posted

Salmon Arm Rotary Club donates $10,000 to local food banks

Community groups step up for Second Harvest and Salvation Army food banks

Concerns raised by SAFE Society about effects of COVID-19 isolation on domestic violence

Salmon Arm Women’s Shelter open, programs and services still running but funds, supplies needed

Development plans in Salmon Arm move forward despite pandemic

March building stats up over last year, city’s planning meeting includes seven applications

Okanagan College student in Salmon Arm designs map tracking spread of COVID-19 in B.C.

Sean Heddle says fighting complacency and misinformation is important

Q&A: Interior Health CEO answers questions on COVID-19 response

Susan Brown, president and CEO of Interior Health, answers questions regarding COVID-19

‘We don’t need this right now’: B.C. man breaks up road rage incident

Two men were throwing punches on Tillicum Road in Saanich on Vancouver Island

‘We will get through this’: B.C. sees new COVID-19 death, but 57% have recovered

A total of 1,066 people have tested positive for the novel coronavirus

Canada’s 75% wage subsidy is coming, but not for several weeks: finance minister

Subsidy will cost Canada $71 billion, but push down cost of emergency benefit, Morneau said

Orchardists face challenges from COVID-19 pandemic

Physical distancing and availability of workers will affect fruit growing operations and harvest

Eleven dogs rescued; transported from Texas to the Okanagan despite pandemic

Helping Paws Okanagan rescued 11 dogs from Texas on March 28

North Okanagan mailbox break-ins deliver upset

Parcels stolen from boxes in the Vernon area

COVID-19: ‘The Ballad of Bonnie Henry’ recorded and released

LISTEN: Quick turnaround for song penned by B.C. Order of Canada musician Phil Dwyer

HERGOTT: COVID-19 and legal issues

Paul Hergott is a personal injury lawyer based in West Kelowna

Kelowna’s Father’s Day car show postponed

BOYD Autobody and Glass have made the decision to postpone the car show due to COVID-19

Most Read