Gang and organized crime-related activities and violence impacts every community in British Columbia. (Photo - CFSEU)
This past July, the Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit of British Columbia (CFSEU-BC) led a month-long initiative in collaboration with the Kelowna, Kamloops, Vernon-North Okanagan, and Penticton RCMP Detachments, as well as BC Highway Patrol, in an effort to reduce opportunities for gang violence in identified high-risk places and times. The intent was to mitigate, disrupt, and suppress violence through proactive and high visibility enforcement.
Gang and organized crime-related activities and violence impacts every community in British Columbia. CFSEU-BC regularly leads proactive initiatives in partnership with policing agencies throughout the province using both current intelligence and historical gang violence trends to inform strategic deployment targeting identified locations and individuals that pose a threat to public safety due to violent gang-related activity.
Working with our partners in the Thompson and Okanagan regions, utilizing intelligence-led, proactive uniform-based patrols in these jurisdictions enhanced our collective effectiveness to disrupt gang activity and to interdict illegal weapons and commodities.
An analysis of previous gang-related activity in the Thompson/Okanagan enabled the strategic deployment of the CFSEU-BC’s Uniform Gang Enforcement Team (UGET) into identified areas during specific times of the day and days of the week. CFSEU-BC’s UGET worked with officers and analysts from the partner agencies to enhance their respective suppression and enforcement efforts.
Throughout the initiative CFSEU-BC’s UGET seized:
• 1.84 kilograms of illicit drugs (e.g., cocaine, methamphetamine, fentanyl, benzodiazepines etc.)
• 224 kilograms of non-government issued cannabis and 211 grams of shatter (plus drug lab equipment)
• 3 firearms (plus 6 other types of firearms – e.g. airsoft etc.)
• An assortment of 47 weapons (e.g., taser, knives, machetes, hatchet, carbon fiber brass
knuckles, bear spray, metal baton etc.)
• $12,570 cash
The combined estimated street value of the illicit drugs is estimated at approximately $670,000 and the amount of fentanyl seized is equivalent to approximately 29,000 lethal doses.
"CFSEU-BC’s collaboration with the Kelowna Regional Detachment has been exceptional this year. During the summer months, with the increase in visitors to the Okanagan, the focused efforts of the UGET team were essential to increasing the safety in Public Spaces within the Community," says Inspector Beth McAndie, Investigative Services Officer for Kelowna Regional Detachment. "The presence and enforcement action provided was key to Kelowna’s ability to ensure public safety to our community."
"CFSEU-BC will continue to collaborate in coordinated policing efforts with local RCMP agencies to keep the Thompson / Okanagan region safe from the threats posed by organized crime and gang violence. We remain committed to a multi-facetted approach including enforcement, disruption, and suppression, along with education to prevent gang involvement, and intervention and exiting services to help high-risk individuals who want to leave the dead-end gang lifestyle. I encourage you to visit our website at www.cfseu.bc.ca/end-gang-life to see how you can play a positive role in your community, school or family and help us end gang life" says Superintendent Alison Laurin, CFSEU-BC’s Deputy Operations Support Officer.
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