Prince George RCMP Superintendent Shaun Wright believes the Independent Investigations Office should expand its presence in the north.
He is lobbying for an office to be built in our region after an active shooter event in Vanderhoof as well as a fatal on Highway 97 south of PG that claimed a man’s life.
Wright told Vista Radio with BC’s road network facing major challenges due to flooding and landslides, getting the IIO up here from Surrey is proving to be a bit of a chore.
“Obviously, with all of the travel restrictions and issues throughout the province, it’s an issue for them to come up here in a timely manner to investigate that. It is detrimental to the current geographical distance.”
PG’s top cop believes a northern hub would be a welcomed addition in major cases.
“I would like to see that. I know in conversations the IIO would as well but it is a funding issue to run two separate offices. That is expensive and I think there would need to be a significant boost in funding.”
Wright was also asked if Canada’s Alert Ready system should be used more often in light of the recent incident in Vanderhoof where the suspect has now been identified as Paul Nicholas Russell.
In that case, the alert system did its job but, Wright is of the opinion it could lose its value if used too often.
“I think it would be a very rare circumstance where we would use it. If you look at the Alert Ready website, it’s only been used a handful of times across the country. I think the danger there is if you use it too much, it really waters down the effect that it has.”
“It’s a rare circumstance where we would utilize the alert because it needs to be an active threat that’s not contained by us that presents a general danger to the general public. Thankfully, those situations are quite rare.”