The new commander of Yellowknife’s RCMP detachment believes extra downtown patrols are making a difference.
Inspector Matt Peggs, previously in Saskatchewan, took charge as Yellowknife detachment commander around three months ago.
One of the first changes he has overseen is an increase in downtown patrols, partly in response to the City of Yellowknife urging that public drunkenness be tackled.
Two-hour patrols, usually in teams of two, have been taking place since September.
“Since September we have done 44 of these – going through the malls, downtown, along the trail and elsewhere,” Peggs told Moose FM.
“The reaction from the public has been very positive. People like to know what the police are doing. They like to have the police visible, to know that they’re working toward enhancing their public safety.
“The patrols are simply a part of that presence, and that’s a presence we’re trying to increase.”
‘Right place, right time’
On Tuesday this week, an RCMP officer on foot patrol stopped what police say could have become a knife attack.
According to a news release, the officer was on Franklin Avenue near 48th Street when a woman pointed out two men yelling at each other.
“One of the men was armed with a knife and was advancing towards the other man,” continues the statement, “but he threw the knife into a snowbank when the officer made verbal contact. The man who had the knife was arrested without incident.
“Charges of possession of a weapon for a dangerous purpose and uttering threats are pending.”
Peggs added: “We were luckily in the right place at the right time and able to stop the incident before it went much further.
“Instead of being reactive and waiting till we got a call to go down somewhere, we decided to spend a little more proactive time to assist in public safety.
“The longer that we’re out in the public, the more people see us and know that we’re out there, doing our jobs.”