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RCMP launch ATV patrol

RCMP Const. Paul Cheema and Const. Jay Thandi are part of a new patrol aimed at accessing parts of the city, like off-road bike trails, the dikes and the sandy areas of Garry Point Park, that can’t be easily monitored by police in their cruisers.   - Martin van den Hemel photo
RCMP Const. Paul Cheema and Const. Jay Thandi are part of a new patrol aimed at accessing parts of the city, like off-road bike trails, the dikes and the sandy areas of Garry Point Park, that can’t be easily monitored by police in their cruisers.
— image credit: Martin van den Hemel photo

They’re not quite knights in shining armour, but if you’re a damsel in distress or a bandit bent on crime, they’ll do more than adequately.

Richmond Mounties are now launching a new patrol in areas of Richmond previously inaccessible to RCMP officers in their cruisers, bringing peace of mind to law-abiding residents.

“The detachment is always looking at new innovative ways to be proactive in police patrols and the use of the ATVs allows trained operator officers to access areas where a cruiser could not normally reach,” said RCMP Sgt. Cam Kowalski. “This new initiative combined with marine patrols, bike patrols and foot patrols provide the community with the patrol diversification that is required given the local terrain.”

Const. Paul Cheema and Const. Jay Thandi are part of the new patrol, and it’s not just bad guys they look out for.

During one patrol near Triangle Road, they encountered a woman who was in need of help after her vehicle got stuck in the sand. It was getting stuck, and that area would have been unreachable through conventional means. Fortunately for her, they were there, and contacted a tow truck firm to help her out.

And when they’re doing their thing, it’s not unusual for Cheema and Thandi to get a surprised look and a thumbs up from joggers and other trail users.

The vehicles have an impressive range, enabling the officers to patrol wide stretches of the city.

From checking for fishing licences to enforcing fire bylaws to pulling over drivers chatting on their cell phones while behind the wheel, the four-wheeled quad vehicles give the operators plenty of flexibility.

Cheema said the vehicles give the police the “surprise” factor, since they give them access to bike trails and other off-road areas where police usually don’t go.

And that means for people doing drugs, or those who take part in underage drinking and partying in remote parts of the city, they’re no longer beyond the reach of the RCMP.

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