RCMP deploys special unit in Comox Valley to combat organized crime

Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit spends four days targeting organized crime in Courtenay

The Comox Valley RCMP called in some reinforcements over the weekend.

After two shootings just a day apart, members of the Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit of British Columbia’s (CFSEU-BC) Uniform Gang Enforcement Team (UGET) were deployed in the Comox Valley.

Courtenay Mayor Bob Wells, who had a meeting with members of the local detachment following the shootings, said he was aware of the plans to bring in the special unit.

“I did indeed know about it,” said Wells. “When I met with the RCMP after the shootings they informed me that this is what they planned on doing, and to keep quiet on it because they didn’t want anyone to be aware of what was happening.

“The fact that we got the crack team of B.C. coming in to ferret out … assist the local RCMP, I think that’s amazing. It’s awesome teamwork, very targeted, and can be very effective in terms of trying to turn things around.”

According to a press release issued by the Comox Valley RCMP, the purpose of UGET is to mitigate, disrupt, and suppress any further violence. The police officers conduct active and high visibility enforcement in the community, including on those individuals or groups that may be posing the greatest risk to public safety due to their involvement in gang or organized crime activity.

“One of the integral components of the overall CFSEU-BC enforcement strategy are the Uniform Gang Enforcement Teams (UGET),” says Sgt. Brenda Winpenny, CFSEU-BC media relations officer. “UGET represents the overt, tactical and specialized uniform presence of CFSEU-BC, which will directly interact with individuals involved in organized criminal activity to help our agency deliver on our mandate. Providing UGET support to Comox Valley is a positive for the community and law enforcement.”

Over four days in the Comox Valley, UGET members checked numerous cars and people, almost all of them with associations to the street-level drug trade. The team seized drugs, cell phones, a machete, knives, three replica firearms, a smoke grenade and one rifle.

“The attendance of these additional police officers was noticed by the general public and by those involved in criminal activity,” said Staff Sgt. Glen Breckon, Comox Valley RCMP Major Crime Unit. “We are sending a strong message that violence will not be tolerated in this community.”

Wells said the while the weekend blitz was effective, the battle against organized crime in the Comox Valley is an ongoing effort.

“Right after the election, before I was even sworn in, we had a meeting to talk about some of the major issues in town, and this [organized crime] was one of them,” said Wells. “One of the other things that they have started to do is the community policing, where they are walking around, and have the cycling RCMP officers, and are able to get into the nooks and crannies of the city that otherwise would kind of be left unto themselves.

“What I said before, and I will reiterate, we really want people to know that if they see or hear anything suspicious that they let the RCMP know about it. Even if they can’t respond right away, it can be put into their ‘hot list’ of places so they can keep the pressure on. I think that is really the key going forward. We want to keep applying that pressure so that people know this type of anti-social behavior will not be tolerated in our community.”

The Record has reached out to the RCMP for additional details on the weekend deployment.

Just Posted

Age-old prank turns Chemainus water wheel into giant washing machine

Foam spews around the community after soap added to churning water

Hooked art captures attention at Galvin’s Chemainus studio

Climate change theme brings together some amazing work

Chemainus Bluegrass Extravaganza hits all the right notes

Festival season bringing music fans out in droves

Island pickleball players perfectly prepared

Top-notch action at Fuller Lake Park in singles, doubles and mixed doubles

VIDEO: B.C. MLA Michelle Stilwell takes first steps in nearly 30 years

‘It actually felt like walking. It’s been 27 years… but it felt realistic to me’

Report of dead body in B.C. park actually headless sex doll

This discovery, made at Manning Park on July 10, led police to uncovering two other sex mannequins

Grand Forks fire chief found to have bullied, harassed volunteer firefighter: report

WorkSafeBC, third-party human resources investigation looking into allegations complete

Dog recovering after being drenched in hot coffee, B.C. man charged

Man was taken into custody, charged, and released pending a court date

Taekwondo instructor, 21, identified as B.C. bat rabies victim

Nick Major, 21, an instructor at Cascadia Martial Arts in Parksville

Science expedition to Canada’s largest underwater volcano departs Vancouver Island

Crews prepared for a two-week research mission to the Explorer Seamount

B.C. shipyard to get one-third of $1.5 billion frigate-repair contract

The federal government has promised to invest $7.5 billion to maintain the 12 frigates

15-year-old with imitation gun caused ‘dynamic’ scene at Nanaimo mall

No one was harmed in Monday’s incident, say Nanaimo RCMP

Worried about bats? Here’s what to do if you come across one in B.C.

Bat expert with the BC Community Bat Program urges caution around the small creatures

Most Read