White Rock’s new top cop faced city council Monday evening to discuss his initial priorities.
Staff Sgt. Daryl Creighton took over the helm from Staff Sgt. Lesli Roseberry about two months ago. He said one of his first priorities as detachment commander is to strengthen communication with the public.
Creighton told councillors the detachment will be reaching out to the community by reinitiating its White Rock RCMP website, being more active on Facebook and Twitter, effectuating Coffee with a Cop and providing information through Peace Arch News.
A message Creighton wanted to emphasize was “no call is too small.”
“If there’s something in the community – something that bothers you, whether it’s illegal or simply a nuisance – by all means call,” he said at the meeting.
“When you report something, it’s important to do so in a very timely manner.”
Following Creighton’s presentation, Coun. David Chesney said he noticed – from talking to residents – an increase in property crime. He asked if the RCMP noticed the same, and what is going to be done to address the matter.
“Yeah, there has been a spike in property crime, for certain,” Creighton replied.
“Primarily break and enters to apartment-building undergrounds in which the suspects will break in, break into cars after that (and) take properties up to pawn shops (and) trade it for drugs.”
He said officers have increased patrols in problem areas and increased street checks, and that police are keen to talk to individuals who are wandering in the middle of the night with no explanation of where they live or why they are in the area.
A noticeable trend is an increase of transient criminals, he said.
“It’s a very common theme we’re seeing throughout the Lower Mainland right now,” he told PAN after the meeting.
People he had arrested while stationed in Maple Ridge have been stopped in street checks by White Rock patrol officers, he said.
“The heat is on sometimes – people just feel they can commit the crime and escape to a different community,” Creighton said, citing one reason criminals move around.
Creighton told council members he has 24 years of law enforcement experience and has worked out of the Langley, Surrey and, most recently, the Ridge Meadows detachment.
He spent about half his career working in uniform and the other half working as a plain-clothes officer.
He was a member of several property target teams, a street-enforcement unit, drug section and serious crime, and spent 10 years as a member of the Emergency Response Team (ERT).
Next Month, Creighton – with help from the city’s communications department – will host a live question-and-answer session on Facebook Live.
A date hasn’t been set for the online event, but Creighton expects it to be sometime during the second week of December.
“It’s a little bit different because people can remain anonymous. There’s some anonymity to it. It opens me up a bit and gives them an opportunity to criticize baselessly. But that’s fine, we’ll see how it goes.”