Police Week 2021 – Working together to keep our communities safe
B.C., This Is What We Do
2021-05-10 15:00 PDT
Welcome to Police week! Originally created in 1970, Police Week gives police agencies across the country a chance to connect with our communities, raise awareness about what police do, and to build on some of the tremendous relationships that we have with the communities we serve.
This year’s theme
Working together to keep our communities safe is way to show how different police units, detachments, agencies, as well as partner agencies and community groups work together to keep our communities safe through law enforcement, education, harm reduction and prevention.
Each day this week the BC RCMP will be providing details on an actual file to show how internal units and our partners come together on a routine basis to help solve crime. Links will be included to the units involved in stages of the investigation to help people learn about some of the specialized training and skills that police officers utilize. Please note that the photos that will be shared throughout the week are not affiliated to the file that we are highlighting.
The Initial call
On July 13, Upper Fraser Valley Regional Detachment RCMP received a complaint of a serious assault. Officers from Chilliwack General Duty, the Lower Mainland Integrated Police Dog Service and the Chilliwack Serious Crime Unit attended the scene and the victim was transported to the Chilliwack General Hospital.
After a consultation with the hospital it was determined that the victim did not survive their injuries and the Integrated Homicide Investigation Team was called in.
After IHIT was contacted an investigative team, along with a civilian analyst and disclosure officers were sent to the scene which was being held by officers from the local detachment. By the end of the day two suspects had been identified and IHIT, along with E Division Media Relations, issued a news release with photos.
Putting it all together
Within 24 hours of identifying the two suspects Investigators were able to establish a history between the victim and suspects and a potential motive.
This investigative information led to four more scenes of relevance being identified. Additional resources from across the lower mainland were engaged to help secure them, and the Lower Mainland Emergency Response Team was called in to assist in clearing two of them.
Calling in our partners
After identifying the suspects investigators contact BC Prosecution Service.
In the first 24 hours the police units involved included frontline officers, Chilliwack Serious Crime Unit, IHIT investigators, Integrated Forensic Services. Police Dog Services, the Emergency Response Team, Surveillance Teams.
The investigation continues
The following day investigators continued to gather evidence. This included speaking with 35 witnesses. The Lower Mainland Integrated Forensic Identification Service took control to all four scenes, and Blood Pattern Analysts were engaged to process the primary scene.
And sadly, next of kin notifications were conducted in the lower mainland and on Vancouver Island.
Arresting the suspects
In an effort to locate the suspects multiple surveillance teams were activated. On the morning of July 15 one of the suspects was spotted in downtown Chilliwack.
The Tactical Covert Operations Group, the Lower Mainland Emergency Response Team, Air One, Upper Fraser Valley Regional Detachment plain clothes officers, and the IHIT arrest team were quickly mobilized.
Arrested and charged
So with the suspects in custody does the police work stop? Not yet.
Charges of second degree murder were approved against one suspect and manslaughter against the second and were provided by IHIT, the E Division Interview Team, and the UFVRD officers. In addition police coordinated interviews begin.
Support for these interviews resources are shifted to support disclosure of the investigation and witness management.
On July 19, based on the information gathered during the investigation, and from the numerous interviews and witness statements, the murder weapon was recovered.
A total of 122 exhibits require processing and numerous items were submitted to the RCMP National Forensic Laboratory for biological and toxicology analysis.
Cutting a deal
In February 2017, the lawyer for the suspect charged with Manslaughter came forward to say that their client wanted to cooperate.
This development had the potential to greatly enhance the prosecution efforts, and the assessment process began which involved numerous stages of approval.
Eventually the suspect provided information which was not previously known and they were granted limited immunity.
The suspect charge with second degree murder eventually pled guilty to manslaughter and in September, 2018 was sentenced to 14 years in jail.
The first suspect was arrested without incident at 10:24 a.m. and second suspect was arrested at 2:53 p.m.
Working together to solve a crime
So what did it take to solve a murder where suspects were identified and arrested two days later?
In total over 150 police officers from across the lower mainland from the RCMP, Abbotsford Police Department, Port Moody Police Department, West Vancouver Police Department, and New Westminster Police Department.
A total of 356 individual investigative tasks were completed, 34 witness interviews were conducted, nine sites were searched and five search warrants were conducted.
While a police department may be funded by a community law enforcement agencies work closely together to share information and will work closely together on police files.
Internally, highly specialized units will work together to collect evidence and provide operational and investigative support all with the goal of working together to keep our communities safe.
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