Nunatsiaq News
NEWS: Nunavut August 08, 2012 - 5:09 am

RCMP supports call for new safety committee in Kimmirut

“This community was extremely troubled by its second volatile incident within the last four months"


The RCMP wants to see a new safety committee set up in Kimmirut to help stem the violent firearms incidents against police in that community, Supt. Hilton Smee said at an Aug. 7 news conference in Iqaluit.

The proposed safety committee would include the RCMP detachment commander, the mayor and a hamlet councillor, who would talk about issues such as alcohol education, in this community which recently decided to end its dry status, and firearms safety — “a must,” Smee said.

On July 28, an intoxicated man fired multiple rounds at the community’s RCMP detachment, while this past March, a man in Kimmirut fired multiple rounds at two RCMP staff houses.

The two recent incidents also evoke painful memories of the 2007 killing of 20-year-old Cst. Douglas Scott, for which Pingoatuk Kolola, 37, of Kimmirut was convicted of first degree murder in 2010.

That’s why the mayor and the elders of that community requested a town hall meeting, Smee said.

Smee, RCMP commanding officer Steve McVarnock, and Nunavut justice department officials attended the meeting held Aug. 3.

And the RCMP has also asked the Nunavut health department to send in a team of counselors.

“That’s because that’s the way we do things up here where there’s a critical situation, as you all know, we gather together within the community and bring together some specific cultural solutions,” Smee said.

“It’s a small community and incidents such as this have a huge impact on everyone there, and really affect the relationship and the connectedness of all parties concerned, and that includes the RCMP.”

The RCMP members who were in the Kimmirut detachment July 28 are no longer in the community, Smee said. They had been there as relief officers for the regular detachment members.

Now, two more RCMP members have also been sent to Kimmirut as reinforcements.

“They will remain there until we are certain that the risk to our police officers has been or will be reduced,” Smee said.

“This community was extremely troubled by its second volatile incident within the last four months.”

A new detachment commander is also slated to arrive in Kimmirut.

While in Kimmirut, Smee took a tour of the detachment building to see the damages done by the shooter.

“These rounds were not random and were very well placed,” Smee said.

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