Expect to see bolstered security in Iqaluit this summer
RCMP and QIA patrolling beach; safety issues have recently been in city’s council’s crosshairs
Iqaluit residents might notice more police and security hanging around parts of the city this summer, including the beach, where recent parties and shack fires have caught the attention of city council.
Both the Qikiqtani Inuit Association and RCMP have sent separate notices this week to alert the public of increased patrols.
Specifically, the QIA will monitor the Iqaluit Sinaa Inuit Land Owned Beach, which runs between the MOT Beach, along the breakwater, and to the Iqaluit Centennial Library.
People can expect to see more security around this area on Friday and Saturday evenings for the next five weeks.
“The increased presence is part of QIA’s planned ongoing work to ensure the Iqaluit Sinaa is safe and accessible to Qikiqtani Inuit and to support traditional harvesting activities,” states a release from the QIA.
Nobody from the association responded to questions from Nunatsiaq News about whether the increased presence is in response to recent calls from city council to the QIA to address safety issues on the waterfront.
Deputy mayor Janet Brewster said at a May 27 city council meeting she is concerned about fire hazards in the city’s beachfront shacks, and worried about the safety of the people who live in those shacks.
Hours after that meeting, two shacks were destroyed by fire and another two were damaged. Nobody was hurt in the incident.
The RCMP will also have a bigger presence on the city’s beach, including the QIA-owned beach, as well as Sylvia Grinnell Park, playgrounds around Iqaluit and Apex and at the airport.
The police will be hitting Iqaluit’s streets because the detachment is focusing on community safety and security, according to RCMP spokesperson Cpl. Pauline Melanson, and getting out in public is a good way to do that.
“This not only allows the general public to engage with the police officers and get to know who they are but it allows the police officers to learn more about the community they serve,” she wrote in an email to Nunatsiaq News.
This isn’t the first time Iqaluit’s RCMP have increased patrols during the summer weeks.
There was a bigger police presence in the summer of 2018, in reaction to what was described at the time as a “very difficult month for the detachment,” which included two homicides that May.