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Analysis of CPC Report released January 29.

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1 - Background

2 - "E" Division Specifics 3 - Of note

4 - Strategic Considerations

5 - Attachments: Recommendations Summary, Media Clippings, CPC News Release

1 -Background:

On January 29,2009 Paul E. Kennedy, Chair of the Commission for Public Complaints Against the RCMP (CPC) released an in-depth 200 page analysis ofRCMP performance in relation to the complaints process. It focused on all RCMP public complaint decisions from 2007 across the country, broken down by region, province and territory, and in some cases by detachment. The total number of allegations made were 3,104 across the country, and 614 (approx 20%) of those were from "E" Division.

2- "E" Division Specifics:2

There were 614 complaint dispositions from "E" Division related to complaints lodged in 2007. (413 lodged with the Commission, 201 with the RCMP)

The dispositions were fairly evenly distributed, but 8 detachments were singled out as having the highest number: Surrey (7%), Kelowna (6%), Kamloops (5%), Prince George (5%), Coquitlam (4%), North Vancouver (4%), Richmond (4%), Langley (4%).

The highest allegations were related to: "Neglect of Duty" (29%), "Improper Attitude" (21%) and "Improper Use of Force" (13%).

The most common issues outlined in the complaints were: "Attitude" (18%), "Arrest" (10%), "Criminal Investigation Quality (RCMP)" (9%) and "Vehicular Incidents" (9%).

Processing times: In "E" Division it took 111 days to issue a disposition once a complaint was lodged. This is in comparison to the RCMP national average of 114 days

It typically took complainants 180 days after the incident date to file a complaint Complaints involving "Improper Use of Firearms" allegations took the longest time (235 days) to issue dispositions. All of the complaints alleging this activity were formally investigated and a Final Report was issued by the RCMP in this division.

Of the complaints received: 248 (40%) were formally investigated and a Final Report by the RCMP was issued, 219 (36%) were settled through informal resolutions, 82 (13%) of the complaints were withdrawn by the complainant, 65 (11 %) were terminated by the RCMP

3 - DfNote:

1 All information obtained from the "Review of the RCMP's Public Complaint Records" report published on the CPC website at http://www . cpc-cpp. gc. caJprr/rep/ sir/rr -eb/index -eng. aspx

2 The full "E" Division report can be found at http://www.cpc-cpp.gc.caJprr/rep/sir/rr-eb/rr_eb22-eng.aspx 1

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For the vast majority of complaints that were formally investigated (which is 41 % nationally of the total received) only 10% were found supported by the RCMP.

For the Pacific Region (they don't break it down by Division unfortunately) only 9 % of the allegations formally investigated with supported.

The report does recognize that chronic or multiple complainants can potentially skew the results. "There are a small percentage of complainants who are chronic in nature and file multiple complaints, spanning many years, and involving many different members and detachments. While their concerns should always be addressed, chronic complainants can put a strain on the resources of the RCMP public complaint process. For complaints lodged in 2007, the Commission found that of the 1,347 identified complainants, 84 or 6% could be considered multiple complainants."

The "top eight" detachments in "E" Division in terms of numbers of complaints correspond quite evenly with the highest populations and number of police officers per municipality.' The only two exceptions that didn't make the list were Burnaby and Nanaimo. It stands to reason that the cities with the most people and police officers will generate the highest number of complaints.

4 - Strategic Considerations:

This is a very long, detailed report (200 pages) with a huge number of figures and percentages. It is likely that most individuals and media won't take the time to read the entire document but will rely heavily on the introduction, recommendations, and the media release issued by the CPC. It is interesting to note that none of these three documents refer to the huge proportion of unsupported allegations found in complaints that were formally investigated (which is 41% nationally of the complaints received.) As mentioned earlier only 10 % of allegations were found to be supported nationally and 9 % in the Pacific Region of those complaints formally investigated.

In reviewing two articles already published on the report, one in the Canadian Press, one in the Vancouver Sun online, the main focus of the articles are:

The RCMP resolve too many serious complaints informally, often with "shoddy" paper work. This includes cases involving Tasers, pepper spray and incidents were people have been injured as a result of use of force.

Improvement is needed in the way the RCMP handles complaints in order to improve public trust and accountability

A third of allegations involve neglect of duty, 20% were for improper attitude, 13 % were for improper use of force

Half of the allegations involving improper use of force were resolved in "a manner the commission deemed inappropriate"

The RCMP don't have a clear definition of "serious misconduct" which sets the bar for requiring a formal investigation

3 Statistical data obtained from the report "Police Resources in British Columbia, 2007" http://www.pssg.gov.bc.ca/police _ services/publications/ statistics/policeresourcesinbc. pdf 2

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There was "mixed reaction" from the RCMP when the CPC asked for more information on informal complaints.

The report comes at a time of public scrutiny for the RCMP in light of the public inquiry into the death of Robert Dziekanski.

5 - Attachments

Summary of Recommendations Outlined in the Report:

1) Force-wide meeting of Professional Standards Units and the CPC to discuss best practices

2) Articulate in a directive when informal resolution is appropriate, how public complaints should be processed, when it is appropriate to terminate a complaint

3) Implement a more effective means of tracking public complaints

4) Better training and manuals related to the public complaint process

5) Improve service standards by reducing wait times and speed up processing times for complain dispositions

6) Provide all complaint dispositions to the Commission concurrent to the providing it to member and complainant.

Media Summaries:

Complaints against Mounties need to be more transparent: Watchdog Vancouver Sun - January 29,2009

By Janice Tibbetts

OTTAWA - The RCMP resolve too many serious complaints informally, including allegations of excessive force, injuring people, and firing Taser stun guns and pepper spray, says the independent watchdog for the national police force.

In a report released Thursday, the Commission of Public Complaints Against the RCMP warned that the Mounties could undermine public trust if they do not make their complaints process more formal, thorough, transparent and consistent nationwide.

"The commission is concerned that the RCMP has informally resolved serious allegations typically involving use of force," said the report, which was the agency's first national examination of how the RCMP resolve complaints. "This severely undermines the public complaints process and limits the effectiveness of police oversight. "

The report said that 3,104 allegations were made against the RCMP in 2007. Almost one-third involved neglect of duty, while 20 per cent were for improper attitude and 13 per cent were for improper use of force.

The commission said that the RCMP settled 30 per cent of complaints through an informal process, and that the paper work was often shoddy. For instance, it was sometimes unclear what course of corrective action, if any, was taken or even whether the implicated Mountie knew of the complaint.

Almost half of the allegations involving the improper use of force were resolved informally "in a manner the commission deemed inappropriate," said the report.

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"We have cases where the Taser has been used, pepper spray has been used and the ones when the use of force resulted in injury, all of which have fallen under the heading of informal resolution and I don't think this stuff qualifies," said Paul Kennedy, chair of the complaints commtssion.

The study uncovered incidents where complainants required medical attention after an officer used excessive force, but the allegations were still handled informally.

Any complaint involving excessive force should be handled formally by RCMP investigators not connected to the incident and they should issue reports on their findings that include recommendations, said Kennedy.

The commission also fingered the Mounties for not having a clear definition of "serious misconduct" - the bar for requiring a formal investigation rather than an informal one.

The informal process was most often used in the Northwest Territories and Nunavut, said the report.

The report notes that the commission has received mixed reaction from the RCMP when seeking more information about complaints that were handled informally. In some cases, the RCMP revisited the complaints in question but at other times, detachments asserted that their initial probes had been sufficient.

The findings come at a time when the RCMP are under scrutiny for its use of Tasers, including an ongoing public inquiry in Vancouver into the death of Robert Dziekanski, who died at the Vancouver International Airport in October 2007 after he had been Tasered five times.

Earlier this month, Kennedy announced the commission would conduct a separate investigation involving the approximately 10 people who have died by Taser shots since the RCMP started using the stun guns in 2001.

Agency wants changes in RCMP complaints process The Canadian Press - January 29,2009

OTT A W A - The RCMP should change the way it handles complaints from the public to improve people's trust in the whole grievance system, a watchdog agency said Thursday. Paul Kennedy, chair of the Commission for Public Complaints Against the RCMP, said the Mounties should speed up the handling of these files.

He also said they should have to give his agency copies of all complaints filed against the force and ensure that standard grievance procedures are used across the country.

"We are currently looking at a model where the RCMP handles over 90 per cent of public complaint investigations," Kennedy said.

"We want to ensure public trust in the integrity of the complaint system."

The commission reviewed more than 3,000 complaints filed against the Mounties last year and found that 29 per cent involved neglect of duty, another 20 per cent dealt with improper attitude and 13 per cent claimed improper use of force.

The survey was the first ever review of complaints on a national basis.

"This report provides national and regional perspectives on overall RCMP performance as we strive to improve transparency and accountability and bring uniformity to the complaint process across the country." Kennedy said.

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News Release by CPC:

CPC Chair Releases In-Depth Analysis of RCMP Public Complaint Records

OTTAWA, January 29,2009 - Paul E. Kennedy, Chair of the Commission for Public Complaints Against the RCMP (CPC), today released his findings and recommendations related to the Commission's first ever analysis of the RCMP's performance in the public complaint process, entitled Review of the RCMP's Public Complaint Records - 2007.

"The Commission is the custodian of the entire complaint process on behalf of the Canadian public. We are currently looking at a model where the RCMP handles over 90 percent of public complaint investigations," said Mr. Kennedy. "We want to ensure public trust in the integrity of the complaint system. This report provides national and regional perspectives on overall RCMP performance as we strive to improve transparency and accountability and bring uniformity to the complaint process across the country."

The report examined all public complaint decisions authored by the RCMP in 2007. It looked at such issues as the timeliness in processing complaints, the appropriateness of investigation findings, variations in procedures within the RCMP across Canada, in particular Northern and remote areas, the misclassification of allegations, the unusual number of complaint withdrawals and the inappropriate informal resolution of complaints.

Key recommendations made by Mr. Kennedy in the report include the following:

That the RCMP improve the tracking of public complaints and that all divisions and detachments provide the Commission a copy of all complaints that are filed directly with the RCMP in the first instance.

That the RCMP appropriately train its complaint investigators and adjudicators and that any existing manuals be immediately updated to ensure a standardized national approach to the treatment of public complaints.

That the RCMP commit to improving its service standards by reducing wait times for the investigation and resolution of public complaints.

The study found that a total of 3,104 allegations were made against the RCMP and its members in 2007. The most common complaint allegations as identified by the RCMP were Neglect of Duty (29%), Improper Attitude (20%) and Improper Use of Force (13%).

The Commission believes this type of research has exceptional value in increasing cooperation between the Commission and the RCMP. It received excellent cooperation from the RCMP throughout the investigation, particularly from its Professional Standards Unit. The report has assisted in reducing the RCMP's large backlog of outstanding complaint resolutions; has identified areas of good and poor performance by RCMP investigators and adjudicators; and identified trends that can be utilized to improve the quality and effectiveness of the overall public complaint system and enhance accountability to the Canadian public.

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The full report can be found on the CPC website at http://www.cpc-cpp.gc.ca.

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For more information, please contact:

Nelson Kalil

Manager, Communications 613-952-2452 nelson.kalil@cpc-cpp.gc.ca

Prepared by:

Carly Paice, Communications Analyst

RCMP "E" Division, Strategic Communications

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The Lower Mainland Emergency Response Team - News Releases & News Coverage This analysis examines news releases and news coverage of the Lower Mainland District Emergency Response Team from January 01,2009 to December 10, 2009. A keyword search function was utilized, both on the BC RCMP public website (for news releases) as well as provincial and local Blackpress community papers, for a total of 75 publications in B.C.

News Releases

~ 41 news releases were posted to bc.rcmp.ca that mentioned the Emergency Response T earn within Detachments around the Lower Mainland District.

17 news releases included the category "Emergency Response Team" on the website, allowing the public to see all news articles that fall under that category.

21 news releases referred to Lower Mainland District Emergency Response Team and 20 referred only to Emergency Response Team (but were within the jurisdiction ofLMD ERT)

~ Examples of the more notable releases include:

Burnaby - Strike Force and LMD ERT execute a search warrant (Dec 03, 2009)

With assistance from LMD ERT, Burnaby RCMP seized 15 high powered rifles, bullet proof vests, ammunition and 10,000$ cash.

Chilliwack - Male Arrested with Loaded Firearm (Nov 30,2009)

A member ofLMD ERT conducted a street check that lead to the recovery of a loaded firearm and crack cocaine.

Chilliwack - Two Arrested for Extortion (Nov 09,2009)

LMD ERT assisted in the arrest of two males in connection with an extortion and aggravated assault file.

Hope - Local Officer Receives Award for Highest Performance on ERT Training

Cst Elliot Forwell is honoured with the first ever Derek Flanagan Memorial Cup for highest performance in ERT training. Cst. Forwell was scheduled to join the LMD ERT team after his training.

Surrey - Apology to Three Mistakenly Arrested Individuals (May 2009)

Surrey RCMP and the Lower Mainland District Regional Police Service apologized to three individuals who were mistakenly arrested and injured last November during the execution of a lawful drug and weapons search warrant by LMD ERT at 13646 105 A Avenue, Surrey, BC.

Media Conference with Border Integrity (March 2009)

Sgt Rob Tan ofLMD ERT participated in a demonstration of body-piercing ammunition that was seized in Vancouver.

Richmond - Three more arrests in biggest clan lab ever located in BC

LMD ERT assisted the "E" Division Federal Drug Enforcement in relation to a Super Lab in

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Richmond.

Community Events - ERT was mentioned as having participated in - The Junior Police Academy

- The Abbotsford Air Show

- Charity Stuff the Cruiser Event in Chilliwack

News Coverage

A search of provincial papers (Vancouver Sun, Province, Times Colonist) as well as the Black Press Community Papers (71 local papers across BC) with the key word "Emergency Response Team" was conducted. The results were filtered manually for content specifically related to the LMDERT.

~ 40 articles were found that referred to the Emergency Response Team in the LMD.

~ Half of the articles (20) specifically mentioned Lower Mainland District Emergency Response Team, as opposed to the other half that just mentioned Emergency Response Team.

In the vast majority of the articles, ERT was mentioned as playing an assistance role to a Detachment for an arrest or execution of a warrant.

~ There were two exceptions to this, where the main focus of the article was the LMD ERT

~ One was a positive, pro-active article that appeared in the Surrey Leader, written by reporter Ryan Starr who spent the day at a training session with ERT in Chilliwack. The article originally appeared in the paper in December 2008 but was re-printed in June, 2009. This 2 page spread was an in-depth profile on LMD ERT highlighted some of the special training and abilities of the team.

The other example appeared in both provincial and local papers, with headlines focusing on ER T kicking the wrong door and mistakenly arresting three individuals (a file from November 2008, which made headlines in May 2009.) The articles acknowledged that the RCMP had apologized to these individuals, but criticized a lack of information and questioned how such a mistake could have happened.

Out of 40 articles analyzed, three LMD ER T members are quoted (all in one newspaper article - the Surrey Leader feature story): Insp. Dave Debolt, Sgt. Rob Tan, and Cpl Howard Lee.

All other articles either had no Media Relations Officer quoted, or used the spokesperson from the Detachment or District.

Quotable Quotes

The ERT was called in case the home had to be entered, Shoihet said, noting it was not a "guns-blazing" response. "There wasn't any anticipated threat. They just anticipated entry into the house." - Peace Arch News

Insp. Derren Lench said the Emergency Response Team, which is fully trained on dealing with armed individuals, entered the home and arrested the man under the Mental Health Act. - Maple

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Ridge News

"The RCMP acted quickly and diligently which has led to three men in custody," [Cpl Jennifer] Pound said. "This was a collective effort between Richmond general duty members, bike section, Lower Mainland Emergency Response Team, Air 1, Police Dog Service and Deas Island Highway Patrol." - Richmond Review

As the door was burst open, the three men glimpsed black-clad members of the Emergency Response Team dressed in balaclavas. Laser beams from rifles targeted them and a dog was set loose. "It was scary. The dog was gigantic, with a head like a lion," said Bosir, 40. - The Province

"The police sent in a dog when they didn't know who was in there," said Craig Costantino, the men's lawyer. "It's hard to believe police didn't see it was the wrong door. It has big numerals." - The Province

It [the Graham McMynn file] also showcased the prowess of the Lower Mainland District ERT, the Surrey-based elite special forces unit tasked with carrying out the RCMP' s riskiest operations. - Surrey Leader

"As far as police tactics go, the ERT is the highest level there is in our line of work," says Tan. "We're living the dream." - Surrey Leader

"Quite frankly, the business case would never have been approved if we hadn't been able to show the increase in risk to the public and the (RCMP) members by not having this," Inspector Dave Debolt says. [ ... ] He now oversees the nation's largest full-time ERT - an elite weapons and tactical force that's well-equipped to defuse any crisis, 2417. - Surrey Leader

"It's a quiet confidence," [Sgt Rob] Tan says. "We believe in ourselves, our teammates and our abilities." ERT members know they're good at what they do. But they also know it's important to recognize one's limitations. "You have to be humble," Tan says. "Because the minute you think you know everything, you're going to overlook something and get caught." - Surrey Leader

Recommendations

~ Continue to reinforce to Media Relations Officers that they include mention of the assistance role of the LMD ERT within their news releases when appropriate.

Encourage Media Relations Officers to use the terminology "Lower Mainland District Emergency Response Team" instead of just "Emergency Response Team" in their news releases so as not to confuse the LMD team with the other Emergency Response Teams in the province.

Consider another feature story with one of the community papers on some of the specialized skills and abilities the LMD ER T has to offer within the communities they serve. This will help build awareness for when the public sees LMD ERT members around in the community or responding to a file.

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News Articles

Friday, December 04,2009

Received I Recu: 2009-12-043:06 AM THE PROVINCE (FINAL) NEWS, Page: A7

Two men face charges over weapons raid News Services

Two men were arrested and face weapons charges after the Burnaby RCMP Strike Force team seized 15 high-powered rifles/handguns, bulletproof vests, ammunition and $10,000 cash at a Burnaby home.

It was the largest cache of weapons the team has ever seized.

The strike force was backed by the Lower Mainland Emergency Response Team when they con-verged on a residence in the

4800-block Brentwood Drive on Nov. 20.

"We are extremely pleased with this seizure. There is no doubt in my mind had these weapons not been taken off the street they would have been used for sinister criminal purposes," said Sgt. Andy LeClair, in charge of the Burnaby Strike Force.

The investigation into the origin of the weapons is ongoing, police said Thursday.

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Burnaby RCMP seize huge haul of weapons Burnaby News Leader

The Burnaby RCMP Strike Force team has executed a search warrant on a residence and seized 15 high powered rifles/handguns, bullet proof vests, ammunition and $10,000 cash.

The home is located in the 4800-block of Brentwood Drive. The seizure was made Nov. 20.

This is the largest cache of weapons the team has ever seized. Two men were arrested on Canada wide warrants and are facing multiple charges as a result.

The strike force team, assisted by the Lower Mainland Emergency Response Team, knew they were dealing with some armed and dangerous fugitives when they converged on the residence. Sgt. Andy LeClair, who is in charge of the Burnaby Strike Force Unit said, "We are extremely pleased with this seizure. There is no doubt in my mind had these weapons not been taken off the street they would have been used for sinister criminal purposes."

The investigation into the origin of the weapons is ongoing.

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18 Nov 2009

Emergency Response Team surrounds White Rock home

Peace Arch News By Tracy Holmes

Officers with the Lower Mainland Emergency Response Team surrounded a White Rock home for several hours Tuesday night, after Kelowna RCMP tipped police to a man wanted in connection with crimes in that community.

Police had attended the home in the 13800-block of Malabar Avenue several times earlier in the day to attempt an arrest, said Const. Janelle Shoihet.

They returned just after 9 p.m. after learning the 31-year-old suspect may be coming home. The ERT was called in case the home had to be entered, Shoihet said, noting it was not a "guns-blazing" response.

"There wasn't any anticipated threat. They just anticipated entry into the house." A negotiator was brought in when the suspect refused to come out of the house.

Shoihet said the man was not armed. She did not know how long he had been living at the home. He eventually emerged and was arrested without incident at about 1 a.m.

Sheriffs transported the suspect back to Kelowna on Wednesday, where he will face charges of possession of stolen property, possession of a controlled substance for the purpose of trafficking and failing to appear.

Nov 102009

Police arrest two from Delta, Langley for Chilliwack extortion bid Chilliwack Progress

By Robert Freeman

Vincenzo Lanci, 28, of Delta, and Ronny Krayem, 29, of Langley, have been charged in connection with an alleged extortion attempt in which three Chilliwack men were beaten and tortured after a drug shipment went astray.

Lanci and Krayem were remanded in custody until Thursday when they will return to provincial court in Chilliwack to face several charges of extortion, assault with a weapon, robbery and unlawful confinement.

Police said the two suspects were arrested Nov. 6 after a two-week long investigation involving over 60 members of the Chilliwack RCMP Serious Crime Unit, the Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit, the Integrated Gang Task Force, the Vancouver Police Drug Section and the Lower Mainland District Emergency Response Team.

Police allege the three Chilliwack men, two in their 40s and one in his 30s, had become involved with organized criminals transporting illegal drugs when one shipment worth hundreds of thousands of dollars failed to show up at its destination in eastern Canada.

One of the three men was then "interviewed" by several unidentified men wearing masks and carrying automatic weapons. When his answers were not satisfactory, police allege he was severely beaten and tortured.

Eventually, all three of the Chilliwack men were bound and threatened, and their cell phones taken from them.

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The phones provided the criminals with a list of friends and families for future beatings, if the three Chilliwack men failed to pay up or recover the drugs, police said.

But in this case, Chilliwack RCMP got a tip about the extortion plot, and started an investigation which led to the arrest of the two suspects.

In late September, an Abbotsford man and two Surrey teens were arrested in connection with an attempt to extort half a million dollars from a Chilliwack businessman.

But in that case, the victim had no link to any criminal activity. Police allege he was selected for extortion solely because the suspects believed he had the ability to pay.

Friday, October 23,2009

Received I Recu: 2009-10-23 3: 15 AM VANCOUVER SUN (FINAL) WESTCOAST NEWS, Page: A14

Lockdown at school ends without incident

Anonymous report of people with weapons results in police closing street Vancouver Sun

A lockdown at a Langley elementary school Thursday ended without incident several hours later.

It was the latest in a string of incidents in the same block of208th Street near the 7300 block.

The incident began with an anonymous report at about 11 :20 a.m. that people with weapons were standing in a residential yard near Willoughby elementary school. Officers closed off 208th Street from 72nd Avenue north, locked down the school at 80th Avenue, and brought in dog services and Emergency Response Team officers.

School district spokesman Craig Spence said the perimeter lockdown at the school meant the doors were locked and shutters were closed. Students were not allowed outside the building but were free to move about inside the school.

The lockdown ended in the early afternoon.

On Aug. 21, police were at a home in the area searching for suspects linked to a robbery in Surrey. Several people were taken into custody, but were released without charge.

Oct 19,2009

Suicidal man faces firearm charge Maple Ridge News

A gun and marijuana were found early Sunday inside a Pitt Meadows home after RCMP responded to a call about a suicidal man at the property.

Police were advised around 1 :30 a.m. that a 42-year-old man in a house located in the 11900 block of Bon son Road was threatening to take his life.

Ridge Meadows RCMP contacted members of the Lower Mainland Emergency Response Team,

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as officers received information about a firearm being involved.

Insp. Derren Lench said the Emergency Response Team, which is fully trained on dealing with armed individuals, entered the home and arrested the man under the Mental Health Act.

Police also seized a gun and a small amount of what officers suspect is marijuana.

The man was taken to Ridge Meadows Hospital, where he was examined before being transported to police cells.

He has since been released from custody, with a court appearance set for Oct. 28.

Police are recommending charges of possession of a controlled drug and unsafe storage of a firearm.

Oct 152009 ER T incident

EVAN SEAL/THE LEADER

An ER T officer escorts a neighbour from the scene of a Wednesday afternoon incident. The woman was not involved in the incident.

By Black Press

simultaneous raids Langley Times

It was originally reported to police as a possible suspect-with-a-gun incident, but it turned out to be nothing more than a verbal altercation at a Surrey residence.

Surrey RCMP and members of the Emergency Response Team (ER T) surrounded the scene near 75A Avenue and 123 St. about 2 p.m. Wednesday.

No gun was found.

One person is facing charges of uttering threats.

Oct 13 2009

Drug lab, grow-op found in

By Monique Tamminga

Police raided two associated Willoughby properties, one with a grow-op and gun, the other a

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drug lab, on Tuesday, Oct. 6. Two men, aged 57 and 54, were arrested at one of the properties. Around 5 p.m., the RCMP drug section executed two simultaneous search warrants, one at 20319 - 82 Avenue and one at an allegedly associated address at 20291 - 82 Avenue.

Police were assisted by the Emergency Response Team, Air One, Langley drug section and the E Division marijuana team.

The search at 20319 yielded 75 marijuana plants and a loaded handgun, said Sgt. Peter Thiessen, of the Lower Mainland RCMP.

Entry to both homes was made by the ERT to minimize the potential for danger, Thiessen said. At the other residence, police found all the chemicals and makings for a drug lab.

Inside were three 45-gallon drums of hexane, one 45-gallon drum of methanol, one 45-gallon a drum of an unknown chemical, four 200 lb. hydrogen chloride cylinders, four five-gallon drums of isopropyl, one 125 lb. anhydrous methylamine anhydrous container, lab equipment, hoppers and pails.

No suspects were present in the second residence during the search, said Thiessen. "The chemicals listed are consistent with synthetic drug production," he said.

Less than a week earlier, the Emergency Response Team was called into to help break up a credit card factory being operated out of a house in the 19700 block of 84 Avenue.

Police from Langley RCMP's economic crime unit paired up with members of the serious crime and drug sections to execute a search warrant on the home, said police.

The search netted $20,000 in cash, a range of drugs and a credit card factory. One woman was arrested at the scene and charges are pending, said Insp. Richard Konarski.

The Willoughby area has had its share of credit card making factories, flop houses, grow-ops and crime houses over the past year.

Monday, October 05,2009

Received I Recu: 2009-10-05 4:22 AM VANCOUVER SUN (FINAL) WESTCOAST NEWS, Page: A5

Three men arrested in $500,000 extortion scheme targeting a Chilliwack businessman and his family

Neal Hall, Vancouver Sun

Police announced Friday the arrest of three men after a week-long investigation into a $500,000 extortion scheme that targeted a successful Chilliwack businessman.

Last Tuesday, the RCMP was advised of a threat made against a longtime Chilliwack businessman and his family in order to try to extort $500,000.

The man had no links to criminal activity but was selected because he had the financial means to pay the money demanded, RCMP Sgt. Peter Thiessen said.

More than 75 officers worked on the investigation, including members of the Chilliwack RCMP Serious Crime Unit, the Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit, the Integrated Gang Task Force, the Lower Mainland District Emergency Response Team, and RCMP Negotiation Team.

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Police eventually arrested three men Wednesday as they arrived at a Langley industrial area at 88th Avenue and 199th Street, expecting to collect $500,000 cash from the victim.

The heavily-armed emergency response team moved in and helped arrest the men.

Charged with extortion and uttering threats are Amit Kumar Khera, 27, of Abbotsford, Shane Bradley Werner, 19, of Surrey, and Casey Sean Corbett, 18, of Surrey.

Khera has been released on bail while Corbett and Werner have been remanded in custody.

They are scheduled to appear in court on Monday. Oct. 5.

"The two younger ones are known to police," Thiessen said. "The older one knows the victim."

He said investigators are confident they have caught all those involved in the extortion plot and that the victim or his family are no longer in danger.

Thiessen said many people are hesitant to contact police when they are extorted, but this incident illustrates that the suspects can be apprehended.

"We take these things very seriously," he said.

Sunday, October 04,2009

Received I Recu: 2009-10-043:13 AM THE PROVINCE (FINAL) NEWS, Page: A19

Extortion plot foiled

Stuart Hunter, The Province

Three men have been charged after the RCMP foiled an alleged attempt to extort $500,000 from a successful Chilliwack-area businessman.

The trio, all from the Fraser Valley, were arrested without incident on Wednesday afternoon in the Langley area after a week-long police investigation.

The extortion probe began Sept. 22 when a man told Chilliwack RCMP he and his family had been threatened and told to hand over $500,000, said RCMP Sgt. Peter Thiessen.

About 75 officers from the Chilliwack RCMP Serious Crime Unit, Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit, Integrated Gang Task Force, Lower Mainland District Emergency Response Team and RCMP Negotiation Team took part in the investigation.

"The police wish to advise the public that the victim in this case has no links to any criminal activity, and was selected by the suspects based on their belief that he had the financial means to

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fulfill their requests," Thiessen said.

Abbotsford's Amit Kumar Khera, 27, and Surrey residents Shane Bradley Werner, 19, and Casey Sean Corbett, 18, are charged with extortion and uttering threats.

Khera was released on bail. Corbett and Werner were remanded in custody and are scheduled to appear in court Monday.

shunter@theprovince.com

Sep 22 2009

Bear leads police to grow-op Langley Times

By Natasha Jones

If you go down to the woods today, you're sure of a big surprise ...

What officers from the Langley RCMP detachment did not expect was that a black bear would lead them to an outdoor marijuana plantation and a loaded weapon.

The police officers were investigating a report of the bear wandering in the area of 262 Street and Fraser Highway. The bear disappeared, but as they were searching for the animal, the officers stumbled across the pot operation with plants as high as four feet.

Two men were arrested.

Meanwhile, a tip led police to a large grow-op in the 21700 block of Telegraph Trail where the plants were just about ready for harvesting.

Langley RCMP' s drug section obtained a warrant for a search and it was carried out later that day with officers from general duty, traffic services, street enforcement unit, Air 1 and the Lower Mainland Emergency Response Team.

Cpl. Holly Marks said that there were several outbuildings on the acreage and a large number of plants spread out all over the property.

The plants were about five to eight feet tall.

Approximately 1,000 plants and several pounds of bud were seized. A loaded firearm was located in a house on the property, and RCMP are investigating who owned it.

Charges have been laid yet.

Sept 17, 2009

Police costs rise, crime rate drops Maple Ridge News

By Kerrie-Ann Schoenit

RCMP budget up 55% in past five years

Maple Ridge keeps spending more money on policing, despite the fact that the overall crime rate in the municipality continues to drop.

The district has increased its police budget by $5.7 million in the past five years. According to municipal figures, taxpayers contributed $10.4 million for police protection in 2004. This year, the budget calls for $16.1 million.

Staffing is primarily responsible for the growing budget. The majority of funding goes towards the

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RCMP contract, which accounts for cost inflation and additional members. In recent years, Maple Ridge increased the number of police officers from 66 to 86.

"If they ask for an increase in their budget, then they have to justify or quantify that," Mayor Ernie Daykin said of the RCMP.

"There is a level of accountability to council. Do we want to try and be efficient and save money? Yes, but I think there's a level of expectation out there from the community to be policed at a certain level."

The police budget also includes annual contributions to regional police initiatives like the Integrated Homicide Investigation Team, Emergency Response Team and Forensic Identification Services. While many police duties have been reassigned to these teams, RCMP officers are still responsible for day-to-day policing work in the municipality, like traffic patrols and general investigations, Daykin said.

"The integrated teams save us money in the long run," he said.

"If we had a homicide in Maple Ridge and we were doing that on our own, it would use up a huge percentage of our resources. There are still demands on the day-to-day policing work. As the community grows that work doesn't go away."

However, Maple Ridge Coun. Linda King argues that public safety should not just be about policing. It encompasses how the community is structured and the social services that are in place for the people living in it, she said.

"One of the things that happens with RCMP funding is people always think that more is a good thing," King said.

"It's that tendency that causes me every year to ask questions about whether all the public safety money ought to be there or whether it ought it be in other places, particularly given the fact that our crime rate is down quite substantially."

The crime rate in Maple Ridge decreased 18.5 per cent between 2004 and 2008, according to the most recent statistics from the Canadian Centre for Justice.

In just the past year, the number of offences per 1,000 people dropped from 126 to 106. Property crimes also declined by 20 per cent and there were 230 less vehicles stolen in 2008 compared to the year before.

However, not all crime numbers decreased. Residential break-and-enters jumped up 5.7 per cent and violent crimes slightly increased to 712 offences from 708.

Maple Ridge is mirroring provincial trends. The overall crime rate in B.C. has plummeted consistently in the past five years to a record low. Since 2003, the Canadian Centre for Justice reports that the crime rate has dropped 27 per cent and the number of offences has declined by more than 85,000.

Statistics also show decreases in property crimes, violent offences and motor vehicles thefts. However, there were 29 more homicides in B.C. in 2008 over the previous year, many of which were gang-related.

Largest-ever grow-op in Chilliwack busted by RCMP The Chilliwack Progress - Sept 10, 2009

RCMP Photo

Underground grow room discovered by Chilliwack RCMP.

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Chilliwack RCMP say they have busted the largest marijuana grow-op ever found in Chilliwack. The grow-op in an underground bunker on Nixon Road had 11,520 marijuana plants valued at over $3 million, police said.

One male suspect, unknown to police, was arrested and held in custody while the investigation continues.

Chilliwack RCMP officers and the Lower Mainland Emergency Response Team executed a search warrant at the property in the 7600-block Nixon Road at 8 a.m. Wednesday.

Police said a Quonset hut had been built over top the bunker giving the illusion of a legitimate out-building on the property.

Water was being drawn from a nearby fish-bearing creek, and chemicals were being dumped onto the property with an unknown environmental impact.

BC Environment Ministry were called in to correct any environmental damage, and steps were taken to ensure the property itself is never used for a grow-op again.

Police estimate more than $400,000 worth of electricity was stolen to power the grow-op. "While we cannot confirm any links to organized crime at this point, the level of sophistication of this grow-op suggests many people were involved in establishing and running this operation," RCMP Cpl. Lea-Anne Dunlop said.

There were two booby traps designed to spray bear spray at anyone entering the property, and security cameras were set up to monitor the grow-op from the house.

A sub-floor had been built in the hut concealing an elevator-style hydraulic lift that provided access to the underground bunker where four separate grow rooms were located.

"Dismantling a grow of this magnitude take a large coordinated effort," Dunlop said, and police were assisted by the City of Chilliwack, the Chilliwack Fire Department and BC Hydro.

Police are asking anyone who saw any suspicious activity in the rural area to call the Chilliwack RCMP at 792-4611. Anonymous tips can be made to Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222- TIPS or online at www.chilliwackcrimestoppers.ca

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Received I Recu: 2009-09-023:29 AM TIMES COLONIST (VICTORIA) (FINAL) NEWS, Page: A2

Man charged in McDonald's stabbings Canwest News Service

A Richmond man whose one-year probation for assaulting his wife had just expired, has been charged with stabbing the woman to death in a suburban McDonald's restaurant, Canwest News Service has learned.

Court records show Chang Xi Wang, 33, pleaded guilty to assaulting Yan Lin on May 9,2008, and received a conditional discharge on Aug. 26, 2008.

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He was given one year of probation and a one-year no-contact order forbidding him to contact Lin -- both of which expired two days before Lin and her male companion Zhe Hu, were attacked late Friday night.

Lin was 36; Hu was 37. Both were from Richmond. Wang was arrested Friday night, not long after the attack. His quick arrest was the result of good luck and good police work, officers said.

A member of the RCMP's Emergency Response Team happened to be on duty and was just a block away when the Richmond RCMP received a call about an altercation at the McDonald's, said Cpl. Dale Carr of the Integrated Homicide Investigation Team.

"Patrons and employees of the restaurant were quick to offer a description," Carr said. Thanks to good eyewitness information, Richmond RCMP caught Wang just a few blocks away.

Wang made a brief court appearance in a Richmond courthouse Monday. He has been remanded in custody to await a bail hearing Sept. 14. No members of the family of the victims appeared to be in court Monday.

The deaths are being described as a crime of passion.

Aug 29,2009

NEW UPDATE: Couple murdered at McDonald's were raising family, realtor says The Richmond Review

Martin van den Hemel

Two people were killed Friday night around 11 p.m. following a stabbing incident inside the McDonald's on NO.3 Road near Granville Road.

By Martin van den Hemel

New details are emerging about the two victims of Friday night's horrifying homicides inside the McDonald's on NO.3 Road.

According to realtor Linda Wang, Yan Lin, 37, and Joseph Zhe Hu, 36, have happily been living as a couple since 2004, raising three children, as well as a nephew, in the home where they had until recently been living with Lin's parents.

Wang sold the family's Riverdale Drive house early last month, and has been unsuccessful in her recent attempts to reach Lin and Hu in order to help them in their search for a bigger home. And so she was shocked to the point of tears when reached by The Richmond Review and informed of their deaths.

"I didn't know, really," Wang said Tuesday afternoon.

Wang met the family in 2004, and was unaware Lin had an estranged husband, Chang Xi Wang, who has been charged with two counts of second-degree murder. The realtor Wang said she is not related to the suspect, and did not know who he was until reading an article in a Chinese daily

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newspaper on Wednesday morning.

She expressed concern for the family, including Lin's parents who are in their late 60s and now face the prospect of raising four young children, two boys and two girls, all in elementary school or younger.

Wang rushed to the family's home on Tuesday to offer whatever help she could, even as the Asian media continued to buzz around the home where Hu and Lin lived, seeking to speak to the family and snap photographs.

"I think they are still in shock," Wang said.

Wang said she never heard mention of an ex-husband or a current husband. "They are a normal family, a normal couple."

Just two days prior to Friday's murder, the no-contact order barring Wang from being in the vicinity of both Lin and Hu had expired.

According to public court documents at Richmond provincial court, Wang was barred from contacting both Yan Lin and Joseph Zhe Hu-along with six others-as a result of an assault conviction in May of 2008. Wang was convicted of assaulting Lin, and received a conditional discharge and a one-year term of probation. He was also barred from attending two local elementary schools.

Wang was arrested just two blocks away from grisly and violent stabbing scene that horrified customers and staff at the popular eatery, Canada's first McDonald's outlet.

A source tells The Richmond Review that the ex-husband was "nearly decapitated" and that the scene that greeted investigators was a bloody mess.

On Tuesday, the Wang made a momentary appearance in Richmond provincial court dressed in white coveralls.

Sporting short black hair and a receding hairline, Wang appeared for just a few moments before being escorted back into the courthouse cells Monday around noon. He's scheduled to return to court on the morning of Sept. 14.

The restaurant was shut down Friday night, and was closed all Saturday while forensic examiners gathered evidence from the horrifying scene, which was subsequently cleaned up.

One employee said she felt uneasy about returning to work on Monday. She said she was glad she wasn't working on Friday evening.

Inside the restaurant, it appeared business as usual, though nobody was willing to talk about what happened. A couple of employees who showed up for work exchanged hugs with colleagues. Two teenage customers, who were eating their lunch just meters from where the two murders occurred, simply shrugged their shoulders when asked if it felt strange to eat so close to where two people were killed.

"It's McDonald's," one of the boys said as he munched on his lunch.

The McDonald's outlet has a closed-circuit television system with recording capability, and investigators have reviewed some video, but Carr wouldn't say precisely what the video shows.

It was through this video that police were able to describe two male witnesses they are seeking to speak to, Carr said.

The two male witnesses inside the restaurant were seated in different areas, and one was wearing an orange and brown shirt, the other carrying a red bag.

When the assault unfolded, both men exited the restaurant.

Richmond Mounties were called around 11 p.m. Friday to an altercation inside the restaurant, and found that the victims had died as a result of their injuries.

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An off-duty Lower Mainland Emergency Response Team officer was only a block from the scene at the time, and was able to respond immediately, and helped in the capture of a male a couple of blocks from the scene.

Patrons and employees at the restaurant were able to supply police with a description of the suspect, which assisted in the quick arrest.

Investigators also want to speak to a woman who was seen in the area of 8080 Granville Avenue, just east of No. 3 Road. She had brief contact with an officer controlling a police dog.

When police arrived, they shut down the restaurant and interviewed witnesses at the scene on Friday evening.

Aug 19,2009

Rifle seized: Landlord and tenant dispute resulted in police raid Surrey Leader

John Gordon / Black Press

An RCMP officer removes a rifle from a Cloverdale house.

By Black Press

The man who owned the house on the 5600 block of 188 Street in Cloverdale was convinced his tenants were up to no good.

He was sure they were using his property for drugs.

When he arrived at the house Tuesday to confront the renters, they called police.

Surrey RCMP showed up with heavily-armed members of the regional Emergency Response Team (ERT).

A search of the house failed to find any sign of illegal activity.

A rifle, believed to belong to the landlord, was removed from the house. No one was hurt.

The landlord is now facing criminal charges.

Sunday, August 09,2009

Received I Recu: 2009-08-094:08 AM TIMES COLONIST (VICTORIA) (FINAL) NEWS, Page: A7

Eleven arrested after confined man shot in Surrey Canwest News Service

Eleven people were arrested yesterday morning after Surrey RCMP and an emergency response team responded to a complaint of unlawful confinement and shooting at a residence at a park in east Surrey.

A man in his mid-20s suffered non-life threatening injuries from a gunshot wound, according to an RCMP news release.

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One woman who tried to escape was injured by a police dog unit that was assisting in the arrest.

Police aren't saying what the motive might be, and are not sure how long the man was confined for, said Insp. Randall Marquardt.

He said police are waiting for a search warrant for the house, and believe drugs may be inside.

"To say it's drug related -- we can't say because [the victim] is indicating it's for another reason, and I'm not at liberty right now to say," said Marquardt.

However, Marquardt said police don't believe the crime was gang related.

He said the victim and the 11 people arrested knew each other, but wasn't sure how.

Marquardt would not say whether the victim is known to police, but most of the people arrested -- in their mid-20s to mid-30s -- are known to police.

Aug 04,2009

One wounded in Surrey shooting Surrey Leader

By Dan Ferguson

The shooting of a 49-year-old Surrey man appears to be the result of a drug-related dispute, police said.

It happened Monday near King George and 108 Avenue shortly before 2 p.m. Witnesses said it appeared the Caucasian man had been shot in the arm and hand. Surrey RCMP would only say the injuries were not considered life-threatening. Shortly after the shooting, police surrounded a run-down house in the area.

It took nine hours before a search warrant was approved and members of the Lower Mainland Emergency Response Team could enter the house.

Some residents said the home is a suspected "crack shack" where people are coming and going at all hours of the day.

Surrey RCMP Sgt. Roger Morrow said both the injured man and the people found in the home were familiar to investigating officers.

"He is well known to us, as are the occupants of the house," Morrow said. No charges have been laid yet.

Anyone with information about the case is asked to contact the Surrey RCMP at 604 599-0502 or if you wish to remain anonymous, call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS.

Jul242009

Report of 'shots fired' leads police to grow-op Peace Arch News

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By Tracy Holmes

An anonymous call of "shots fired" led police to a marijuana grow operation Wednesday.

Police responded to an address near 195 Street and 8 Avenue around 8:40 p.m. July 22, said Sgt. Roger Morrow. The caller had told police of an unidentified woman who had told her boyfriend she was going to a place where there would be guns, said Morrow.

The Mounties' Emergency Response Team and dog squad were dispatched. They found "a few hundred" marijuana plants, and tracked one man to a nearby forested area. A 48-year-old Vancouver man was arrested.

The quantity of marijuana plants discovered was "not unusual" for grow-ops, said Morrow. Police files do not note any weapon seizure in connection with Wednesday's incident in South Surrey. Investigation is ongoing. Anyone with information is asked to contact police at 604-599-0502.

Jul242009

Police corral three men following robbery Richmond Review

Police corralled three men following an armed robbery Thursday evening.

Just before midnight on July 23, Richmond RCMP received a 911 call from a distraught female calling from her home in the 3700 block of River Road.

Cpl. Jennifer Pound said it was initially thought that RCMP members were attending a domestic but upon scene attendance it was determined that we were dealing with a robbery type situation. Police arrived on scene and noticed several men fleeing in different directions. Three of the men were quickly apprehended.

The female victim did not sustain any injuries. A male victim sustained minor injuries. They are not known to police.

"The RCMP acted quickly and diligently which has led to three men in custody," Pound said. "This was a collective effort between Richmond general duty members, bike section, Lower Mainland Emergency Response Team, Air 1, Police Dog Service and Deas Island Highway Patrol."

Police believe that items from the suspects may have been dropped in various areas while they were fleeing-such as clothing, weapons, etc.

The RCMP are asking the public, particularly the neighbouring areas of River Road, to call Richmond RCMP should they find something.

Jul212009

Police seize drugs and guns from Surrey home Surrey Leader

By Kevin Diakiw

Police say a man with a lifetime weapons ban was found this month with guns and drugs in a Whalley home.

On July 15, Surrey RCMP executed a search warrant at a residence near 94 Avenue and 128 Street after receiving information the man at that home may have firearms.

Emergency Response Team members swept the home and found a loaded .40 caliber Glock handgun as well as a sawed-off Winchester 12 gauge shotgun (not loaded).

In an adjacent garage police located two stolen motorcycles - a Kawasaki Ninja ZX7R & Suzuki

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GSX7 650 (stolen from Richmond), ammunition and drugs including marijuana, meth and crack cocame.

They also found what appeared to be a standard safety lock. Police managed to open the lock and found several drugs inside.

Allan Jesse Hiscock, 38, is facing several firearms-related charges and a charge of possessing counterfeit currency.

In December, 2006, Hiscock was issued a lifetime prohibition of possessing firearms, ammunition and explosives following eight firearms-related offenses.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Received I Recu: 2009-06-28 3:59 AM THE PROVINCE (FINAL) NEWS, Page: AIO

Record pot seizure in Mission

rcmp bust: 8,000 plants destroyed, eight arrested, weapons found SAM COOPER, STAFF REPORTER

A small army ofRCMP units swarmed a farm in Mission this week and made the largest marijuana seizure ever in the area.

The raid followed a week-long surveillance on an Eagle Road rural residence resembling a "legitimate farm. "

Eight adults were arrested and about 8,000 mature pot plants seized, along with a duffle bag holding two handguns, two fully automatic weapons, a shotgun and four assault rifles.

"We had a specialized emergency response team," Mission RCMP Const. Carrie Harding told The Province. "Obviously it's of great concern anytime we encounter weapons like this."

Police entered several greenhouses "covering an area the size of a football field" and hacked pot plants down before hauling the crop away in four dump trucks, to be destroyed in a commercial incinerator.

A number of charges are recommended.

Harding said she's not aware of gang connections to the massive grow operation.

She said one of a similar size was busted in Mission two months ago, and there could be similar operations in the area.

Cpl. Richard De Jong ofRCMP Drugs and Organized Crime Awareness said gangs are closely connected to large grow operations.

A United Nations drug report released this week said B.C. is a world leader in synthetic drug

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production and dealing, and De Jong said gangs use "B.C. Bud" profits to diversify into ecstasy sales.

"The huge volumes of cash coming north from the sale of marijuana, it's not a far reach to say that money is being put into ecstasy super-labs," De Jong said. He said B.C. super-labs can produce a pill of ecstasy for $1 and sell it for $25 on the street.

The Mission grow-op raid included officers from the Detachment Street Crime Unit, Detachment General Duty, Lower Mainland Emergency Response Team and Lower Mainland Integrated Police Dog Services, with support from Air One.

"The seizure prevented thousand of pounds of marijuana, worth many millions of dollars, from being traded for other more insidious drugs such as cocaine," Mission police said.

scooper@theprovince.com

ILLUS: Colour Photo: Rcmp Handout / RCMP units found the marijuana in greenhouses covering the area of a football field. ;

June 26, 2009

Two charged with money laundering Langley Times

John Gordon

SWAT team members take a suspect into custody following a raid on two currency exchange businesses in May 2008. Charges have now been laid against two men

By Natasha Jones

The dramatic takedown of a currency exchange in Langley City on May 26, 2008 has now led to charges against two men.

RCMP announced on Friday that they have charged Robinderpal Rathor, 30, and Taranjit Rathor, 21, with several counts of money laundering and conspiracy to commit money laundering.

The RCMP's Federal Integrated Proceeds of Crime Unit seized $160,000 US in connection with the case.

Police arrested four men at gunpoint at two currency exchanges, Global Tourist Centre (GTC) at 20505 Fraser Highway, and at Capital Forex, 5560 204 St.

The operation involved Langley RCMP, the Vancouver Integrated Proceeds of Crime Section, E Division's Integrated Technological Crime Unit, and the Lower Mainland Emergency Response Team.

As heavily armed and uniformed RCMP officers pushed their way into the Forex office, opposite Langley City Hall, the SWAT team stormed into the rear entrance of GTC, which is in a small mall fronting Fraser Highway.

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Over the next 50 minutes, four men emerged from GTC, their faces covered with a jacket or blanket, and were placed in the back of a marked police car. No one at the Forex was arrested. Shortly after the takedown, a police spokesman said that the operation "has to do with money laundering which we are alleging is linked to organized crime."

In some cases, individual transactions amounted to hundreds of thousands of dollars. Money laundering is the practice of making financial transactions specifically to conceal the source or destination of money derived by illegal means.

The investigation began in 2007 after police received a tip that led them to the Langley exchanges. "These two currency exchanges were operated by two men who were allegedly laundering the proceeds of crime through these businesses," the RCMP said in a statement on Friday.

U sing undercover RCMP officers, the Proceeds of Crime unit infiltrated the criminal organization. The unit laundered $21,300 in Canadian currency, and more than $550,000 in U.S. funds.

Police said in Friday's statement that "People who knowingly participate in money laundering by turning a blind eye and not asking the right questions on where the money is coming from, are contributing to help put profits into pockets of traffickers."

Police did not say whether the two Rathors are related. Both have made several court appearances, and their next date is on June 15.

Jun 102009

No easy getaway for bank robbery suspects Surrey Leader

By Rick Kupchuk

Members of the public have been thanked by Surrey RCMP for their assistance in arresting three people after a bank robbery in Fleetwood Tuesday afternoon.

"Certainly we can't recommend the public take any type of overt action in a robbery," said RCMP Sgt. Roger Morrow. "The fear is that someone will get seriously hurt, perhaps with life-threatening injuries.

"But in this case, their actions were commendable and the police thank them very much. "

The incident began at approximately 2:20 p.m. Tuesday, when an unarmed male suspect walked behind the counter of a financial institution at Fraser Highway and 160 Street and began to demand cash from tellers.

Noticing a robbery was underway, a member of the public ran outside the building and drove his vehicle up to the front door, blocking the exit.

The suspect ran to the outer door, while behind him a member of the bank's staff locked the inner doors, trapping the suspect in the ATM area.

The suspect kicked out a lower window, crawled out, and ran into the parking lot of an adjacent shopping mall.

A second person got involved after watching the suspect climb into the passenger side of a vehicle, and called 911 while following the fleeing vehicle.

Two members of the RCMP Emergency Response Team took over the chase, then ended their pursuit due to safety concerns, but with the RCMP helicopter now tracking the suspect vehicle. The vehicle was abandoned in the Port Kells area, where three suspects fled on foot, but were chased down and arrested by the ERT members.

The three are in police custody and will be charged with several offenses.

The robbery suspect is a 47-year-old Vancouver man who is "very well-known" to police. Also

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known to police is a 37-year-old man from New Westminster. The third suspect is a 20-year-old female, who is 14 weeks pregnant and is being held on a number of outstanding arrest warrants. June 08, 2009

Inside look at ERT training

Evan Seal

Members of the RCMP's ERT unit train at Chilliwack.

Ryan Starr, Black Press - Early on the morning of April 12,2006, the RCMP's Emergency Response Team (ERT) stormed a Surrey home where Graham McMynn was being held captive. McMynn, a 23-year-old University of B.C. student at the time, had been abducted at gunpoint by a pair of thugs in Vancouver eight days earlier.

Eventually he was taken to a nondescript two-storey house on 76 Avenue near 146 Street.

At the trial that led to the conviction of three of his captors, McMynn testified he was asleep in a basement suite when the ERT launched their assault.

It was one of 14 simultaneous raids carried out in Surrey, Vancouver and Nanaimo at locations police believed the young man might be.

McMynn awoke to the piercing sound of an exploding flash-bang grenade. A breacher then smashed down the heavy wood door with a battering ram.

With that the ERT flooded in, ushering a startled McMynn to safety and placing five men under arrest.

"It unfolded pretty smoothly," recalls Cpl. Howard Lew, who was on the operation that day. "It was less than a minute from the time we hit the door to the time he was secure and everybody was in custody."

The raid was a dramatic climax in one ofB.C.'s most high-profile abduction cases, the culmination of an immense police investigation that involved upwards of 400 officers across the region.

It also showcased the prowess of the Lower Mainland District ERT, the Surrey-based elite special forces unit tasked with carrying out the RCMP' s riskiest operations.

Amid the jubilation following McMynn's rescue, though, the ERT garnered only a passing mention.

As far as Sgt. Rob Tan is concerned, that's just fine.

"We might not get credit for what we do," he says, "but if the exact same plan went sideways, then that would be on the front page - and my career would be over."

Tan, an ERT unit leader, calls this the "hero to zero" factor - one reason why the team prefers to fly under the radar. But for several weeks this fall, the ERT allowed a newspaper reporter and photographer to go behind the scenes with them, pulling back the veil to offer The Leader a rare glimpse into the specialized training of this high-calibre tactical team.

"As far as police tactics go, the ERT is the highest level there is in our line of work," says Tan. "We're living the dream."

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Shooting to win

It's a little past noon on a drizzly day at the RCMP' s Pacific Region Training Centre in Chilliwack.

Sgt. Tan - known as "Tan Man" by his men - rolls up in his black Chevy Suburban to greet a visiting reporter.

His squad is scheduled to do a full day of training, but they're running a bit late. Hours before they had executed a high-risk search warrant at a drug house in Surrey. (Nothing unusual: they arrested two and seized a sizable stash of drugs and weapons, including a sawed-off pistol-grip pump-action shotgun).

Tan arrives at the firing range where ERT members are getting set to practise combat shootingor as he puts it, "shooting to win a firefight."

The men gear up in double-body armour and Kevlar helmets and load their weapons of choice: a Smith & Wesson 5946 pistol and an MP-5 sub machine gun.

They start off firing at targets from close range, then work on pivoting and shooting. They rotate around 180 degrees, turn suddenly and hit their marks spot-on.

"It's about the ability to identify the threat from whatever position you're in and whatever direction you're moving," Tan says.

The idea is to operate on instinct.

"You decide whether it's a lethal force threat or not and engage it effectively," he says. "But you have to do it quickly, before that person can get a shot off on you."

While the team is trained to use lethal force, the hope is that the situation doesn't warrant that. "Sometimes people think that when the ERT arrives, you've just activated the killing machine," Tan says. "But everything we do - our training and tactics - is designed to de-escalate or prevent an escalation of force."

Moving back 25 metres, the ERT members offer an impressive demonstration of marksmanship. First they shoot pistols using non-dominant hands - in case the good one ever got hit. Then they fire rounds while lying on their sides.

However awkward their positioning, none of the bullets miss. Indeed, at the far end of the range the paper-man target's head and chest are riddled with holes.

As well it should be. In this business, accuracy is everything. One errant round could mean the loss of innocent life or the injury of a fellow team member. "We're responsible for every bullet we shoot, every movement we make," Tan says. "If my shot isn't exactly where it's supposed to be, then it's not going to work - someone's going to die."

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Such marksmanship doesn't come easy. It's usually what trips up those aspiring to join the ERT. Tan recalls a time when a group of 18 hopefuls showed up for an 8 a.m. tryout. By 10 a.m., three remained.

"If you miss a shot, you get one chance to remedy that," Tan says. "If you miss it again, you're gone. There's no reason to miss. It's unacceptable."

ERT evolution

Insp. David Debolt is sitting in his office at the Surrey

RCMP headquarters, a two-way radio buzzing on the desk behind him.

Debolt, the ERT commander for the entire Lower Mainland District, is monitoring the real-time progress of a raid Tan and his men are on that morning.

All is expected to go as planned. But in the event things were to heat up - sayan ERT sniper needs the command to take out a bad guy - the chiefis standing by.

Debolt has witnessed the evolution of the ERT from its inception in the mid-1970s.

The team was designed to be a police force with the type of advanced weapons and tactics training to respond to high-risk situations such as armed robberies, hostage takings and dangerous warrant executions.

The ERT was modeled on the RCMP's Ottawa-based counter-terrorism force of the day, the Hostage Assault and Rescue Program.

F or decades, the Lower Mainland ER T was a mixture of general duty officers scattered throughout the region. Members did the job part-time, more or less off the sides of their desks. "The difficulty was if you were investigating a homicide, or were on an active surveillance, you wouldn't be able to attend (ERT) training days," Debolt says. "So training started to fall off the table."

The inconsistency of the ERT's reaction time was an added problem.

"Because it was all done on pager, there was no guarantee what kind of a response you'd get," Debolt says. "Until (members) started to show up, you didn't know how many you'd have."

As gangs and weapons continued to proliferate across the Lower Mainland, and violence on the streets worsened, it became clear a part-time ERT would no longer suffice.

In 2005, Debolt authored a business case underlining the need for a full-time ERT that could respond to the growing criminal threats.

RCMP senior management concurred, as did the three levels of government. Thus began a three-year roll-out of the full-time force.

"Quite frankly, the business case would never have been approved if we hadn't been able to show the increase in risk to the public and the (RCMP) members by not having this," Debolt says.

The only hurdle, of course, was funding.

The partners eventually agreed upon a formula: 50 per cent of the ERT's operating budget comes from municipalities, 30 per cent from the province and 20 per cent from the feds.

This year marks the final stage of the full-time ERT implementation. And Debolt couldn't be happier with the way things have progressed.

He now oversees the nation's largest full-time ERT - an elite weapons and tactical force that's well-equipped to defuse any crisis, 2417.

"I got everything I asked for," Debolt says. "Not a lot of managers can say that." Combat up close

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The abandoned old school building is cold and damp, with only the occasional sliver of faint morning light breaking through its dirty windows.

In teams offour, ERT operators shuffle down the darkened hallways in search of enemy targets. Welcome to close quarter combat training.

In each room they enter, the members scan for threats. When they spot them, they pepper the paper targets with 'Simunition' rounds - real bullets with wax tips to render them less deadly in case of an accidental hit.

Afterward they debrief with Sgt. Tan, going over the highs and lows of their performance.

"No one walks away from a debriefing feeling good," Tan says. "Because you never get better if you don't."

The Lower Mainland ERT is made up of three units of 20 men each that operate on a rotating schedule.

One unit works days, the other nights. When not on ERT business, members are out on regular police patrols.

Meanwhile, a third squad has a week of mandatory training.

This includes work in a variety of areas: close quarter combat; bush warfare; even practising laying siege to drug ships or hijacked aircraft (Vancouver International Airport is within the ERT's jurisdiction).

"It builds cohesiveness," Tan says of the regular training. "If we face something we haven't faced before, we know instinctively how each of us is going to move and work."

It's a far cry from the part-time era when ERT training was done two days a month.

"If you missed training because of work, that meant you might not have shot for six to eight weeks," Tan says.

"Say we're going to rescue a hostage, and it's your mom or sister at gunpoint. Do you want that guy going in and making that one critical shot?" He pauses. "I wouldn't."

Warrior mentality

Rob Tan joined the ERT in 1999 after nearly a decade in various other RCMP capacities.

He has provided security detail for visiting VIPs such as Prime Minister Stephen Harper, former U. S. Secretary of State Colin Powell and the late Indonesian President Suharto.

While almost 40, Tan is fitter than most men half his age. Like his colleagues, he augments his ER T training with a rigorous fitness regimen, either swimming, running or lifting weights six days a week.

And, in the unlikely event all his weapons were to fail, Tan Man has a back-up option.

He has a third-degree black belt in karate with a background in Muay Thai boxing - the scars on his head serve as a reminder of those scrappier salad days.

Not that he'd need to resort to hand-to-hand combat. Most "armed and dangerous" bad guys might talk a big game, Tan says, but usually end up proving no match for his well-trained team. "They're bullies, and they only have power when they have other people to impress and prop them up," he says. "They play the role, but when the reality sets in and the cuffs are on, and they're going to jail and their world has crashed down around them, they cry like babies." Despite the tough talk, Tan and his colleagues aren't afflicted by the sort of bravado you might expect from an elite team.

"It's a quiet confidence," Tan says. "We believe in ourselves, our teammates and our abilities."

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ERT members know they're good at what they do. But they also know it's important to recognize one's limitations.

"You have to be humble," Tan says. "Because the minute you think you know everything, you're going to overlook something and get caught."

Ultimately, he says, the ERT members with the right stuff are the ones who embrace a "warrior mentality."

"The warrior mentality says you will get through this. And the guys will fight through anything because they know they can - because they have to. If the plan doesn't work, then we adapt and overcome," Tan says.

"But our worst day has to be better than the bad guy's best."

May 122009

UPDATE: Man found shot in Surrey identified

Evan Seal/The Surrey Leader

RCMP Emergency Response members were on scene of a shooting in the 13200 block of Highway # 1 0 Tuesday morning.

By Kevin Diakiw

Police have identified a man killed in Newton Tuesday as Damon Michael Martin.

Martin, 33, was found lying on Highway 10 near 132 Street around 9 a.m. in what was first believed to be a case of a pedestrian hit by a car.

When police arrived, they determined the Surrey resident was suffering from gunshot wounds. A medical helicopter landed on Highway 10 and the victim was airlifted to Surrey Memorial Hospital, where he was declared dead at 10:15 a.m.

Police now believe the man was shot in a nearby home and made his way out to the street after sustaining his injuries.

The investigation has been handed over to the Integrated Homicide Investigation Team (IHIT). Police are also saying they don't believe the killing is related to gangs, drugs or organized crime. Witnesses sayan intensive search of the area was conducted by the heavily armed Emergency Response Team.

Anyone with information is asked to call IHIT tip line at 1-877-551-IHIT. Or to remain anonymous, call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222- TIPS (8477).

Friday, May 08, 2009

Received I Recu: 2009-05-08 3:37 AM TIMES COLONIST (VICTORIA) (FINAL) COMMENT, Page: A10

A botched RCMP raid Times Colonist

The RCMP is having a hard time learning the importance of responding effectively and quickly to public complaints -- and is paying a mounting price in eroded public confidence.

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Last November, officers from the RCMP Emergency Response Team smashed in the door of a Surrey apartment where three men were drinking tea around 10 p.m.

The officers had search warrants for apartments 201 and 206. They called out "Unit 206, come out" from the hallway.

The three men in the apartment answered by saying that they were in Unit 205.

The RCMP officers released a dog into the room. The dog bit one man and dragged him from the apartment to the hall, where he says he was kicked and punched. It then bit a second man and dragged the third man from the apartment.

All three men say they were beaten. They have photos showing the bloody dog bites.

The RCMP has apologized and acknowledged the men had done nothing wrong.

But six months after the nightmarish incident, the RCMP has offered no explanation. An internal review has been done by a senior officer, but the RCMP won't release the findings. No officers have been disciplined or procedures changed.

The three men have filed a complaint with the Commission for Public Complaints Against the RCMP.

Police have reason for caution in conducting searches. In this case, drugs, a gun and Taser were found in the other apartments.

But not in the apartment occupied by the three men, who say they have no criminal records or involvement.

The incident raises several questions. How could police misread the apartment number? Why was the dog sent to attack people who were not resisting (and what would have happened if a child had been in the apartment)? Were the men beaten, as they maintain?

These questions are not complex. The only people to interview are the three men and the officers.

Yet after six months, the RCMP is unable to provide the public with any information about what went wrong, and what has been done to ensure other innocent victims won't go through the same expenence.

No one should expect perfection from the RCMP, or any other police force, given the challenging job. They have a right, though, to expect competence and accountability.

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Received I Recu: 2009-05-063:15 AM VANCOUVER SUN (FINAL)

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EDITORIAL, Page: AIO

Troubling questions raised by RCMP's botched raid Vancouver Sun

The RCMP have apologized for bursting through the door of the wrong Surrey apartment and assaulting the occupants with a police dog, but the matter must not end there.

Even if they had the right apartment, the tactics described by the three occupants raise questions about the use of force and conduct of police that cannot be left unanswered.

Police concede that they made a mistake and that two men were bitten in the botched raid.

The three occupants of the Surrey apartment allege in a filing to the Commission for Public Complaints against the RCMP that they were getting ready for a late dinner when the police banged on the door and demanded that the occupants of apartment 206 come out.

They were in 205. The police broke in. The three men inside got a glimpse ofRCMP Emergency Response Team officers dressed in black with their faces covered with balaclavas and a police dog rushing in.

The police were executing a warrant on neighboring apartments, where, once they opened the right doors, they found crack cocaine, heroin, a Taser, and other assorted weapons.

Police raids are always fraught with danger. They get as much information as they can about what they can expect to encounter but they never know exactly what they will face when they go through a door.

Whether on rural roads or inner cities, police officers have been shot, attacked and killed often enough to prove that the wearing of body armour is no affectation.

Four RCMP officers were killed in rural Mayerthorpe, Alta., four years ago, in the worst such incident in recent memory. They have to be ready to use sufficient force to apprehend suspects, protect themselves and the public.

But just as they can't be sure what lies behind any closed door, neither can they know for sure that the suspects they are apprehending are guilty of any crimes.

In our justice system, that determination is left to the courts, as is the determination of what punishment is justified.

What that means is that even when they are breaking down the right door, police have to bear in mind that they are still dealing with members of the public whose interests they have sworn to protect.

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This case raises troubling questions about how the RCMP are now interpreting that duty.

When did it become acceptable practice for our police to hide their identity when making an arrest or dealing with the public in any fashion?

In our culture, masks are associated with ill-intent. They are used to terrorize victims or to shield the identity of outlaws. They should not be worn by police.

Police dogs, like Tasers, are an important tool for law enforcement officers. But they should never be used to terrorize suspects or to bring a hasty conclusion to a situation that a little patience could just as easily resolve.

We need a clear statement from police on both the policy on use of dogs and the use of balaclavas or other masks used to conceal the identity of individual officers.

We recognize that police have been under a lot of pressure to deal with gang violence in the Lower Mainland. But we can't allow a fear oflawlessness to be replaced by a fear of the law.

Tuesday, May 05,2009

Received I Recu: 2009-05-05 6:15 AM TIMES COLONIST (VICTORIA) (FINAL) NEWS, Page: A9

RCMP dog attack at wrong address leads to official apology Kent Spencer, Canwest News Service

The RCMP has apologized to three men who were bitten by a police dog and assaulted after officers knocked on the wrong door.

"I was terrified," said Iranian-born Emad Hovaizavi in a statement yesterday of the incident which took place Nov. 7, 2008, in Surrey. "I was in extreme pain and shock."

Hovaizavi, Mohammed Bosir and Seyedmorteza Ghadiriasli launched a complaint against the RCMP with the Commission for Public Complaints.

They want an investigation into police actions, discipline for the officers involved, a review of police practices and compensation for their bites and bruises.

RCMP Cpl. Peter Thiessen said the men were "mistakenly arrested" in a Surrey apartment after officers banged on the wrong door.

"Two of the occupants were bitten by a police dog," Thiessen said in a statement. "The Surrey RCMP acknowledge their error and have made every effort to mitigate this situation."

Hovaizavi was preparing a spaghetti dinner for his guests when police banged on the door about

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11 p.m.

As the door was burst open, the men glimpsed black-clad members of the Emergency Response Team dressed in balaclavas. Rifles' laser beams targeted them and a dog was set loose.

"It was scary. The dog was gigantic with a head like a lion," said Bosir, 40.

"I felt the crunch of my bones as the dog bit into my right shin," said Hovaizavi, 36.

Bosir said he was handcuffed and "kicked in the ribs. "

Later, the dog broke free and "viciously" bit Hovaizavi in the leg again as he lay handcuffed on the floor.

"The police sent in a dog when they didn't know who was in there," said Craig Costantino, the men's lawyer.

"It's hard to believe police didn't see it was the wrong door. It has big numerals."

ILLUS: Photo: Family Photo / Seyedmorteza Ghadiriasli displays injury to his arm inflicted by police dog. ;

Tuesday, May 05,2009

Received I Recu: 2009-05-05 2:55 AM THE PROVINCE (FINAL) NEWS, Page: A3

Wrong door, wrong assault

Three men seek redress after dog attack, assault Kent Spencer, The Province

The RCMP has apologized to three men who were bitten by a police dog and assaulted after officers knocked on the wrong door.

"I was terrified," Iranian-born Emad Hovaizavi said in a statement yesterday of the incident at his apartment on Nov. 7 in Surrey. "I was in extreme pain and shock." Hovaizavi, Mohammed Bosir and Seyedmorteza Ghadiriasli have launched a complaint against the RCMP with the Commission for Public Complaints.

They want an investigation into police actions, discipline for the officers involved, a review of police practices and compensation for their bites and bruises.

RCMP spokesman Cpl. Peter Thiessen said the men were "mistakenly arrested" in a Surrey apartment after officers banged on the wrong door.

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"Two of the occupants were bitten by a police dog," he said in a statement. "The Surrey RCMP acknowledge their error and have made every effort to mitigate this situation." The incident occurred in Hovaizavi's apartment at Suite 205 in the 13600-block 105A Avenue in Surrey.

Hovaizavi was preparing a spaghetti dinner for his guests when police banged on the door about 11 p.m., demanding the occupants come out of "206." "Sir, we're in 205," Hovaizavi told them.

As the door was burst open, the three men glimpsed black-clad members of the Emergency Response Team dressed in balaclavas. Laser beams from rifles targeted them and a dog was set loose.

"It was scary. The dog was gigantic, with a head like a lion," said Bosir, 40.

"I felt the crunch of my bones as the dog bit into my right shin," said Hovaizavi, 36.

Bosir said he was handcuffed and "kicked in the ribs." Later, the dog broke free and "viciously" bit Hovaizavi in the leg again as he lay handcuffed on the floor, he said.

Some time later, Bosir said, ERT Cpl. Dan Pons told them there had been an "error." Police recovered a machete, axe and multiple ounces of crack cocaine from a nearby apartment.

The bleeding victims were taken to hospital.

"The police sent in a dog when they didn't know who was in there," said the men's lawyer, Craig Costantino.

"It's hard to believe police didn't see it was the wrong door. It has big numerals," he said. "I don't know how to explain police actions." Hovaizavi, who runs a convenience store, said he was reminded of a previous experience "at the hands of the security police in Iran." Ghadiriasli, 47, said he needs sleep medication to cope with "nervousness and fear" since the incident.

Bosir said he may have suffered "nerve damage" requiring surgery.

Ghadiriasli and Bosir sell telephone cards.

Thiessen said victims' support services have been provided and a home-care nurse made available.

He said the RCMP have received recommendations as a result of an independent officer review, which the force is considering.

Costantino said the men had "no criminal records," but a search showed otherwise.

Ghadiriasli was found guilty of assault and breaching court-release conditions on March 27 in Port Coquitlam. The assault stemmed from an incident on Oct. 25, 2008, in Coquitlam.

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kspencer@theprovince.com

ILLUS: Colour Photo: Handout / Emad Hovaizavi shows bite marks on his leg from police dog. ; Colour Photo: Submitted / Surrey RCMP sought the occupants of Suite 206 but instead stormed Suite 205 with a police dog. ; Colour Photo: Submitted / ; Colour Photo: "The police sent in a dog when they didn't know who was in there. It's hard to believe police didn't see it was the wrong door. It has big numerals. I don't know how to explain police actions." -- Craig Costantino, lawyer for the assaulted men ;

Apr 23,2009

Gang crime inter-jurisdictional

By Gary Ahuja

While municipalities may be easily separated by their boundaries, that is not the case with criminals.

That was part of the message from RCMP assistant commissioner Peter German, who spoke to Langley City council on Monday afternoon.

He was making a presentation to council on the various RCMP services they provide to all of their jurisdictions in the Lower Mainland.

"Because of gangs and organized crime, the world we live in ... we have to deal with inter-jurisdictional crime," German said.

"Criminals know no jurisdictions so we have to work together to benefit each of the communities. "

He touched on several of the groups, including the Integrated Homicide Investigation Team (IHIT), the Integrated Gang Task Force (IGTF) and the Emergency Response Team (ERT), among others, and what services they offer.

"They are going virtually 2417 around the region," he said.

The various groups do not have a main headquarters, but are instead split among the Lower Mainland detachments and move around as necessary.

F or instance, there are two ER T units at the Langley detachment.

The costs of these regional services are split among the jurisdictions they police.

"We need to understand that we get support in a lot of other areas that we don't always see," said Mayor Peter Fassbender.

German also said that the federal government is pushing for the establishment of a Clandestine Laboratory Search Team to deal with the continued problem of drug labs.

Mar 252009

Armed standoff ends peacefully in Maple Ridge Maple Ridge News

A suicidal man armed with a gun surrendered to police in Maple Ridge after a six hour standoff that began Tuesday night.

Ridge Meadows RCMP arrived at a home in a subdivision offDewdney Trunk Road past 230th

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Street after receiving a call about a man who was talking about ending his life. Police found the 34-year-old in a backyard, armed with a firearm.

The area was cordoned off and officers made a call to the emergency response team, which began negotiations soon after.

The newly appointed officer-in-charge of the Ridge Meadows detachment, Supt. Dave Walsh, who is a long-serving member of the emergency response squad, served as site commander. The man gave himself up at 3:30 a.m. and was taken to a Lower Mainland hospital for a psychiatric assessment.

"This was a tense situation, but had a good outcome." said Walsh. "At no time did it appear that other members of our community were in danger, and I can assure you that this operation was carried out very professionally by our extremely well-trained personnel."

Two negotiators, Cpl. Dave Ewert and Cpl. Peter Thiessen, did an incredible job of diffusing an extremely volatile situation, and are credited for bringing a peaceful end to it, he added.

Mar 182009

Council learns policing Hope Standard

By Simone Rolph The Hope Standard

With Hope council facing a big jump in policing costs - they got a chance Monday to learn more about what their local tax dollars are buying.

Hope's policing costs for 2008 were set at $1,617,000. That figure will jump to $1,857,000 in 2009. Additional cost of victims' services, part of the policing budget, will jump from $82,400 to an estimated $119,925 this year.

RCMP Inspector Keith Robinson, of the Upper Fraser Valley Detachment, which under amalgamation heads up the Chilliwack, Hope, Agassiz and Boston Bar Community Policing Offices, held a training session for the new mayor and councilors, Monday night.

Although not a financier by any stretch of the imagination, said Robinson, he was there to share information on the structure and the strength of the amalgamated detachment.

The priorities set for the Upper Fraser Valley Detachment remain the reduction of organized crime, gang activities, and property crimes while increasing visibility and community-police relations.

Robinson reviewed with council the auxiliary program, foot and bicycle patrols, and other local initiatives, before explaining the new 'intelligence-led' policing model and integrated specially units.

The Crime Reduction Unit focuses on targeting prolific offenders, who commit the majority of crimes, through enforcement. The unit works with judges, crown counsel, corrections, probation and social services to manage those criminals identified as prolific offenders, noted Robinson. The Crime Prevention and Operational Support Unit works to identify social prolific offenders and is prevention based. The unit works the drug or alcohol addicted, a state that leads to homelessness and crime, "but we do not call them criminal." The unit works to get them the help they need.

The Crime Analysis Section is working to develop a Prolific Offender Management program for

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the Upper Fraser Valley Detachment, for not only criminal prolifics, but also social prolifics, and youth prolifics. The program is expected to be formally implemented this spring.

Other sections within the integrated detachment include the serious crime section, drug section, First Nation policing unit, where six constables provide culturally sensitive police service to the 24 reserves within the detachment's service area.

Integrated units which service the lower mainland included the Integrated Homicide Investigations Team, the Emergency Response Team, the BC Gang Task Force, Helicopters Air 1 and Air 2, the Police Dog Services, Forensic Identification Services, and Integrated Collision Analyst team, and regional duty officers who provide support to street officers 2417.

With intelligence based police, comes statistical maps available to officers, showing the hot spots of crime in a community, added Robinson.

In Hope, let's say we have a lot of dots, (identifying specific calls for service) on Summer Road. Then that is a hot spot," explained Fletcher. The maps are provided to officers once a month unless the crime analyst identifies a specific issue, says Robinson.

In dealing with a hope spot, we tell officers that "if you are going to do your paperwork, sit down there .... visibility reduces crime."

Mar 04 2009

Horse trailer discovered at Langley chop shop Hope Standard

Several police agencies swooped on a rural north Langley property on Feb. 12 and arrested a man as he cut parts from a stolen pickup truck.

Rodney Soloway, 38, and Robert Ogden, 35, both of Langley, have been charged with one count each of possession of stolen property. Ogden has also been charged with one count of operating a motor vehicle while disqualified.

According to spokesman Const. Holly Marks when Langley detachment's general duty officers, as well as the Street Enforcement Unit, Core Enforcement Team, Police Dog Services, Integrated Gang Task Force and the Lower Mainland Emergency Response Team entered the property they found a man using a torch to cut parts from a Ford F250 frame.

The frame was later determined to be stolen and Soloway was identified as the driver of the green stolen truck.

The rear plate of the two-tone blue truck had been altered and inquiries revealed that it was stolen as well, Marks said. The Street Enforcement Unit obtained a search warrant which was executed on the property at approximately 10:30 p.m. Also found on the property and confirmed as stolen were a horse trailer stolen from Hope, and another Ford F250 with a flat deck trailer

Feb 28 2009

Police trail stolen truck to Langley chop shop Langley Times

By Natasha Jones Times Reporter

Several police agencies swooped on a rural north Langley property on Feb. 12 and arrested a man

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as he cut parts from a stolen pickup truck.

It was the sharp eyes of Langley RCMP's Willowbrook Community Police Office volunteers which led to several police agencies to swoop on a rural property where they arrested Rodney Soloway, 38, and Robert Ogden, 35, both of Langley.

Both men have been charged with one count each of possession of stolen property. Ogden has also been charged with one count of operating a motor vehicle while disqualified.

According to spokesman Const. Holly Marks, the swoop on the 216 Street property was the culmination of events which began shortly after 2 p.m. on Feb. 12 when two of CPO volunteers discovered a stolen green Ford F150 in the 8500 block of 198A Street.

The truck was unoccupied.

The volunteers alerted Langley RCMP, but before officers arrived a man climbed inside the stolen truck and drove away.

The volunteers followed for a short distance but lost sight of the vehicle in the area of 208 Street and Telegraph Trail.

Marks said that officers from the Integrated Gang Task Force, who happened to be working in the area, spotted the truck as it turned south on 216 Street from Telegraph Trail. The driver parked on the side of the road and entered a residence in the 8300 block of216 Street.

Minutes later, the suspect was seen riding as a passenger in another vehicle, a two-tone blue Ford F250.

He then left that vehicle and re-entered the stolen pickup. Both vehicles then drove onto the 216 Street property.

Marks said that when Langley detachment's general duty officers, as well as the Street Enforcement Unit, Core Enforcement Team, Police Dog Services, Integrated Gang Task Force and the Lower Mainland Emergency Response Team entered the property they found a man using a torch to cut parts from a Ford F250 frame.

The frame was later determined to be stolen and Soloway was identified as the driver of the green stolen truck.

The rear plate of the two-tone blue truck had been altered and inquiries revealed that it was stolen as well, Marks said. Police allege that it was Ogden who had been driving this vehicle, Marks

said.

The Street Enforcement Unit obtained a search warrant which was executed on the property at approximately 10:30 p.m.

Also found on the property and confirmed as stolen were a horse trailer stolen from Hope, and another Ford F250 with a flat deck trailer.

Feb 252009

Volunteers help bust 'chop shop' Aldergrove Star

Shortly after 2 p.m. on February 12, two of Langley's Willowbrook Patrol volunteers discovered a stolen green Ford F150 in the 8500-block of 198A Street.

Prior to officers attending, a male suspect entered the stolen truck and drove away. The volunteers followed for a short time, however, they lost sight of the vehicle in the area of 208 Street and Telegraph Trail.

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Officers from the Integrated Gang Task Force, who happened to be working in the area, located the truck as it turned south on 216 Street from Telegraph Trail.

The driver parked on the side of the road and entered a residence in the 8300-block of216 Street. Shortly thereafter, the suspect was seen riding as a passenger in another vehicle, a two-tone blue Ford F250. He exited the associate's vehicle and re-entered the stolen. Both vehicles then drove onto the property.

Langley General Duty Members, Street Enforcement Unit, Core Enforcement Team, Police Dog Services, Integrated Gang Task Force and Lower Mainland Emergency Response Team entered the property to find a male identified as Rodney Soloway in the process of cutting parts from a Ford F250 frame with a torch. The frame was later determined to be stolen and Soloway was identified as the driver of the green stolen truck.

The rear plate of the two tone blue truck had been altered and queries revealed it to be stolen as well. The man who had been driving this vehicle, Robert Ogden, was arrested for possession of stolen property.

Also found on the property and confirmed as stolen were a horse trailer stolen from Hope and another Ford F250, along with a flat deck trailer.

Soloway, 38, of Langley, has been charged with one count of possession of stolen property and was remanded in custody to appear in court on Feb. 20. Ogden, 35, of Langley, has been charged with one count of possession of stolen property and an additional count of operating a motor vehicle while disqualified. He was remanded in custody to appear in court Feb. 19.

Spokesperson Cst. Holly Marks observed that in 2008, Langley RCMP' s volunteers generously donated 32,000 hours of their time to assist in a variety of crime prevention programs. Volunteers are an integral part of Langley Detachment as they provide vital support to the police. Whether assisting with community functions, traffic control, conducting parking lot audits, operating speed boards, patrolling the streets on foot, bike or vehicle, visiting business, manning Community Police Offices or educating the public, the Langley RCMP volunteers provide an invaluable contribution to police and our community.

Feb 232009

Chilliwack man among 'Super lab' suspects Chilliwack Progress

By Robert Freeman The Progress

A 29-year-old Chilliwack man is among the trio arrested in connection with the bust of an ecstasy lab in Richmond, believed the largest in B.C. to date.

The three suspects, including a 34-year-old Abbotsford man and a 37-year-old Surrey man, were each arrested at their homes on Feb. 18, Staff Sgt. Mike Harding told The Progress.

No names were released pending formal charges.

Last June, police busted a "super lab" in Richmond where over 100 kilos of powdered MDMA, also known as ecstasy, was found along with 200 kilos of pressed MDMA tablets.

Police also found two fully-automated pill presses at the River Road home, a number of improvised explosive devices and several firearms.

An investigation by RCMP drug section units from Vancouver and the Upper Fraser Valley, and the Surrey RCMP led to last week's arrests, assisted by the Lower Mainland Emergency Response Team.

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The three suspects are facing charges of production of a controlled substance and possession for the purpose of trafficking. They were released from custody on a promise to appear in court at a later date.

Harding said synthetic drug labs pose a serious danger to the public.

"It is critical for public safety that we not only dismantle these dangerous labs, but also arrest and bring those responsible before the courts," he said.

Feb 192009

Police raid North Delta home Surrey Leader

Boaz Joseph / The Leader

An officer takes a woman into custody in a fraud and identity theft case at 8880 118 St. in North Delta on Thursday morning. Several people were arrested.

By Dan Ferguson

North Delta resident Ahmed Bajwa said he got along fine with the people in the one-storey stucco house with the faded green siding and Canadian flag flying in the front yard.

"They were nice to talk to," Bajwa said of his next-door neighbours.

But things kept disappearing from the Bajwa's new house during its construction.

Copper wiring, rain gutters, tins of paint, and 15 to 20 boxes of granite floor tiles went missing. After he complained to police, uniformed officers in marked patrol cruisers began making regular trips by the house, Bajwa said.

So he wasn't too surprised when Delta Police raided the home in the 8800 block of 118 Street around 10:30 a.m. Thursday.

Members of the Delta Police Department and the regional Emergency Response Team used stun grenades to force their way inside.

Bajwa slept through it, but other neighbours said the "flash-bangs" made a heavy thud, and they saw smoke pouring from the house and a shed in the back.

Six people - three men and three women - were taken away.

Delta Police Const. Sharlene Brooks said the raid was the culmination of a months-long investigation into multiple incidents of property crimes, including ID theft, counterfeiting and fraud.

Brooks said the ERT was called in because some of the people under investigation had a history of violence.

"There was a threat made against police," Brooks told reporters at the scene.

After the occupants were removed, police brought in a van to collect evidence and animal control officers took away two dogs.

Anyone with information about the case is asked to contact Delta Police at 604-946-4411 or if you wish to remain anonymous, call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222- TIPS

Feb 192009

Cities united on gang front

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Maple Ridge News

By Jeff Nagel

Representatives from seven local cities are demanding a crackdown on gang violence through justice system reform - and not by regionalizing area police forces.

The group emerged from Thursday's meeting at Surrey city hall presenting a united front in the wake of 17 shooting incidents in the past month and a rising body count.

Attending cities included Vancouver, Richmond, Langley City, Langley Township, Burnaby, Abbotsford and Coquitlam, but not Maple Ridge or Pitt Meadows.

Surrey Mayor Dianne Watts, who organized the meeting, said the cities will press senior governments to keep their promises to fight crime.

Pitt Meadows Mayor Don MacLean didn't get an invitation and didn't know of the meeting until he heard media reports.

But he joined his counterparts in opposing the creation of a regional police force, questioning what kind of bureaucracy would be required to set one up.

"We don't want to pay for Vancouver's policing. If they're short of police, then hire more cops." Integrated teams such as the Mounties' emergency response team and the integrated homicide investigation team are working well, MacLean added.

He thinks police forces can communicate better than ever.

"I haven't seen another regional police force that's been as effective to point as the RCMP have been.

"I think we're as integrated as we can be."

Members of Metro Vancouver are meeting in April at the Justice Institute of B.C. to discuss drugs and gangs, MacLean pointed out.

The meeting Thursday did not explore calls to merge Metro Vancouver's patchwork ofRCMP and municipal forces into a single regional police service.

"What we have now is a good policing model," Watts said. "It is working."

She rejected criticism from experts who argue specialized squads like the Integrated Homicide Task Force - which the Vancouver Police Department isn't part of - are not effective enough. "I think we have to be very careful when we go out there and there's an insinuation we're not working together," Watts said.

"We feel we have one of the best police forces in the Lower Mainland," said Abbotsford Deputy Mayor Moe Gill, adding there are concerns a regional force might not maintain the same level of service.

The province announced last week it was hiring more police and Crown prosecutors, as well as creating more jail space.

Watts said the cities want those police right now.

The cities are also pressing Victoria to rethink restraint measures announced in this week's budget that critics say could hinder anti-gang efforts.

"We would like to request from the provincial government that they review the cut to court services and to corrections," Watts said

Watts said it's difficult for cities, which are closest to the violence, yet have no control over bail, sentencing, and staffing of courts.

The mayors also want stricter bail restrictions and tougher penalties for people involved in gun

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"Firearms possession, a handgun charge should result in jail time," said Coquitlam Mayor Richard Stewart. "It shouldn't be plea-bargained away, it has to be jail time."

He said ways must also be found to cut the paperwork facing police so officers don't spend hundreds of hours trying to put a criminal away for what ends up being a week.

The group also wants to eliminate the practice of giving criminals double credit for remand jail time served prior to trial.

"We think that only encourages criminals to delay their trial," Stewart said. "That's an enormous disincentive for a speedy trial."

The mayors hope to accompany B. C.' s attorney general and solicitor general to Ottawa to press the federal government for action.

Police chiefs from around the region said they're frustrated.

Surrey RCMP Chief Superintendent Fraser McRae, formerly the inspector in Maple Ridge, outlined an incident where a prolific offender was repeatedly released on bail, despite his dangerous history.

The individual was before the courts several times for a total of 19 offenses ranging from firearms possession and dealing cocaine and methamphetamine.

He was released on bail, and while out, assaulted another trafficker, McRae said.

"Again the police requested he be remanded into custody, yet he is also out on bail at this time," McRae said.

Senior officers say gangsters are acting with almost no concern for their own lives, let alone those of the public.

- with files from Phil Melnychuk and Kevin Diakiw

Jan 082009

WANT TO BE A COP? Tri City News

Students interested in a career in law enforcement can take part in the Coquitlam RCMP' s annual introduction to policing course starting later this month.

The 11th annual course is available to Lower Mainland students in Grades 9 to 12 and offers insight into the regular duties, challenges and rewards of a policing career.

Students can register now to learn about general duty police work, forensic identification, drug investigation, police dog services, traffic enforcement, the emergency response team, tactical troop and more.

Students also learn self-defence tactics and have an opportunity to test their fitness level by running the physical abilities requirement evaluation test.

The program runs over seven Mondays, from 5:30 to 9 p.m. starting Jan. 26 and two Saturdays, from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., on Feb. 28 and March 7 at the Coquitlam RCMP detachment.

The fee is $120 per student and all money raised is donated to School District 43 in the form of RCMP scholarships.

Register through Coquitlam Continuing Education at 604-936-4261. spayne@tricitynews.com

Report Prepared By:

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Carly Paice Communications Analyst RCMP, "E" Division

Strategic Communications Section

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