Media Release: December 11, 2014

December CounterAttack Campaign

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The Nelson Police Department is actively participating in the December CounterAttack Campaign. Nelson officers will be on streets of Nelson working hard to eliminate the dangers of impaired drivers. Impaired drivers are those who chose to drive while their ability to operate a motor vehicle is affected by alcohol, illicit drugs and medicines. People found to be driving while impaired, face possible immediate road side driving prohibitions of up to 90 days, having the vehicle they were driving impounded up to 30 days along with having to pay all of the associated costs. Drivers could also be facing Criminal Code charges of impaired driving.

The men and women of the Nelson Police Department are asking those who choose to partake over the holiday season to refrain from driving. Take a taxi, call a friend, use transit, walk or make other arrangements. Lives may depend on your good sense. Take a stand and don’t let impaired driver’s get behind the wheel.

On average 86 people die in BC every year in crashes involving impaired driving. Please join us to reduce this number.

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Keys anyone?

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Along with answering over 6000 calls for service every year ranging from violent crimes to elementary school parking issues, the Nelson Police Department strives to serve our community. One of the ways in which we serve is to maintain a container of found keys. We have keys for all makes of cars and trucks that people have turned in at our downtown location. Lost yours? Drop by 606 Stanley Street and look through our collection. Who knows, your vehicle keys may be here.

Winter Driving

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The Nelson Police Department wants everyone to reach their destination safely this holiday season. With winter driving conditions upon us drivers should be aware that changing a few driving habits will keep them and others safe on our roads.

Posted speed limits are for ideal travel conditions. On winter roads, be aware there could be ice. Driving at reduced speeds is a great precautionary measure against slippery conditions.

Increase your distance between other vehicles as stopping distance on an icy road is double the stopping distance on a dry one.

Clear all snow and frost from your vehicle before driving so that you can see and be seen.

Ensure you have windshield washer fluid that is rated for winter use so you can keep your windshield clean and your line of vision clear.

Have extra winter wear in your vehicle, such as toques, mittens and winter boots. Keep a road safety kit and shovel in your vehicle.

Be aware of road conditions before you set out. If road conditions are unfavorable, the safest strategy is to avoid driving.

As always, keep in mind the basic safety rules: buckle up, slow down, drive with caution, be aware, be alert, be sober, give yourself plenty of time to reach your destination, and keep focused on the road.

Safe and happy travels!

Restorative Justice Week 2014 in Nelson

Next week, November 16-23, 2014 is Restorative Justice Week in Canada. Every year Correction Services Canada’s Restorative Justice Division proclaims this time to focus on what communities across Canada are doing to divert criminal matters from the courts and deal with them locally.

Restorative Justice is a philosophy and an approach that views crime and conflict as harm done to people and relationships. It is a non-adversarial, non-retributive approach to justice that emphasizes healing in victims, accountability of offenders and the involvement of citizens in creating healthier, safer communities.

A year ago the Nelson Police Department’s Community Policing Officer-Sgt. Dino Falcone-explored ways to bring Restorative Justice to Nelson. One of Chief Wayne Holland’s priorities, upon being named head of NPD by the Nelson Police Board, is to establish a well-trained group of volunteers who could accept files from his officers for a Restorative Justice option. Over the past year a volunteer assumed the role as coordinator of this initiative.

Offenders who take responsibility for their actions meet with those who have been directly affected by a criminal act. Each of them with their supporters comes together in a conference. They hear from each other what happened, how the crime has affected each person and together explore ways to repair the harm that has been done. After deliberation with all in the circle, an agreement is reached. The Responsible Person, with the support of a volunteer mentor, works toward fulfilling obligations agreed upon to successfully complete the resolution contract. The Affected Person has had the opportunity to meet the perpetrator of the crime and state what is needed to repair the harm. The Responsible Person has the opportunity to address an initial bad decision or choice and be reintegrated within our community. Where the Criminal Justice system promotes a “win-lose” outcome with charges, pleas and court, the Restorative Justice model promotes “win-win” outcomes as all those involved decide how to repair the harm.

Presently seventeen applicants were accepted for training to become Restorative Justice facilitators and mentors. They have embarked on an intensive training schedule this fall. This group represents many segments of our society with ages ranging from twenty-somethings to seniors, with backgrounds in education, technology, trades and business who bring a passion and commitment to learning and refining appropriate skills.

During Restorative Justice Week this fledgling group will be appearing as a delegation before City Council on Monday to make a presentation on their progress and plans for future development. Also next Friday local volunteers will be staffing an information table at Chahko Mika Mall from 4:30 to 7:30pm where the public can learn more about this initiative.and what it means for our Nelson community.

The NPD Restorative Justice program will receive its files and referrals internally. The theme of Restorative Justice Week 2014 is “Inspiring Innovation”. There are significant challenges ahead as this program develops. However the volunteers’ commitment to do the work with restorative principles always at the forefront will assure the long term success and stability of this new program dedicated to serve as a viable and sound alternative to the Criminal Justice system. .

For further information contact:
Gerry Sobie
Program Coordinator
Nelson Police Department Restorative Justice Program
606 Stanley Street
Nelson, B.C. V1L 1N4
Phone: 250.354.3919 Fax: 250.354-4179
Cell: 250.777.3979
rj@nelsonpolice.ca

Media Release: New Member of the Nelson Police Department

Matthew Gregor Caldwell joins the Nelson Police Department after having served with distinction for eight years as a member of the Ottawa Police Service. He is a past resident of Nelson, having attended the Selkirk College “Ski Area Operations and Management” program in 2000. That exposure to our remarkable City established a deep connection with, as well as an appreciation for, all that this community has to offer to an individual as well as to a family.

Upon his departure, he resolved to one day re-establish his roots in the Kootenay region.

Now married, he and his wife Penny look forward to settling in Nelson and raising their two young daughters, Wendy and Taylor, in the “Queen City”. His goal is to passionately build on his past community policing success in Ottawa and to use his significant knowledge, skill and ability for the benefit of the citizens of this community.

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Photo:  Provincial Court Judge Hewson swore in Cst. Caldwell at the Nelson Law Courts on October 31, 2014. L to R:  Provincial Court Judge Hewson, Cst. Matt Caldwell, Chief Constable Wayne Holland