Supt. Deanne Burleigh speaks during the press conference. (Jenna Hauck/ The Progress)

Police gain well-earned applause

Recent police raids in Chilliwack are taking potentially lethal drugs and weapons off our streets

Chilliwack RCMP took a well-deserved bow on Wednesday.

On display at police headquarters were drugs, firearms and $130,000 in cash that they had seized following a recent investigation. (See story, here.)

One suspect is in custody; a province-wide warrant has been issued for a second man.

If the RCMP seemed proud of their success, they should be.

The seizure will put a significant dent in the availability of drugs in our community. In addition to four kilograms of cocaine, police also confiscated heroin and fentanyl.

It’s no secret the toll these kinds of drugs – and the violence associated with their sale – are having on our communities. Drug overdose deaths in Chilliwack are on track to be twice the number they were last year.

And while this city has been spared the almost daily shootings occurring in other Lower Mainland cities, the targeted killing here in July shows we are not immune.

Indeed, there is no magic border that keeps illegal activity in any one area. Last week’s raids were at locations far from the Chilliwack’s often disparaged downtown core – in the genteel neighbourhoods of Garrison Crossing and near the Vedder Rotary Trail.

They follow raids that turned up drugs and weapons at two other locations: Yarrow and Chilliwack River Valley.

Police in other jurisdictions are also enjoying success. Surrey RCMP held their own press conference last week where they displayed approximately 30,000 doses of cocaine and almost 4,800 doses of heroin and fentanyl. They, too, talked about making a “significant impact” on the drug trade.

These victories won’t bring an end to drug-related carnage we are seeing in the region.

But they will take weapons and potentially lethal narcotics off the streets.

And for that, the officers who put their lives at risk – often with no public recognition – should enjoy their moment of applause.

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