SUNDRE — RCMP detachment members experienced fewer calls over the holiday season than last year but were still busy.
Sundre RCMP Sgt. Trent Sperlie, the department’s commander, said 30 calls were received from Christmas Eve to New Year’s Day. That was down from last year’s 44 calls during the same span of time.
Describing the local holiday season as “pretty anti-climactic,” the sergeant said an inebriated individual who had overindulged was held in custody to sober up over New Year’s following an instance of mischief after he urinated inside a residence and refused to leave.
“It was best to keep them in a cell until they had a chance to wear off the New Year’s cheer,” said Sperlie, adding members exercised discretion in the matter. “There’s times when you have to take action to protect both the person and the public.”
No criminal charges were laid and the male, who was in town visiting for New Year celebrations, was issued a ticket for public intoxication. Although the male was not dangerous, the sergeant said there’s always a risk the situation might exacerbate when someone is that intoxicated.
“In those cases, it’s best to take custody of the person and let them sober up,” he said, adding the extremely cold conditions could also put in peril someone who has had one too many drinks.
“That is a huge concern with intoxicated people. I’ve seen that a few times, where people have passed out in the snow (and) they’ve frozen and lost fingers or toes because of the frostbite," he said.
There were three other mischief files, one involving a female from out of town who refused to leave Tim Hortons on the evening of Dec. 29. When an officer arrived at the scene, the member discovered the person had two warrants out for her arrest stemming from failure to comply with conditions out of Red Deer and Olds. The individual was later released after being held at the Sundre detachment, he said.
And at about 8 a.m. on New Year’s Day, police responded to an intoxicated physical dispute involving family members that resulted in one individual being arrested and removed from the residence and subsequently held and given time to sober up. However, no charges were laid in that incident, he said.
On New Year’s Eve at about 9:30 p.m. there was also a verbal altercation among family with alcohol believed to be a factor. But cooler heads prevailed when police arrived and were able to exercise diplomacy and tact in helping the family resolve the conflict, he said.
“If we can get people to deal with minor issues themselves, we’re way further ahead than trying to use the judicial system," he said.
Meanwhile, a report of illegal hunting or guns being fired on Christmas Day at about 2 a.m. just east of town on Rge. Rd. 51 could not be confirmed and was most likely fireworks, he said.
“If that’s the worst call they got that day, that day was a good day,” he said.