Cultus Lake increases police presence ahead of summer tourism season

If you’re heading to Cultus Lake for the long weekend, you’ll notice an increased police presence.

The park board has partnered with the RCMP to employ two officers at the park all summer, 24 hours a day.

Park board chairperson Joe Lamb says it’s something the popular spot has never had before.

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“In all previous years at Cultus Lake, we’ve employed a third-party security firm to manage the public spaces, and over the years that’s become less and less effective with people not necessarily respecting their authority or their power,” Lamb said.

He says there will be officers watching for drinking and illegal activity until September long weekend.

“There will be police presence on the lake, in the boats, to monitor what’s happening on the water,” Lamb explained. “There will be full-time police presence at the docks, and at the beachfront areas.”

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It’s a bid, he said, that hopes to ease some of the crime in the area.

“When you have a million-plus visitors every year in a very small tight space, there’s drinking that occurs on the docks, there’s disagreements,” Lamb explained.

Chilliwack RCMP did confirm to Global News there has been a 50 per cent increase in crime across Cultus Lake from March to April 2019.

The crimes range from thefts out of automobiles, to miscellaneous crimes.

As for cost of having the increased police presence, Lamb says they’re paying for the officers through parking fees.

He says the program will continue for the next four summers.

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© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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