Cowichan Valley RCMP laud Sunfest’s organization

In addition to a private security firm hired by the promoters, the Sunfest grounds were patrolled by a large contingent of RCMP officers and auxiliary cons tables f rom ac ros s Vancouver Island last weekend.

The RCMP were involved in traffic control, crowd management and other patrols on the grounds, protecting the public and ensuring that order was maintained.

North Cowichan/Duncan detachment commander Insp. Ray Car fantan was directly involved in the job, making foot and bike patrols and booking prisoners. Carfantan was impressed with the way the many groups involved in the festival worked together.

"Success at these events is a result of the cooperation between policing, municipal and other levels of government, community partners, and the organizers, starting in the planning phase months prior to the event," he said.

As many as 28 officers and auxiliaries were on the site at any one time. A mobile command post was brought in from E Division Headquarters, along with two ATVs from the Shawnigan Lake RCMP and bicycles from the North Cowichan/Duncan detachment. Personnel were on hand from North Cowichan/Duncan, Shawnigan Lake, Sidney, Victoria, Sooke, West Shore, Nanaimo and Oceanside, as well as a visiting auxiliary from Fort St. John. All policing costs are covered by event organizers.

Over the five-day festival, 65 police files were created, including 35 for open liquor, a new violation this year. The 30 other files marked a decrease from the 36 generated last year, despite the event being larger and guests arriving a day earlier.

"I have been involved in policing at Sunfest for four years," Cpl. Jon Stuart, the site commander, said. "Every year we learn and make improvements to our plans and infrastructure, and every year it gets better."

Planning is already underway for policing at Sunfest 2015.