Center of Gravity will take place this weekend in Kelowna.

Increased police presence for this weekend’s Center of Gravity event

Kelowna RCMP have been planning their strategy for the weekend for months

Enhanced policing and enforcement strategies have been developed by the Kelowna RCMP to deal with this weekend’s annual Centre of Gravity festival, including members of the Mounties gang enforcement unit.

For several months now, the Kelowna RCMP have been preparing for the outdoor event at City Park adding resources from the Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit (CFSEU) of British Columbia and the Alberta Law Enforcement Response Team (ALERT).

Members from both teams will be in the city to ensure the general public and event participants enjoy the event safely.

Once again this year, Uniform Gang Enforcement Team members from the CFSEU-BC will be in the Central Okanagan to support Kelowna Mounties, to help make sure that their presence is felt by those who may want to risk the public’s safety.

“The public can expect to see local RCMP officers, partnered with CFSEU-BC and ALERT officers, out on patrol in RCMP vessels monitoring the waters of Okanagan Lake,” said Cpl. Jesse O’Donaghey, spokesperson for the Kelowna Regional RCMP. “The RCMP’s primary concern will of course be safety on the water, however the officers will also ensure that boat operators are abiding by boating laws, rules and regulations.”

RCMP anticipate traffic to be heavy. Police ask for patience from motorists and strongly encourage drivers to do their part in keeping the roads in Kelowna safe this weekend.

“Trained enforcement officers, with the Kelowna RCMP Municipal Traffic Section and the Kelowna RCMP Integrated Road Safety Unit (IRSU) will be on patrol targeting aggressive, distracted and impaired drivers throughout the weekend,” said O’Donaghey.

RCMP have once again adopted a zero tolerance policy for open liquor, drug use and trafficking, public intoxication and other disturbing or violent behaviours. Fines for offences committed under the Liquor Control and Licensing Act (LCLA) range from $115 to $575. The possession of illicit drugs, sale of drugs and all other criminal offences committed, may be referred to Crown for prosecution.

As in years past, the RCMP will also be working very closely with Centre of Gravity organizers and contracted private security companies to ensure the event runs both smoothly with safety in mind.