To listen to the Kelowna RCMP’s initial media response to Sunday’s gangland execution in front of the Delta Grand Hotel, this was not a reflection of our city.
To follow the RCMP’s perspective, we live in a vacation paradise that is not used to such outbreaks of violence, that should be surprised that such gangland violence could occur on our streets.
Well, we need to think again about that. We need to ask ourselves honestly if that’s the case, and if not then what, if anything, we can do to restore that reputation. That’s a question that city hall and the police department need to rethink in the coming days and weeks.
Perhaps the answer is to bring more resources to the RCMP to keep a lid on what most people who live and do business in this city already know or suspect—the role gangs play in our local economy both as drug dealers and laundering their drug profits.
City hall has been leery in recent years to meet the staff demands of Kelowna RCMP Supt. Bill McKinnon, despite his impassioned pleas to the contrary. But city hall determines priorities in spending, and the RCMP have to determine priorities based on the resources at hand. Perhaps both need to be reviewed.
After all, we had an attempted slaying of five people in broad daylight at a busy tourist destination, less than two blocks from the RCMP detachment. If nothing else, on the surface that shows little respect on the part of the perpetrators that they might actually get caught.
We should be thankful no innocent bystanders were hit by the flurry of automatic weapon gunfire. However, our city is now less safe than it was before Sunday, and we wonder now what retribution, if any, this shooting will bring upon us.