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Vernon North Okanagan RCMP superintendant leaving for Vancouver Island

Shawna Baher has accepted the position of chief superintendent based in Victoria
Superintendant Shawna Baher of the Vernon North Okanagan RCMP has accepted a new position on Vancouver Island, leaving a void in Vernon for the time being. (Contributed)

The top police officer for Vernon North Okanagan is moving on to greener pastures.

Superintendent Shawna Baher has accepted a promotion to be the new chief superintendent on Vancouver Island.

Based out of Victoria, Baher will have the responsibility of covering 26 different detachments on the Island.

The news came during the Monday, Nov. 27 council meeting, where Baher presented the RCMP quarterly report.

Highlights of the report showed that the RCMP took 33 impaired drivers off the road in the three month period of July, August and September (third quarter).

“Impaired driving is something that we continue to see, whether that be by drug or alcohol and it is something that is on most watch reports,” said Baher. “We typically see a substantial number of those.”

The Vernon North Okanagan RCMP will be taking part in the provincial campaign for impaired driving, on Saturday, Dec. 2.

The third quarter had reductions in calls for service, property offences and criminal code sentences. Year-to-date, calls for service are down 4.89 per cent (14,497 total), up 3.6 per cent for criminal code offences (4,705) and down 2.1 per cent for property offences (2,642).

With regards to the toxic drug crisis, 630 naloxone kits have been given out year-to-date, and the RCMP made 395 referrals for mental health and substance use services. In addition, the Integrated Crisis Response Team (ICRT) officially started on Nov. 15

“So far, they have been out and about helping community members as it is related to mental health and substance abuse calls,” Baher said. “We have that operating seven days a week, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.”

In sad news, former police dog Cain passed away.

“Cain spent his entire eight year career protecting the communities of the North Okanagan,” Baher explained. “He lived a good life and when he did retire, he did so with his handler.”

Baher’s loss now leaves a void in the Vernon detachment, as there is no current succession plan in place for the top role.

Coun. Akbal Mund congratulated Baher on the promotion but lamented her loss.

“I’m sure you will do well, as you have here, but it is disappointing you leaving,” said Mund. “Obviously, we were very lucky to get you here and I worry that if we don’t get the right person here that a lot of those initiatives that you started will disappear. “

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Bowen Assman

About the Author: Bowen Assman

I joined The Morning Star team in January 2023 as a reporter. Before that, I spent 10 months covering sports in Kelowna.
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