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Insp. Norm McPhail leaving Whistler

Will assume new role in Victoria, but be back for Games

For the third time in his almost 30 year career with the RCMP, Chief Inspector Norm McPhail of Sea to Sky Regional Police Services will say good-bye to Whistler.

Effective June 15, Insp. McPhail will head to Victoria to assume a new role as RCMP liaison officer to the provincial government through the Criminal Justice Reform Secretariat.

"It's going to be a nice new challenge, but it's also a tough move because I really enjoy Whistler and... will miss the community and the people," he said. "I will be back with the Olympics and in my new position, and of course to visit."

In his new role Insp. McPhail will act as go-between for the RCMP and the province, "looking at policing issues and challenges, and how we interface through the justice system with specific crime challenges," he said.

For example, the province is looking at the issue of sentencing reform where suspects held in custody are currently given two-for-one credit for time served while awaiting trial. The province may do away with that provision.

Other issues that are front and centre right now include gun violence, crime reduction strategies, prolific offender programs and bail reform.

In 2006 then Sgt. McPhail was promoted from Staff Sergeant of the Whistler-Pemberton RCMP detachment to Chief Inspector with a newly created role coordinating communications and emergency response between police departments throughout the Sea to Sky region, from Bowen Island and Lions Bay to Pemberton.

Most recently he has been working with the RCMP to develop operational plans for the 2010 Winter Olympic Games' Integrated Security Unit. He will return to Whistler for the 2010 Olympics and Paralympics to serve as incident commander during the Games, ensuring continuity in the position.

In addition to his new position, Insp. McPhail will be taking Masters courses on Organizational Conflict Analysis and Management at Royal Roads University, which is something he intended to follow up on even before his promotion.

As of press time the Sea to Sky Regional Police Service is working to find a replacement for Insp. McPhail, in consultation with local governments. A replacement Regional Police Services Commander should be named in the coming weeks.

Highway checks flush out impaired drivers

The RCMP had a busy weekend checking drivers on the Sea to Sky Highway, and issued four impaired driving charges. One resident of Whistler, one resident of Squamish, and two residents of Vancouver will be appearing in North Vancouver court on May 5, and may be required to purchase breathalyzers for their vehicles on top of licence suspensions, according to a new provincial policy. As well, five drivers were issued 24-hour prohibitions, and one driver was charged with driving while prohibited, and may be required to purchase breathalyzers if they are repeat offenders.