RCMP ready for New Year's 


Although there is still some debate over whether last year’s New Year’s Eve festivities constituted a riot, or merely a raucous party with a few bad eggs in the mix, the numbers speak for themselves.

A total of 106 party-goers were arrested for alcohol-related offences, and the crowd that had gathered in the village outside of the First Night festivities, was estimated to be about 5,000 strong. Some of the participants began to throw ice and bottles, and one victim was taking to the hospital for stitches. A window was broken at one restaurant, and a tree worth approximately $2,000 was damaged beyond repair.

The large number of detainees meant that 20 had to be bused to Squamish and 20 to Pemberton to free up room in Whistler’s holding facilities.

The RCMP’s ‘no tolerance’ policy will be in effect again this New Year’s Eve, according to Whistler Community Policing Officer Carmen Magnusson. That means that anyone found drunk, carrying alcohol, or otherwise misbehaving will be detained by the police.

The force in the village will also be bolstered by approximately 80 officers from the Lower Mainland, and the usual roadblocks will be set up on Highway 99 to turn people away who don’t have a place to stay.

"People should expect road delays," says Magnusson. "It’s the same thing we do every year."

Pemberton and Squamish RCMP detachments will once again provide overflow space if Whistler cells become too crowded.

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