Updated March 4
Sicamous RCMP are assuring residents a local man taken into custody for uttering threats that may have involved a local school has been determined to pose no threat to public safety.
On Saturday, Feb. 22, a 21-year-old Sicamous man was arrested after police received a report of threats. Sicamous RCMP Sgt. Dave Dubnyk said officers acted immediately and the arrest was made the same day.
“We take it very serious any time we receive a report of threats, and when one of the targets of the threat is a school, it definitely adds a heightened level of urgency,” said Dubnyk.
In response to concerns being voiced in the community, Dubnyk notes how stories can take on a life of their own. He said the threats were part of an exchange between the 21-year old and another individual, that the two are known to each other and have a history of negative exchanges.
“There was reference made to a school, it was not as direct as what people believe, and that was part of our risk assessment… I thought what the school district released was right on the money,” said Dubnyk, referring to a newsletter released subsequent to the arrest by School District #83 superintendent Glen Borthistle. In the letter he states there was no immediate threat to the school, and that police have taken actions to ensure the school’s safety.
“We wanted to reassure you that all threats to our schools or students are taken seriously and investigated thoroughly,” states Borthistle. “We also wanted to be sure to communicate clear and factual information with parents in order to clarify any misconceptions about the incident that may be circulating.
The 21-year-old does not have a criminal record, and has since been released.
Dubnyk said the incident is still under investigation, being conducted in part by the RCMP’s behavioural sciences officers. Dubnyk said investigators are searching through Facebook and other social media and online sources to gather information, and that all evidence will be submitted to Crown counsel to determine applicable charges. Meanwhile, Sicamous officers are making routine checks at the 21-year-old’s place of residence, for the public’s safety as well as his own.
“We’re getting really good co-operation with everybody that we’re dealing with, and we just feel that if there were anything to arise, we would be notified right away and could act accordingly,” said Dubnyk, who reiterated police continue to work with the local schools and that the safety of the children was never compromised.
Police have already received several related calls and tips from the public, and Dubnyk encourages anyone with information that could assist in the investigation to contact the local RCMP detachment at 250-836-2878.