Your Nova Scotia RCMP 2017

Remembering our fellow officer, Constable Francis (Frank) Deschênes, 1982-2017

Cst. Francis Deschênes

On September 12, 2017, at approximately 6 p.m., we lost one of our own. Cst. Frank Deschênes was killed while on duty with Northwest Traffic Services, Amherst. Cst. Deschênes was stopped and providing assistance to motorists on Highway #2 in Memramcook, New Brunswick, at the time of the fatal crash.

That evening many lives changed. Frank's wife lost her husband, his parents lost their son, his brother lost his only brother, his inlaws lost their son-in-law, and thousands of RCMP employees and police officers across the country lost one of our own.

Frank served his country and was committed to something much larger than himself of which there is nothing more honourable. Everyone who knew Frank described him as the guy who did the right thing when no one was watching and that is exactly what Frank was doing when he lost his life.

When you think of a Mountie, Frank epitomizes that image. He put on his uniform with pride, lived our core values through his actions and served others unselfishly, with integrity and respect. Regimental #5-1-6-5-4 rest peacefully in your final place of honour.

Message from the Commanding Officer, Assistant Commissioner Brian Brennan

Assistant Commissioner
Brian Brennan

As Nova Scotia's Provincial Police, we are fortunate to work closely with the Province of Nova Scotia, Mayors, Wardens, Councils, First Nations Chiefs and Police Advisory Boards (PAB) to collaborate on local policing priorities. An area of focus during the past year has been to ensure representatives of the communities we serve are aware of the resources and specialized units we have available to support our detachment members. These conversations, initiated during meetings and tours of our facilities, allow us to showcase our specialized units and services that we provide as the Provincial Police to support the frontline day-to-day and during major incidents. While those units may not be seen in the communities, it is critical to understand they are working for the communities.

Over the past year, many people have raised questions about the legalization of cannabis and the impact this will have in our communities and on our roadways. Impaired driving by drugs and alcohol continues to be a leading cause of fatal and serious injuries on our roadways. For over 10 years we have been training our officers to investigate drug impaired driving. In preparation for the legalization of marihuana, the Nova Scotia RCMP have placed an emphasis on drug recognition training and are leading the country with the highest number of trained drug recognition experts per capita. You can read more about our drug recognition experts later in this report. Nova Scotians have played a critical role in keeping our roads safe, and with the legalization of cannabis, we will continue to rely on citizens to call 911 when they suspect someone is driving impaired.

Cybercrimes continue to impact Nova Scotians and they are a priority for the RCMP and for police agencies around the world. Police continue to adapt and enhance our investigative methods because technology is constantly changing. The crimes don't follow traditional policing jurisdictions and typically involve numerous agencies from around the world. Detecting and arresting these criminals requires specialized skills, intelligence sharing and teamwork. In the past year, Nova Scotia RCMP have received thousands of complaints from people who were targeted in some way by cyber-related crime. Unfortunately, a number of people have fallen victim, and have provided scammers with cash, bitcoin, music gifts cards and personal information.

While it is never possible to fully predict the future, I am certain that the demands on policing, resulting from cyber-related crimes, will continue to grow. That is why the Nova Scotia RCMP is committed to educating our citizens to protect themselves and not fall victim to these types of crimes.

As you read through this report, I hope you can see the important role our citizens play in the work we do. We are all fortunate to call Nova Scotia home, and by working together, we ensure it remains a safe place to live and to raise our families. Thank you for your continued support of our employees. We are honoured to serve as your Provincial Police.

Wi'katikn peji-apu'kwetoq Nikanus Ta'n ekinua'teket Brian Brennan

Ta'n ekinua'teket
Brian Brennan

Ninen No'pa Sko'siaewe'k Nuji-kla'qa'lua'tijik, welta'sultiek kis-mawlukutinen No'pa Sko'sia, Nikanu'sk Kjikanl aqq Wutanl, Mawaknutma'tite'wk, Saqamaq Aqq Iluma'tiji Nuji-kla'qa'lua'tijik (PAB) maliaptmek ta'n tellukuti'tij nuji-kla'qa'lua'tijik. Ula newtipunqek kis-pmiaq melkuktmekip kinua'tuanen wenik koqoey ala'tuek apoqnmuanen Nuji-kla'qa'lua'tijik etl-lukutijik wutanl. Ula koqoey wesku'tasiksip ke'sk mawaknutma'timk aqq ta'n tujiw wenik pejiiloqaptmi'tij etl-lukutiek. Ekinua'taqitjik keknue'k koqoey ala'tuek apoqnmua'tinen te'sikiskik aqq ta'n tujiw mo'qiaq teliaq. Jiptuk ma' nmitasinukl ula koqoe'l etekl wutank, katu etekl na.

Ula newtipunqek kis-pmiaq, pikwelk wen wesku'tk asite'tasin ntui'kasin msiku aqq ta'n tli-we'tuo'ten wutaniminal aqq alkwi'tekemk. Alkwi'tekemk a'qatapimk kisna kepaqsi-wsuo'tumk mpisun wejiaq mawelkik jilo'ltijik kisna siktesultijik awtik. Piamiw metla'sipunqekl ekina'maqitjik Nujikla'qa'lua'tijik jiko'tmnew aqq panuijkatmnew alkwi'tekemk kisi-kepaqsi-wsuo'tumk mpisun. Ki's poqji-kiskaja'lsultiek wjit elmiaq asite'tasik msiku, No'pa Sko'siaewe'k Nuji-kla'qa'lua'tijik nikana'tu'tij ekina'muemk teli-kjiju't wen kisiwe'wk msiku. Kis-kittesk me' wjit teli-kjiju't wen kisi-we'wk msiku wikasitew aknutmaqn kisa'tuek. No'pa Sko'siaewaq sa'q melkuktmi'tij menaqaj alkwi'tekemk awtik, aqq elmiaq asite'tasik msiku, lita'sualatesnen wenik 911 mattaqa'luksinen aqq kinua'tuksinen elmiaq etlite'lma'tij wenl alkwi'teketl toqo a'qatapilin kisna kisi-kepaqsiwsuo'tun koqoey.

O'pla'tekemk kompu'tl-iktuk ne'kaw askayakwi'tij No'pa Sko'siaewaq aqq melkuktmi'tij Nujikla'qa'lua'tijik No'pa Sko'sia aqq msit tami wskitqamu'k. Nuji-kla'qa'lua'tijik amujpa kaqi'sk sa'se'wa'tu'tij ta'n tel-maliaptmi'tij mita me' pemikwek aqq sa'se'wa'sik kjijitaqn wjit kompu'tlk aqq ta'n tel-we'wuj. Mu telitpianuk koqoey pasik newte' wutan aqq panuijkatmumk amujpa wiaqa'lujik Nuji-kla'qa'lua'tijik tleyawultijik se'k wskitqamu'k. Amujpa keknu'lukutimk aqq mawikwamk ke'sk mu mesnamit ula o'pla'taqatijik. Ula kis-pmiaq newtipunqek, Nuji-kla'qa'lua'tijik No'pa Sko'sia maliaptmi'titl piamiw kji-pitui-mtlnaqn te'sikl mesikesimkl wjit wenik askeya'kwi'tij o'pla'tekemk kompu'tl-iktuk. Pikwelk wen kis-na'qatpeyut apu'an na'tuenl suliewey, kompu'tley suliewey, iknmatimkewe'l aqq keknue'k kinua'taqn wjit ta'n wenimk.

Mu kejitumit ta'n-tliatew elmi'knik, katu kejitu nuta'tew me' pikwelk lukwaqn mita pemiajelk o'pla'tekemk kompu'tl-iktuk. Na wjit Nuji-kla'qa'lua'tijik No'pa Sko'sia melkuktmi'tij kina'muanew wenik kulaman nentaq tel-kiseyut wen kompu'tl-iktuk aqq ma' na'qatpeyakwi'tiki kmutnesk.

Ke'sk pem-kitmn ula aknutmaqn kisa'tuek, ajipjutmek nmitun tel-keknue'k apoqnmasuti weja'tulek wjit ta'n tel-lukutiek. Weli-iknmakweyk kis-tlua'tinenew tleyawulti'k No'pa Sko'sia, aqq maw-lukuti'k kisa'tesnu klu'ktn eymu'k wjit knijannaq aqq kikmanaq. Wela'liek teliapoqnmuoq elukowuksiekik. Kepmite'tmek tellukowulek.

Provincial policing priorities

Each year, the Nova Scotia Department of Justice and RCMP work together to identify areas of public safety that require a strategic targeted focus. The RCMP works to address each area through enforcement efforts, innovative public safety programs and effective education on preventing crime. In 2017, the provincial policing priorities were crime reduction, cybercrime and road safety.

Crime reduction

Preventing, reducing and solving crime is the foundation of what we do, and these activities contribute to the overall safety of the province's communities. We take an approach that is intelligence-led, and based on information from patrol members and investigators. Crime analysts review the available information and formulate intelligence. This information is gathered from a number of areas, including tips from our citizens. Working together, analysts and members use the intelligence to create plans to address the identified areas of concern. This approach allows us to successfully focus our efforts on existing crime-prone areas and predict future crime events with a high degree of success.

Property crimes continue to be a focus of enforcement and education, as they are the most commonly reported offence in Nova Scotia. Property crimes can be a targeted attack or a random crime involving damaged or stolen property. They include robbery, arson, auto theft, fraud scams, vandalism, and break and enters into vehicles, homes and seasonal properties. These types of offences impact the largest number of people and they can lead people to question their sense of safety.

In 2017, there was a spike in the number of reported incidents of thefts from vehicles and break-ins to cottages and seasonal cottages. This is why the RCMP continues to focus on education, because it is important for Nova Scotians to take precautions to avoid becoming a victim.

For example, thefts from motor vehicles are more commonly experienced by those who have not taken precautions to remove valuables (including wallets, garage door openers, cell phones, sunglasses, clothing and money) from their vehicles, and have not locked their doors. These are often referred to as crimes of opportunity and Nova Scotians need to learn how to make it difficult for criminals to steal from them.

Similarly, many Nova Scotian cottages and seasonal properties are targets for crime, most often while vacant during the off-season. Thieves have more time to break-in and look around without fearing the owners will be returning anytime soon. In these cases, cottage and cabin owners can stay ahead of thieves by: locking all windows and doors; asking neighbours to check the property regularly; investing in bright, outdoor lighting and indoor timers; removing valuables, firearms and liquor; purchasing a security system with video or set up trail cameras; gating the driveway or laneway if possible; and recording serial numbers, taking photos and noting unique markings on all items on the property.


A man and a woman sit at their kitchen table checking their online banking. Their balance is much lower than expected. Upon reviewing their transactions, they notice a large cash withdrawal that neither of them made. Their hearts sink. Someone has accessed their account and has stolen their hard-earned money. Immediately, they call the RCMP for help and a cybercrime investigation begins.

Criminals use their computers, laptops, smartphones and tablets to commit fraud and theft cybercrimes. Although these are not new types of crimes, changing technology makes it easier than ever for criminals to target victims online, and the impact can be devastating. When a cybercrime has been committed, the RCMP turns to the Technological Crime Unit (Tech Crime) for help. Tech Crime then uses special equipment and expertise to search and analyze electronic devices for evidence.

In 2017, Tech Crime provided their expertise on over 375 investigations, which included analyzing 368 devices, to help solve investigations. Tech Crime experts continue to invest in technology and training to stay ahead of criminals. They also educate people about cybercrimes so they are able to recognize potential scams. In 2017, the RCMP delivered over 400 presentations to youth, seniors and parents throughout Nova Scotia.

There are many scams that target seniors, so it's important to provide them with the information and tools needed to recognize them. Senior Safety Coordinators and RCMP officers meet with seniors in the province to talk about cybercrimes. This provides a chance for seniors to ask questions. They also receive material about cyber-related scams in the hopes of preventing a crime, and contact numbers to call if they have been victimized.

The RCMP recognizes the importance of educating youth about the dangers of communicating online. One way of reaching youth is through the RCMP Youth Cybercrime Advisory Committee, which is made up of School Safety Resource Officers (SSROs) and youth, ages 14-17, from across the province. The purpose of the committee is to share information about cybercrime and technology. SSROs help students educate others about cybercrime. In turn, students assist RCMP by identifying cyber trends and apps that youth are using.

With new cyber trends being identified often, the RCMP trains its employees by working with partners to host cybercrime workshops across the province. The workshops provide the skills they need to identify cyber trends and to assist them when dealing with cyberrelated crimes.

Mitigating cybercrime remains a priority for the Nova Scotia RCMP and education will continue to help Nova Scotians protect themselves from becoming victims.

Have you ever wondered what a cybercrime is?

Cybercrimes committed in Nova Scotia during 2017
Cybercrime Rate
Identity theft 3%
Frauds 41%
Harassment 19%
Threats 13%
Child pornography 14%
Distributed images 2%
Luring a child 2%
Unauthorized computer use 3%
Extortion 3%
Identity theft

Acquiring and collecting someone else's personal information for criminal purposes.

  • fraud over $5000
  • fraud under $5000
  • fraud through mails
  • fraudulent sale of property
  • scams
  • obtain credit by fraud
  • criminal harassment
  • harassing communications
  • cyberbullying
  • indecent communications
  • threats against a person
  • threats against Property
Child pornography
  • accessing
  • importing
  • possession
  • possession for the purpose of distribution
  • printing/publishing
  • transmitting or making available
Distributed images

Sharing of child exploitation images.

Luring a child

Communicating with a minor for sexual purposes.

Unauthorized computer use

Using a computer system without the authority to do so, also known as hacking.

  • extortion without firearm
  • extortion by libel

RCMPNS launches #WebWednesday

If you've ever wondered if something was a scam, you're not alone. There is a growing number of email, text and phone scams out there and it can make it hard to know what's real. In April, 2017, Nova Scotia RCMP launched #WebWednesday where they share important cyber-related information on topics such as online shopping, identity theft, senior scams and more.

Follow us on Facebook and Twitter for regular tips and occasional humour!

You never know who may try to break into your electronics while you're away. If you lose your phone, your information can be exposed to whomever finds it. Make sure you keep them locked and your passwords hidden.

Road safety – Keeping Nova Scotia roads safe

RCMP Traffic Services and detachment members across the province keep roadways safe through enforcement and education. Members focus on reducing the four leading causes of fatalities and serious injuries from motor vehicle collisions, which are impaired driving, distracted driving, speeding/aggressive driving and not wearing a seatbelt, or wearing one incorrectly. In 2017, there were 40 fatal collisions in Nova Scotia RCMP jurisdiction. This represents a 19% reduction compared to the five-year average (2012-2017) of 49.6.

In Nova Scotia, traffic enforcement is not random. Instead, it is based on analyses of trends, which determine the best locations and times for checkpoints, in order to have the greatest impact on high risk driving behaviours.

This can be seen in the RCMP's response to fatal and serious injury collisions in the Thorburn area, along Hwy 104, in Pictou County. Following analysis by the Traffic Services Data Analyst, Nova Scotia RCMP increased enforcement in the area and the number of fatal and serious injury collisions in Pictou County decreased by 50% between January and March 2017, compared to the same time period in 2016.

In an effort to more efficiently record information in 2017, Nova Scotia RCMP implemented E-Collision, an electronic replacement of the paper reports previously used to record details of a collision. This change has helped the RCMP find, map and analyze information more efficiently, which translates into a deployment of traffic resources to high incident areas.

Impaired driving

Despite the deadly consequences of impaired driving, people continue to risk their lives, and the lives of others, by getting behind the wheel while impaired. As long as people take that risk, the RCMP will work to detect and apprehend them. In 2017, Nova Scotia RCMP charged 761 people with Impaired Driving by Alcohol and 43 for Impaired Driving by Drug. There were also 129 drivers who did not comply with requests for drug/alcohol testing for suspected impaired driving. They were charged with Failure or Refusal to Comply with Demand. RCMP also issued 446 administrative suspensions, where drivers lost their licenses for between 24 hours and 30 days.

In 2017, Nova Scotia RCMP increased the number of members specially-equipped to detect impaired drivers. An additional 32 members learned to conduct Standardized Field Sobriety Tests or were trained as Drug Recognition Experts, enhancing their ability to contribute to safe roads and highways in Nova Scotia.

Distracted driving

Nova Scotia RCMP continued to focus on reducing distracted driving in 2017, issuing 1,786 tickets for the use of a handheld device while driving. The RCMP uses various methods, including unmarked spotters (members in plain clothes or unmarked vehicles) who look for motorists engaged in dangerous driving. If one is spotted, the member contacts a colleague in another vehicle, who then pulls the driver over.

Aggressive driving

In 2017, Nova Scotia RCMP charged 18,159 people for speeding and 181 people for stunting. Stunting includes a number of dangerous driving practices, including travelling 50 km/h or more above the speed limit. Speeding drastically reduces the amount of time drivers have to react to unexpected hazards, putting themselves and other road users at risk. The RCMP will continue to target speeders and aggressive drivers in an effort to protect Nova Scotia roadways.

Not wearing a seat belt or wearing one incorrectly

Seat belts save lives but some people refuse to wear them. In an effort to increase proper seat belt use, Nova Scotia RCMP charged 2,247 people for not wearing a seat belt, or wearing one incorrectly, in 2017. Wearing a seat belt greatly improves chances of survival in a collision. RCMP ask motorists to do their part, to protect themselves and others, by buckling up every time they get into a motor vehicle.

Supporting enforcement through education

The RCMP partners with local organizations to spread awareness of road safety. Checkpoints are held year-round, with increased emphasis on Canada Road Safety Week, Operation Christmas, Operation Impact and National Impaired Driving Enforcement Day. These provide members with the opportunity to connect with drivers face-to-face and reinforce the importance of wearing seat belts and of driving sober, focused and at safe speeds.

Other organizations and the media also work with the RCMP to provide information on protecting groups, including child passengers, cyclists, people in school zones, workers in construction zones, motorcycle riders and first responders.

Cst. Robert Kavanaugh recognized with national MADD Canada award

A member of Northeast Traffic Services in Antigonish was awarded the annual 2017 MADD Canada Terry Ryan Memorial Award for Excellence in Police Services, which recognizes a significant contribution to helping reduce impaired driving.

Cst. Robert Kavanaugh was celebrated for sharing his knowledge within the RCMP and other organizations. He trains officers in Standardized Field Sobriety Tests, and educates them to become experts in recognizing drug impairment, through his role as a Drug Recognition Expert instructor. He also helped create an instruction kit to assist members with issuing blood demands at hospitals.

When it comes to detecting and processing impaired drivers, Cst. Kavanaugh is relentless. He uses his skills in Standardized Field Sobriety Tests and his experience as a Drug Recognition Expert to protect the public by identifying impaired drivers and removing them from the road.

Keeping roads safe with RCMP motorcycles

Specially-trained Nova Scotia RCMP Traffic Services members use police motorcycles to help keep roads safe. During the 2017 motorcycle season, they issued 480 tickets. Over half of the tickets issued were for not wearing seatbelts, or for wearing them the wrong way - such as not wearing the shoulder portion of the seatbelt. As one of the four main causes of serious and fatal collisions, choosing not to wear a seatbelt, or wearing one incorrectly, is a risky decision that could cost someone their life.

Helping motorcycle riders stay safe

Motorcycles don't have seatbelts, so a rider could be thrown the distance of a football field, or farther, in a collision. To drive home the importance of motorcycle safety, Traffic Services and the Strategic Communications Unit partnered with media to spread the message about the potential impact of motorcycle collisions.

Pylons were placed at different locations on a football field, to show the distances a motorcycle rider could be thrown during a collision, when travelling at different rates of speed:

  • travelling 50 km/h, a rider could be thrown approximately 20 metres, a greater distance than eight RCMP motorcycles lined up fender-to-fender
  • travelling 80 km/h, a rider could be thrown approximately 52 metres, a greater distance than nine RCMP cruisers lined up bumper-to-bumper
  • travelling 110 km/h, a rider could be thrown 98 metres, a greater distance than seven RCMP helicopters lined up nose-to-tail

All motorists can help reduce motorcycle collisions. Those who share the road with motorcycles can keep their eyes on the road, check their blind spots and mirrors before changing lanes and give motorcycles space, just like any other vehicle.

Motorcycle riders can take precautionary measures as well:

  • Consider wearing reflective clothing
  • Inspect your motorcycle before heading out
  • Travel at a safe speed
  • Wear a Canadian Standards Association-approved helmet
  • Ride within your experience and skill level
  • Go with an experienced rider the first time you explore a new area
  • Only ride when sober, focused and well-rested
  • Focus on where you need to go rather than looking at what you want to avoid (the motorcycle may go where you look)
  • Check your blind spot before changing lanes
  • Ensure left-turning motorists have stopped before entering an intersection

Enhancing relationships with Indigenous communities

The RCMP has a long and productive history of service to Indigenous communities across Nova Scotia and is continuously exploring ways of enhancing those relationships. As the contracted police service for 13 of Nova Scotia's Indigenous communities, RCMP employees led or participated in over 800 crime prevention and community policing activities in 2017.

Throughout the year, the Nova Scotia RCMP First Nations Strategic Planning Committee continued work on policies and practices related to Indigenous employees and communities. One area of focus was the Relationship Building Protocol with the Assembly of First Nations. This was enhanced through collaboration with employees, consultation with our communities and strategic succession planning of Indigenous Regular Members in the Province. While there were considerable areas of progress, most notable was the introduction and launch of the Eagle Feather initiative.

The Eagle Feather can be used in the same way as a Bible or affirmation and may also be offered as a comfort for a client when interacting with employees at a detachment. All clients, including victims, witnesses and police officers, will have the option to swear legal oaths on an Eagle Feather. The initiative, which began in October and fully expanded across the province in March 2018, marks the first time the RCMP has made the Eagle Feather available in RCMP detachments.

"The unveiling and use of the Eagle Feather in RCMP detachments across Nova Scotia reflects the RCMP's commitment to our Indigenous communities and reinforces to our Indigenous employees the importance of their culture to our organization," said Assistant Commissioner Brian Brennan, Commanding Officer for the Nova Scotia RCMP. "This was an employee-driven initiative and presented a tremendous opportunity for the RCMP to work closely with our Mi'kmaq communities on an initiative that will have a lasting impact."

Months of work and planning went into every detail of the ceremonies where the feathers were presented to detachment commanders. The RCMP was pleased to have Elder Jane Abram smudge the feathers before they were handed out and Keptin Donald Julien, Executive Director of the Confederacy of Mainland Mi'kmaq, offered a blessing. Also in attendance at the ceremonies was Clifford Paul, who is a member of the Commanding Officer's Aboriginal Advisory Committee. He spoke about the importance of the Eagle Feather to Indigenous culture and its personal meaning to him.

To promote the RCMP as a career choice for Nova Scotia's Indigenous youth and to develop leadership skills, the RCMP held leadership days in Indigenous communities in Kings County, Pictou Landing and Sipekne'katik (Indian Brook). Youth participated in leadership courses, tested impaired goggles to better understand the impact of being impaired by drug or alcohol and received presentations from specialized RCMP units. These activities are initiated to enhance relationships and encourage youth to consider law enforcement as a future career.

Members are actively involved in community events like the 2017 Mi'kmaq Summer Games held in Wagmatcook. The event was a chance for employees to compete alongside individuals from the community, display the RCMP and talk with elders and youth. Recruiters were on hand to showcase a career in the RCMP.

Twice a year, the RCMP hosts an Aboriginal Perceptions Training course. The five-day course provides the opportunity for employees to learn the history of Nova Scotia's Mi'kmaq people and explore cultural awareness in the context of Nova Scotia's Mi'kmaq communities. During the course, Elder and Residential School survivor, Jane Abram, shares her personal experiences and assists with discussions and teachings. Professor and author, Dr. Jane McMillan, discusses the wrongful conviction of Donald Marshall and the Supreme Court ruling that changed Indigenous fishing rights across Canada. The course offers opportunities to participate in a sweat lodge, pipe ceremony and a smudging ceremony. The teachings include Medicine Pouch and traditional Medicine Teachings and cultural displays, where employees learn the ceremonial and historical significance of medicines, baskets, quill boxes and the Eagle Feather.

Empowering Pictou Landing First Nation through wellness retreats

Cst. Shaylene Sutherland of Pictou County District RCMP, in partnership with Pictou Landing First Nation and Pictou Landing Health, coordinated two weekend retreats for First Nation community members. In May, they organized "Empowering Our Youth" wellness retreat for young males, ages 14 to 18, and "Empowering Our People" wellness retreat for men took place in November.

Making healthy lifestyle choices and preventing violence was the focus of the retreats, with an emphasis on stopping domestic violence. Peer leaders from Pictou Landing First Nation received training and helped lead the youth program.

"Using culturally-appropriate teaching tools, we want to help participants develop their own code of honour principles focusing on violence prevention, building confidence, self-esteem and discovering their cultural identity," said Cst. Sutherland. "This code of honour will guide participants throughout the camp and hopefully throughout their lifetimes."

Both retreats included a naming ceremony and a talking circle as well as discussions on various topics, including the root causes of violence, relationships, addictions and coping skills. Participants put their hands to work, making drums and eel spears. The men's retreat also included a sweat lodge.

Organizers hope these retreats can be used as a template for similar events in other First Nations communities in the future, as participants benefit through the promotion of wellness and they give RCMP the opportunity to enhance relationships with Aboriginal communities.

International investigations

Criminal activity knows no borders and that is why investigations undertaken by the RCMP often span municipal, provincial and national jurisdictions and countries. Ensuring the success of these highly complex investigations means forecasting and understanding crime trends, cooperating and sharing intelligence with law enforcement partners and agencies, and conducting covert and overt investigations, with a goal of ultimately arresting as many criminals as possible.

Operation Halfpenny uncovers international conspiracy to import and traffic cocaine

In February, as part of Operation Halfpenny, the Nova Scotia RCMP Federal Serious and Organized Crime Unit disrupted a Columbia connected drug trafficking ring. The 18-month investigation prevented over a tonne of cocaine from making it onto our streets. Six men were charged with multiple offences related to drug trafficking and conspiracy to import drugs.

RCMP members arrested four men from Nova Scotia and two from Ontario. During the search of four Nova Scotia homes, 25 firearms, a large amount of ammunition, three prohibited weapons, a stolen vehicle, a significant quantity of hashish, cash and tactical equipment were uncovered.

Andrew Francis Frank of West Arichat, Nova Scotia, and Donald Gordon Mugford of Baddeck, Nova Scotia, were each charged with multiple offences related to trafficking cocaine and conspiracy to import cocaine. Douglas Eric Andrew Fredericks of Hubley, Nova Scotia, Jacek Mucha of Oakville, Ontario and Raymond J.Y. Lachapelle of Hawkesbury, Ontario, were each charged with multiple offences related to conspiring to traffic and import cocaine. Wayne Bennie Mury of Arichat, Nova Scotia, was charged with Trafficking Cocaine and Possession of Cocaine for the Purpose of Trafficking.

Throughout the one-and-a-half-year investigation, Nova Scotia RCMP worked with Canada Border Services Agency, the Criminal Intelligence Service of Nova Scotia and the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority. RCMP in Alberta, British Columbia, New Brunswick, Ontario, Quebec and Saskatchewan also assisted with the investigation.

The case is before the courts.

Arrested in Venezuela – Steven Skinner extradited back to Canada after international arrest warrant for second-degree murder

In April 2011, Stacey Adams was found dead at a home in Lake Echo. Within months of the death, police issued an international arrest warrant for Steven Douglas Skinner, on the charge of second-degree murder. Skinner was already on conditions at the time of the murder and facing charges of aggravated assault, forcible confinement, assault with a weapon, uttering threats and possession of a weapon for a dangerous purpose, resulting from a July 2009 incident in Lower Sackville.

While Skinner was on the run from police, investigators were following up on leads and tips and were on his trail. He was placed on Interpol's most-wanted list as he used aliases and moved from country to country to evade law enforcement.

On May 15, 2016, while lying on a beach in Venezuela, 44-year-old Steven Skinner was arrested by police on Margarita Island. Following Skinner's arrest, the one-year extradition process began. Halifax District RCMP and Halifax Regional Police then worked with the Government of Venezuela, Venezuelan Police, Department of Justice, Interpol, and Canadian and Venezuelan Embassies to return Skinner to Nova Scotia.

On June 17, 2017, under police escort, Skinner was extradited back to Halifax, and within days, appeared before the courts to face a charge of second-degree murder.

The matter remains before the courts.

Three charged in an international lobster theft fraud ring

The lobster industry can be a lucrative business and it's how many Nova Scotians earn a living, so when RCMP members unveiled an international lobster fraud theft ring, they knew its impacts could be devastating to the fishing community and beyond.

Members with the Shelburne County Street Crime Unit and Nova Scotia Federal Serious & Organized Crime Section began working with partner agencies on a complex 22-month investigation in July, 2015. At that time, RCMP received information that a man from Shag Harbour had defrauded a Shelburne County lobster company of $175,000 the previous fishing season. During the course of the investigation, officers gathered evidence to reveal that other companies were also targeted. A Barrington company was defrauded of more than $500,000, a Shelburne County company of $1.7 million and a Taiwan company of more than $250,000.

"These individuals were running a sophisticated operation that required extensive police resources and expertise to investigate," says Insp. Dan Morrow, Officer in Charge of Kings District RCMP. "Those charged had substantial reach and influence on the local, national and international seafood market."

Three men were charged as a result of the investigation:

  • Terry Dale Banks of Shag Harbour was charged with four counts of Fraud over $5,000 and three counts of Theft over $5,000
  • Wayne Lawrence Banks of Shag Harbour was charged with three counts of Fraud over $5,000 and three counts of Theft over $5,000
  • Christopher Olen Malone of Port Clyde was charged with Fraud over $5,000 and Theft over $5,000

Terry Dale Banks was sentenced to four years in prison and is required to pay back $2.5 million once released. Wayne Lawrence Banks and Christopher Olen Malone are scheduled to appear in court on June 6, 2018 in Yarmouth Provincial Court.

Insp. Morrow adds, "Had this fraudulent activity continued, Nova Scotia's economy and seafood industry could have been negatively impacted. Various partners and agencies came together to assist and stop the illegal activity."

The RCMP are thankful for the assistance of Fisheries and Oceans Canada, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, Canada Revenue Agency, Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre of Canada (FINTRAC), Forensic Accounting Management Group (FAMG), the Nova Scotia Department of Fisheries and Aquaculture, throughout the investigation.

Sailboat captain gets 13 years for smuggling cocaine into Lunenburg County

When a nine-metre sailboat from the Caribbean docked in Lunenburg, two men's plans to import cocaine came to a halt as RCMP arrested them for drug trafficking and importation offences.

Officers with the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) first discovered the drugs when they boarded the vessel for a routine inspection in Lunenburg County. They located several bricks of what was believed to be cocaine, hidden throughout the vessel. CBSA contacted the Nova Scotia RCMP Federal Serious and Organized Crime Unit to continue the investigation with assistance from Lunenburg District RCMP and Halifax Regional Police.

Two hundred and seventy-three kilograms of cocaine were seized as well as a vehicle. Jacques John Grenier of Nova Scotia, and Luc Chevrefils of Montreal, were charged with offences related to possessing, trafficking and conspiring to import cocaine. Grenier received an additional charge related to importing cocaine and in April 2018, he was sentenced to 13 years in prison. Chevrefils is expected to stand trial in August, 2018.

"This is a considerable seizure and the success of detecting it is a result of great work," says Supt. Alfredo Bangloy, Nova Scotia RCMP Federal Policing Officer. "By working together and sharing intelligence, we're targeting criminals who continue to try and smuggle drugs into our province."

Operation Halse - 12 people charged in Lunenburg County

Thanks to police working together, dangerous drugs and weapons didn't make it to the streets of Lunenburg County.

RCMP launched Operation Halse when people in the community expressed concerns about drugs being sold in their neighbourhoods. More than 25 officers worked on the three-month investigation, led by Lunenburg District RCMP.

The investigation brought multiple drug and weapons charges to 12 people. Charges included: trafficking cocaine, hydromorphone, prescription pills and marihuana; and possessing a weapon for dangerous purposes.

RCMP S/Sgt. Stephen MacQueen, District Commander of Lunenburg County District stated, "Thanks to everyone working together throughout Operation Halse, we've prevented drugs and weapons from making it to our communities and into the hands of young people."

Have you heard of smishing, virtual kidnapping and the dark web?

S/Sgt. Royce MacRae from the RCMP Technological Crime Unit tells us what we should know

Tell us about the dark web, where is it and how are people getting there? How do you know if someone is using it?

You don't accidentally stumble onto the dark web; it's a deliberate action that requires special software to access.

Once inside the dark web, people can access web sites and other services through a browser, very much like the normal web. The difference though, is the dark web is a space where many people are engaging in criminal activity. Its special markets/marketplaces are where criminals are buying and selling drugs, credit card information, firearms and a lot of other illegal products. The list of criminal activity taking place in this space is endless.

RCMP are in this space, as are other police departments and agencies from around the world. Police officers are actively engaged in investigations in the dark web, just as they would be anywhere else.

It is important for people to know that if you go on the dark web, you have greatly compromised your personal security and you have exposed yourself to a lot of risks just by being there. The marketplaces in the dark web are not being run by legitimate companies, so if you're not protecting your computer, identity, web cam or personal information, no one else is, and hackers have a field day in this space.

If someone in your home is accessing the dark web you can tell by the fact they are using a Tor Browser because a regular browser cannot search the dark web. Additionally, a lot of the sites on the dark web use .onion as their domain instead of the traditional .ca or .com.

What is smishing?

Many Nova Scotians have been victimized by smishing scams. Smishing is when you receive a text message in an SMS or phone number on your cellphone, and it appears to be legitimate, but it's someone trying to trick you into clicking a link or giving up your private information.

It seems people are more trusting of text messages than emails. They appear to have a sense of the security risks involved with clicking on links in emails, but then are unfortunately making the mistake of clicking on links when they come in text messages. We've seen time and again where people are replying to text messages and clicking on links where they provide online passwords, social insurance numbers (SIN) and credit card information. Once you hand over that information and the smisher has it, they can start applying for new credit in your name and it's an awful experience to go through.

If you get a message and you haven't signed up for the service, delete it. When the SMS comes from a number that doesn't look like a phone number, such as "5000" delete it. In general, you don't want to reply to text messages from people or numbers you don't know.

How can someone be virtually kidnapped? I don't understand how this is possible.

This is a real thing that is happening across Canada and those who have been victimized describe it as petrifying. Virtual kidnappers target people who are travelling or living away from their families and are using technological devices, like cell phones or computers, to stay in touch with their families. The whole premise behind virtual kidnapping is to cut someone off from their family, then make the family believe they are kidnapped, and in order to re-establish contact, the family will have to pay money.

The scammers do this by contacting a person's family, claiming to have kidnapped their loved one, and they threaten to harm or kill their loved one unless a ransom is paid. In most cases, the family member who is alleged to have been kidnapped, is living away or traveling out of the country.

At the same time, the scammers (who often claim to be government officials) target the person who is traveling or away from their family. The victim is told they are implicated in crimes in their home country and they are coerced into a series of actions and told that failure to follow through will result in harm to their family. The victim is told they need to go into hiding and not use their cellphone, social media or internet, and not to make any contact with their family. By following these demands, a victim is cut off from contact with their family and as a result the family believes they are kidnapped.

In many cases, families wire money to an out-of-country area code in order to re-establish contact with their loved one.

People need to become aware of this scam, particularly students who are often living away from their families. If people are confronted with this scam, they should hang up their phone and immediately try to contact their loved one or contact their local police.

Nova Scotia RCMP disrupts Canada-wide human trafficking ring

Nova Scotia RCMP teamed up with policing partners across Canada, to disrupt a nation-wide human trafficking ring and arrest three men,as part of Operation Hellbender. During the investigation led by the Nova Scotia RCMP Federal Serious and Organized Crime Section, in partnership with Niagara Regional Police Service, the RCMP laid many human trafficking and weapon-related charges against one man and identified multiple victims.

In April, 2016, information came forward that men, originally from Nova Scotia, had moved to Ontario and were trafficking women from Nova Scotia, in the sex trade across Canada. RCMP officers from Nova Scotia, traveled across the country to locate victims from Nova Scotia. Due to the investigation's complexity, officers worked with RCMP from British Columbia, Alberta, Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec and Newfoundland and Labrador, along with Halifax Regional Police, Niagara Regional Police, York Regional Police and Toronto Police Service.

On March 27, 2017, Niagara Regional Police Service arrested Lorenzo Trevor Thomas of St. Catharines, Ontario, and searched a St. Catharines home. They seized a loaded 45 calibre handgun and Thomas was charged with many offences, including Trafficking in Persons, Receiving a Material Benefit from Trafficking, Receiving a Material Benefit from Sexual Services, Advertising Sexual Services, Assault, Possession of Property Obtained by Crime, Careless Use of a Firearm, Possession of a Weapon for a Dangerous Purpose, Failure to Comply with Prohibition Order and Failure to Comply with Probation Order.

On August 25, 2017, Nova Scotia RCMP arrested a second man in Upper Onslow, Nova Scotia. A third man was arrested on August 27, 2017, in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia.

"Human trafficking investigations are complex and often rely on victims coming forward. These victims are generally isolated, taken far away from home and made to fear for their safety," says Supt. Alfredo Bangloy, Federal Policing Officer. "Our goal is to get victims to safety and link them with resources and support to break the cycle of violence."

Nova Scotia RCMP set up a tip line for anyone who believed they may have been trafficked or knew someone being trafficked. They received over 20 calls and many helpful tips through the line.

Thomas' case is before the courts and the investigation involving the two other men is ongoing.

Human trafficking: what to look for

Human trafficking involves controlling, forcing, intimidating or deceiving a person in order to exploit him or her through various forms of sexual exploitation or forced labour. Signs that someone is being trafficked for sexual exploitation may include:

  • constantly having to check in with someone via cellphone with an urgency to call or text a response
  • being escorted and/or watched
  • being isolated from friends and family
  • lack of identification
  • moving addresses frequently and/or often staying in hotels
  • no proof of legitimate employment
  • unexplained injuries or bruises
  • new tattoos (these can indicate branding or ownership)
  • changes in physical appearance (for example, having hair and nails done)
  • unexplained gifts
  • new clothing, lingerie, designer shoes or handbags

If you are or have been trafficked or believe someone you know is being trafficked, call 1-800-803-RCMP. If you believe someone is in immediate danger, call 911.

Disrupting and dismantling criminal motorcycle gangs in Nova Scotia

Police ready for increased presence of criminal motorcycle gangs in Nova Scotia

Two members of an outlaw motorcycle gang surround a car in traffic with their motorcycles and begin revving their engines. They follow the car for several kilometres, swerving in and around the car and follow it to a house, making it known that they own the road.

The intimidation tactics of criminal biker members (commonly referred to as outlaw motorcycle gangs) have become increasingly common in Nova Scotia. Reports range from intimidation of citizens on the roads, to bikers resorting to threats of violence against those whom they perceive to be in their territory. Law enforcement agencies across the province continually share intelligence about outlaw motorcycle gang trends, including their criminal activity, potential for violence and ways they try to avoid law enforcement detection.

Like many law enforcement agencies in Canada, the RCMP in Nova Scotia, in partnership with municipal policing partners, have a dedicated group of officers who track, investigate and conduct enforcement actions on criminal biker groups. Working with the Criminal Intelligence Service of Nova Scotia (CISNS), the duties of these officers are guided by national and provincial outlaw motorcycle gang strategies to ensure a focused response to these individuals. Since 2016, officers in Nova Scotia have focused on educating partners and political representatives on the local presence of criminal biker groups and their impact on the community.

"There are myths that these bikers keep out other criminals from our communities or that they are good citizens just riding motorcycles and raising money for charity groups," says Insp. Dominic Clamp of the Nova Scotia Federal and Serious Organized Crime Unit. "People are starting to see them for what they are. Based on the investigations conducted by Nova Scotia RCMP and our law enforcement partners here and across Canada and the resulting criminal charges laid, it is proven these groups are engaging in criminal activities."

What you can do

"We need people to call police and report suspicious activity and where and when they are seeing the members of these criminal gangs," says Clamp. "People should report any outlaw motorcycle gang activity to their local police. The gang members attend various social events or fundraisers in an effort to try and present the image they are good neighbours. Nothing is farther from the truth."

Members of outlaw biker gangs are called "one-per-centers", to distinguish themselves from the 99 per cent of motorcycle riders who are law-abiding citizens. They often have a logo and "colours", a uniform that identifies members. Most often, "colours" include a leather vest with the club logo on the back, along with other patches and pins on the front. These individuals band together and enforce their own rules, often through the use of violence.

Anyone with information on sightings or illegal activities of criminal motorcycle gangs is asked to call your local police. If you are in fear of imminent danger, call 911.

Hells Angels arrests disrupt gang activity in Nova Scotia

Outlaw motorcycle gang paraphernalia seized at the Hells Angels clubhouse in Musquodoboit. Members of criminal motorcycle gangs wear gang paraphernalia as a way to intimidate and show their association to other members.

The arrests of two Hells Angels motorcycle gang members for drug trafficking, along with warranted searches of two homes and the Hells Angels' clubhouse in November, have delivered a significant blow to outlaw motorcycle gang (OMG) activities in Nova Scotia.

Prior to the arrests, investigators with the Combined Forces Special Enforcement Section, a team of specialized RCMP officers with an expertise in OMG activity, led a nine-month investigation. Officers seized cocaine and other illegal drugs, cash, a sawed-off shotgun, OMG paraphernalia, cell phones and electronics, after searching a home in Nova Scotia, one in Ontario and a biker clubhouse in Musquodoboit Harbour. The arrests and seizures reinforce that when OMGs establish themselves, there is an increase in drugs and criminal activity.

Paul Francis Monahan of Halifax, 61, a "hangaround" member of the Hells Angels based in Nova Scotia, and Mark David Heickert of Orillia, 48, a full-patch member of the Oshawa Chapter, were charged with Trafficking of Marihuana and Methamphetamine, Possession of Proceeds of Crime and Conspiracy to Traffic Cocaine.

As a result of this investigation, the clubhouse has been shut down in Musquodoboit Harbour, and Nova Scotia members of the New Brunswick Nomad Chapter no longer have a base of operations.

Behind the scenes with RCMP Collision Analysis and Reconstruction Services

When a collision happens, it leaves a trail of clues that investigators with Collision Analysis and Reconstruction Services (CARS) can piece together to decipher what happened. These investigators (also known as Collision Reconstructionists/ Collision Analysts) attend collision scenes, when requested, to assist and determine causes and contributing factors in fatal and serious injury collisions.

When they arrive on scene, they find and record evidence related to the collision, including debris, vehicle damage, road conditions,environmental factors and tire marks.

After marking evidence with numbered cones, a collision reconstructionist records details of the evidence.

Analyzing tire marks and collecting evidence

"We are especially interested in tire marks," explains Collision Reconstruction Program Manager, Sgt. Chris Romanchych. "They give us a play-by-play on what happened just before, during and after the collision."

Tire marks show which direction vehicles were travelling and where they were located prior to the collision as well as where they travelled after the collision. These marks give Reconstructionists the information needed to determine how fast vehicles were travelling and which vehicles were involved in the collision.

Reconstructionists use numbered cones to organize evidence. They then photograph, make notes and use survey equipment to measure the distances between evidence. If video footage or other electronic data of the collision exists, Reconstructionists may also review that.

Using math and art to understand collisions

Reconstructionists will analyze evidence to determine the vehicle's dynamics during the collision. This analysis can show whether a driver was braking or accelerating, for example. The evidence can be used to determine friction values, speed and time/distance calculations, all of which help Reconstructionists piece together what happened.

Reconstructionists create a scale drawing of the scene and may use it to calculate speed at the time of the collision as well as show where and how the vehicles moved before, during and after. The scale drawings also provide a visual representation of where the collision happened on the roadway.

Reporting findings

Once evidence has been analyzed and interpreted, Reconstructionists prepare a technical report, which provides conclusions on factors such as vehicle speed, whether occupants were wearing seat belts, the area of impact on the vehicles and the causes of the collision, including whether a criminal act occurred.

"As Collision Reconstructionists, our goal is to show why and how a collision happened," says Sgt. Romanchych. "That information supports the lead investigator in laying criminal charges when warranted."

Drug recognition experts know if you're driving high

A woman sits quietly in an RCMP cellblock after being arrested on suspicion of impaired driving. An officer administered a breath test and it showed no alcohol impairment. The officer believes the woman is impaired, so they call in an RCMP Drug Recognition Expert (DRE). The DRE uses specialized skills to determine if the woman was driving while impaired by drugs, and if so, establish which type of drugs she had been using.

Testing for impairment

Alcohol and drugs can impair everyone's ability to drive a vehicle. When a driver is suspected of being impaired by drugs or alcohol, RCMP members can conduct Standardized Field Sobriety Tests (SFST) and DRE tests.

SFST is a set of three tests used to figure out if a driver is impaired by alcohol and/or drugs. If a member administers the test and believes a suspect is impaired by drugs, they call in a DRE for further testing. A DRE test checks for drug impairment and for the type of drug(s) causing impairment.

SFST and the DRE make up the Drug Evaluation and Classification (DEC) Program, a global program led by the RCMP, on behalf of Canadian police agencies.

Becoming an RCMP Drug Recognition Expert

Cst. Chad Morrison is the Nova Scotia RCMP DEC Program Coordinator. He describes DRE tests as cheat-proof. "You can't fake your way through DRE tests," he says. "Drugs cause physiological changes that are beyond our control. The body doesn't lie."

While legal access to cannabis may be new, driving while impaired by drugs is, and will continue to be, illegal. In 2017, Nova Scotia RCMP responded to 14 collisions where someone was killed and a driver involved was impaired. Life is precious, and DREs help protect Nova Scotians from tragedies like this, by removing drug-impaired drivers from roadways.

To become a DRE, RCMP members attend 80 hours of classroom lectures and hands-on training, where they practice the tests on alcohol-impaired volunteers. People who are impaired show changes in coordination, muscle tone, blood pressure, pulse rate and eye movement. Certified DREs are required to recertify every two years.

In Nova Scotia, there are over 200 RCMP members trained to administer SFST. There are also more than 25 members trained in drug recognition. The Nova Scotia RCMP also trains municipal and military police in SFST and DRE testing. As well as people from the Canada Border Services Agency and Parks Canada.

Helping to keep roads safe in 2018 and beyond

Impaired driving is a major threat to the safety on our roadways. The Nova Scotia RCMP continues to invest in training and education to help keep Nova Scotians safe. In 2018 and 2019, the number of police officers trained as DREs and in SFST will expand to ensure we are ready for what lies ahead.

Driving impaired is never okay and it will not be tolerated on Nova Scotia roadways.

Human remains detection dog provides a step towards closure for grieving families

RCMP police dog Doc

It's spring and the Nova Scotia RCMP Police Dog Service Human Remains Detection Team, of Doc and Cst. Brian Veniot, is searching a wooded area in Nova Scotia. Doc is nose-deep in the wet ground and Cst. Veniot is watching him for cues. A citizen found a skull in the woods and the pair were called out, alongside other RCMP members, to search for additional remains.

Doc stops at what looks like a pile of deer bones. Cst. Veniot separates the bones, laying them out in front of Doc. Doc lies in front of one bone and looks up at Cst. Veniot, signalling that he has found human remains. The Medical Examiner (ME) collects the bone and later confirms it as human.

The remains belong to a missing person and the death is not considered suspicious. By finding the bone, Doc offers the missing link needed to confirm the person as deceased and close the case.

Doc and Cst. Veniot have been a team since 2012. The German Shepard was originally trained in explosive detection, and added human remains as another specialization, in 2015. They are based out of Nova Scotia RCMP Headquarters in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, but as the only RCMP Human Remains Detection Team in Atlantic Canada, and one of four RCMP teams across Canada, they are ready to travel cross-country to assist with investigations.

The duo trains regularly in different places to expose Doc to human scents in many states of decomposition.

"Remains in the forest smell very different than remains buried under ash after a fire. I train Doc to detect remains in a variety of settings so he can work anywhere," explains Cst. Veniot. "Fires have a lot of odours. Picture every item in your home, each with its own distinct scent. Now picture how different things smell when they're burnt. There's a lot to process but Doc can find human remains in those situations."

Doc can also find bodies buried underground. By probing the ground to let air out, Cst. Veniot gives Doc what he needs to determine whether human remains lie beneath the surface.

Training is an ongoing process alongside the ME's office. The Nova Scotia RCMP and the ME have a Memorandum of Understanding where next of kin can donate remains to the Human Remains Detection Team, after an autopsy. Remains are stored at the ME's office until they are needed. When in use, they are placed in pierced plastic pipes and brought to different environments for Doc to find.

Forensic scientist Natasha Dilkie also plays a role in the team's training program by offering scientific expertise on how to best expose Doc to different scents and scenarios. The Human Remains Detection Team's work can be a step towards a sense of closure for those who have lost a loved one.

"Providing closure to grieving families is one of the most important things that we can do, and closure for many families cannot happen until their loved one has been found," says Dr. Matthew Bowes, chief medical examiner for Nova Scotia. "Putting the human remains detection dog in the field has been a tremendous success and we look forward to continuing this partnership with the RCMP."

Nova Scotia RCMP's world-class training centre

An RCMP member calls out to a man who has barricaded himself in his home with a rifle. The member calmly asks him to exit the home. Around the corner, another member prepares for the signal to arrest the man when he surrenders. This isn't the real thing, but at the RCMP Training Centre in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, it feels like it is.

Since May, 2016, RCMP members have been practicing reallife policing scenarios through interactive, hands-on training in a facility designed specifically for RCMP skill development. It is one of two, full-time training centres in the country that allows members to sharpen their existing skills or learn new ones. Experienced instructors deliver training in a realistic, simulated environment. Scenarios include responding to immediate and active threats such as: hostage taking situations, school shootings and responding to high risk traffic calls. Throughout the training, members learn operational skills such as arrests and use of weapons protocol.

The state-of-the-art facility is located just minutes away from the Nova Scotia RCMP Headquarters. It includes an interactive classroom, a large gymnasium, a training area for vehicle stops, and a simulated school/office training floor for the various scenarios used. The centre operates at full capacity for specialized officer training from early May until late November each year. For the remainder of the year it is used for other training requirements.

The Nova Scotia RCMP is extremely proud of this facility that will continue to provide world class police training. "We provide members with progressive training that is centrally located in the province," says Sgt. Lorne Morrison with the RCMP Training Section. "It's equipped with everything we need and allows instructors to conduct realistic scenarios in a safe and controlled environment. We are very lucky to have it here."

Breaking ground, expanding and renovating: Infrastructure investments positon RCMP for the future

2017 marked significant investment in RCMP facilities across Nova Scotia. As the Provincial Police, ensuring funds are available to maintain, enhance and construct new policing detachments, is an important part of the annual budget.

"Police work is challenging," says Daryl Mahar, manager of Real Property. "It's critical employees have a workspace that offers the administrative and operational equipment that modern policing requires."

Depending on the project and the funding arrangements, the RCMP works in partnership with Public Service and Procurement Canada, the Nova Scotia Department of Justice and our Municipalities to ensure facilities can meet the ever-changing requirements of police operations and administration

Breaking ground in New Minas

An artist's rendering of the New Minas detachment

Joined by our partners, Nova Scotia RCMP broke ground on the new $9 million Kings District Office/New Minas Detachment, located at 8833 Commercial Street. More than 70 employees will be based out of the new location, including New Minas detachment members, the Southwest Nova Major Crimes Unit, Traffic Services, General Investigation Section, Forensic Identification Services and Police Dog Services.

With an anticipated completion date of Spring 2019, this modern police building overlooks the river and offers an ideal location for community access and for police response to neighbouring communities.

Inspector Dan Morrow, Officer in Charge of Kings District, says employees are looking forward to coming together in the new building. "It's an exciting time for the community members who are watching the construction activity at the site and for our employees who are looking forward to moving to the new building." He added, "Being under one roof provides additional opportunities for investigators to work together on some of the more complex or challenging files, however, it also benefits morale, providing the chance for employees and Units to interact that may not always have the opportunity to do so."

Bible Hill RCMP detachment expansion wraps up

An investment of $11 million in a newly expanded Bible Hill RCMP detachment was a reason for the local community and its employees to celebrate.

The renovations bring various RCMP Units – including the Major Crimes Unit, Traffic Services, Truth Verification Unit, Forensic Identification Services and Police Dog Services – under one roof for improved operations and more efficient collaboration. The new facility offers increased seating in the lobby for clients and community members and more space for visitors to receive service at the larger front counter area.

The cellblock has secure cells, a breath-test and fingerprinting area and a secure bay for prisoner transfers. The detachment also features a larger and more comfortable Victim Services Suite and new project rooms for investigators.

New and improved Bridgetown RCMP detachment

An extensive renovation to the Bridgetown RCMP detachment went smoothly, thanks to a phased renovation plan and the flexibility of employees pulling together to ensure the community could continue to access the services they needed, despite the ongoing construction at the building.

The renovations were part of a three-year project meant to enhance and improve the building overall. Since 2013, six new positions were assigned to work out of the office, requiring an updated layout, and numerous building upgrades.

"Updating and modernizing our Bridgetown office created a more efficient and positive environment for our employees and the community," says S/Sgt. MacGillivray, District Commander for Annapolis RCMP. "The renovation, which totaled just under one million dollars, did not impact cost for service to the municipality, as the RCMP absorbed all associated costs."

Starting in 2014, the building received upgrades to the cell block pavilion and a new roof. Renovations included collapsing two offices, updating the conference room and bathrooms and the creation of an interview room for the public. These changes are meant to improve airflow, heating, access to natural light and general use of space.

Connecting with youth at the 2017 Canadian Scout Jamboree

The RCMP set up a mobile detachment during the 2017 Canadian Scout Jamboree. The Jamboree brought close to 6,000 scouts and volunteers to Camp Nedooae in Elderbank, Nova Scotia, from July 8 to 16.

Throughout the week, RCMP members gave presentations about specialized RCMP Units to show youth the diverse job opportunities available to people who choose a career with the RCMP.

Celebrating Young Picassos: RCMP art contest hits the mark with students

From the moment the Mountie-themed art contest was launched in May, students (or in this case young Picassos) pulled out their crayons, coloured pencils and markers and went to work on unique creations.

Launched in celebration of Police Week, the contest was an opportunity to interact with students in the community - something the Nova Scotia RCMP is always looking to do.

Students from across the province, in Grades Primary to 6, sent in over one thousand entries, making it an extremely challenging job for the judges, who admittedly found it difficult to pick just nine winners. In addition to bragging rights, the winners had their artwork showcased on social media, took home a police-themed prize package and had a visit to their local RCMP detachment.

RCMP in France to march during the 100th anniversary of the Battle of Vimy Ridge

In April, 32 RCMP members from across Canada travelled to France for the trip of a lifetime.

Cpl. Lana Woodfine and S/Sgt. Wesley Blair, with the Nova Scotia RCMP, were two of the members who made the journey to march with an RCMP Ceremonial Troop, for the 100th anniversary of the Battle of Vimy Ridge. Both saw the trip as an opportunity to honour their family members whose lives were forever changed when they left to go overseas. Cpl. Woodfine had two great uncles who fought in the First World War and an aunt who worked as a nurse during the Second World War. S/Sgt. Blair had three great uncles who fought at Vimy Ridge.

While in France, the troop travelled to march in a sunset ceremony at Menin Gate in Ypres, Belgium. They also participated in a signature commemorative ceremony at the Canadian National Vimy Memorial, where they remembered more than 3,600 Canadians who lost their lives during the First World War and the Battle of Vimy Ridge. Some members made emotional visits to the graves of former RCMP members buried in cemeteries in France and Belgium. During the First World War, hundreds of RCMP members took their discharge from the force to fight overseas, including Vimy Ridge.

When asked about his experience, S/Sgt. Blair said, "Being there brought a whole different understanding of the sacrifices made by so many young men and women. It makes you proud to be Canadian." For Cpl. Woodfine, the most rewarding part of the trip was the people of Europe and the veterans she met at the ceremonies. "The opportunity was incredible and life changing."

Canada 150 with the Nova Scotia RCMP

Photo gallery

Keptin Donald Julien shakes hands Brian Brennan, Commanding Officer of the Nova Scotia RCMP

In October, the Nova Scotia RCMP was the first in the country to introduce the option for victims, witnesses and police officers to swear legal oaths on an Eagle Feather.

Cs.t Melanie Cambia

Cst. Melanie Cambia was one of over 100 women featured in FLARE magazine's #HowIMadeIt campaign that highlighted talented, ambitious and driven Canadian women with cool jobs.

Layla Crouse, one of the winners, and her dog

A contest was launched in February to name 13 new RCMP German shepherd puppies. Close to 21,000 youth participated. Layla Crouse from Lunenburg, was one of the winners for the name she submitted - Karma.

Assistant Commissioner Brian Brennan laying a wreath at Forth Needham Memorial Park

On the 100th anniversary of the Halifax Explosion, Assistant Commissioner Brian Brennan laid a wreath at Fort Needham Memorial Park, to honour those who lost their lives or were impacted on December 6, 1917.

Insp. Barry Pitcher presenting an award to the winner
winner's drawing of the logo and her submission letter

In celebration of Canada 150, we asked children to get creative and design a logo to capture what the RCMP means to Canadians. Insp. Barry Pitcher presented the winner with an award at her school.

RCMP National Ceremonial Troop performing a drill

In July, Nova Scotia RCMP members marched as part of the RCMP National Ceremonial Troop, in the 2017 Royal Nova Scotia International Tattoo. The Troop performed a variety of drills during the special show to celebrate Canada's 150th birthday and to commemorate the 100-year anniversaries of the Halifax Explosion and Vimy Ridge.

Cst. Ted Munroe and Cst. Saxon Peters

Each year, the city of Halifax donates a Christmas tree to Boston, as a token of appreciation for Boston's assistance following the Halifax Explosion in 1917. This year, Cst. Saxon Peters and Cst. Ted Munroe attended the annual tree lighting ceremony in Boston.

aerial group picture of RCMP employees wearing red and white

Nova Scotia RCMP employees showed their Canadian pride by wearing red and white for a Canada 150 group photo.

Thank you for your kind words…

The men and women of the RCMP have the privilege of serving the people of Nova Scotia. What makes this job even more rewarding is when we reflect on the comments and feedback from you, our citizens.

Comments and feedback from the citizens

"To the officer that drove through Sackville Manor in Lower Sackville last night – thank you. This was the first year my autistic son enjoyed Halloween. He decided to dress as a police officer and when you stopped and flashed your lights for him, you absolutely made a little boy's fun night into something exceptional, thank you for that!"

"I am so sorry to hear of the loss of Cst. Frank Deschênes, a courageous officer who lost his life at such a young age. I was driving home from Truro this morning and saw two members in Red Serge, they were fueling up and I suspect on the way to his funeral. I didn't know Frank but it makes me very sad so I cannot imagine how they feel. I felt a lump in my throat and a terrible sense of loss. I realize how close all of you are and how much of a team you are, I cannot explain my empathy for you. He went beyond his own duty to help a stranded citizen. Frank is an inspiration and role model to the ones who know what it means to help another in need, you are just that kind of Force, to take danger under your wings. May god bless you and watch over you all."

"Two of your officers stationed in Amherst came to our area and had to arrest a friend I was helping move out of her house. I'm not one to praise the police because I really haven't had a reason to but these two men who I didn't get the name of came in with the utmost respect you could ask for from another human being and it actually surprised me all in all. I just wanna say thanks for being respectful."

"I want to thank you Cpl. Jen Clarke for all of your help. If it wasn't for your assistance and guidance I would have never had the privilege to finally read the final note that my mother left for my sister and I over 20 years ago. Those last few words left by my mother have brought some peace and answers that I have been in search of for a long time and never thought the day would come where I would see the note. Thanks to your help my sister and I finally have seen our mother's last words to us and nothing can express how much that means to me."

"Little did Cpl. Ron Kaknevicius know what an impact he would have when he posed for a photograph with a young woman in Halifax in 1995. Boram Hong had just immigrated to Canada from Seoul, Korea with her parents and older sister. Fast forward to present day, and Cst. Hong sends the following email to Cpl. Kaknevicius."

"Hi Cpl. Kaknevicius, my name is Boram Hong, and I wanted to drop you a line to say hello. In the summer of '95, I had a photo taken with a very tall Mountie on the Halifax waterfront, in front of HMCS Sackville Naval Memorial. This was the first RCMP officer I had met and he made a lasting impression on a then-11 year old girl, who had just immigrated to Canada with her family. Fast forward 22 years - I'm a new member of the Force posted to Alberta. When I was graduating, I pulled out the old photo from '95, and I tried to recreate it with my niece. You made a great impact in my life, even if it was by a brief encounter. Thank you, and I hope that you've had a wonderful career with the RCMP as I look forward to building one myself."

"I would like to extend a note of appreciation to your Cst. Rodney Arsenault from the Lunenburg detachment. Rodney has shown compassion, concern, kindness and caring which we experienced during the sudden loss of my nephew. He suffered a fatal brain aneurysm which left us reeling and torn with emotion, shock and sadness. He left behind a young bride, a daughter as well as a sister, parents, aunts and uncles who adored him and his caring ways. Rodney left a positive impact on our family and hopefully with time, we will not remember him as the member who was on site that sad day, but remember him as the kind, caring man whom he is. This Christmas Eve we will be together at my home and we will remember and honour our nephew. We have family members in the RCMP and know what a difficult job you have, thank you."

"HUGE shout out to Sackville RCMP, our province's 911 system and Project Life Saver! Our son snuck off while I was at a friend's house and I couldn't find him. Knowing that we have a tracking bracelet for him I called 911 and RCMP responded within minutes. We found our son before they even responded and when they arrived the officers were great and super understanding."

"The support provided, both proactively on a daily basis and in times of critical need, is tremendously valued and appreciated. In particular, they speak to the personable and professional approach used by officers when interacting with students and staff. On behalf of Halifax Regional School Board's 136 schools, 48,000 students and 9,000 staff, please extend our thanks to your officers for all they do to support schools being safe and positive learning and working environments."

The RCMP is hiring

Did you know there are more than 150 different types of operational and administrative opportunities within the RCMP?

The Royal Canadian Mounted Police offers meaningful work, vast opportunities, the chance to serve across Canada and a career like no other. RCMP officers play an important role in ensuring the safety and security of those in the communities they serve. Responsible for enforcing the law and investigating the crime, our officers are role models and leaders who provide advice and guidance to people from all walks of life. If you want to make a difference in your community and your country, this is a career to consider.

The RCMP is looking for people who are responsible, respectful, professional, compassionate, honest and who have integrity. Once training is successfully complete, a new member will be posted to one of our 750 detachments across Canada.

For more information on a career with the RCMP and basic requirements, visit our website at where you will also find information on career presentations.

Stay connected

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