District of Invermere mayor Gerry Taft was in the right place at the right time to give the Columbia Valley RCMP a helping hand.
On the evening of Friday, December 20th, RCMP Const. Andrew Michaud was patrolling the local streets when he and his partner had to pull a vehicle over.
“It just so happened that the traffic stop turned into a couple of arrests,” he explained to the Valley Echo, noting there was an impaired driver involved. “And just then a police emergency came in from Edgewater, where they required a member right away for safety reasons.”
Because there were people in custody, the police cruiser and Const. Michaud’s partner were tied up at the scene, but he was able to attend to Edgewater – as long as he could get himself there.
“I ran down 7th Avenue to look for anybody to give me a ride up to the office,” Const. Michaud said. That’s when he found Mayor Taft.
“I was just leaving to go home, and an officer was walking with his flashlight out, walked over to the drivers’ side and asked for a ride,” Mr. Taft said.
The officer didn’t know that it was the mayor’s pick-up truck he was approaching.
“I said, ‘We have a police emergency – I need to get to the police station right away; can you give me a ride?’ And he said, “Get in.””
Mr. Taft then drove the officer to the Columbia Valley RCMP detachment, where Const. Michaud took another police vehicle to Edgewater.
“We didn’t drive aggressively; we did it safely, but if it wasn’t for his help, I wouldn’t have been able to respond that fast,” said Const. Michaud. “It’s good to have that kind of support in the community with everybody helping out.”
Staff Sgt. Marko Shehovac said it’s not a common procedure to commandeer a civilian’s vehicle, and this is the first time he can recall this being done as long as he’s been working in the Columbia Valley.
– With files from Greg Amos