The incident of an off-duty police officer’s encounter with a gun-wielding man in the Beaver Lodge Lands is particularly disturbing because it occurred in a place that many Campbell Riverites go to find peace.
It’s one thing to be wary of potential wild animals – bears, cougars and, even, wolves – that frequent the popular forest but it’s an entirely different scenario when we have to start being cautious of our fellow residents. The police and courts will handle this case in the appropriate way but the fallout amongst residents is potentially big. We should not have to worry about the potential threat someone walking down the trail poses. This isn’t a moment of lost innocence because we’re all aware that crime occurs in our community and safety precautions are prudent in the right situation. But this case could cast a pall over the joy we get from being in the Beaver Lodge Forest Lands
It is a sanctuary for us all, so we must all now make a concerted effort to, first of all, not over-react, but secondly, be friendly, open and reassuring to our fellow citizens. Let’s watch out for each other’s safety and make a proclamation that we will not let dangerous behaviour take our sanctuary away from us.