A frontline officer from the Merritt RCMP was threatened with a weapon while trying to evict an unwelcome patron at a local shelter yesterday afternoon.

On September 23, 2021, frontline Merritt RCMP officers were called to the local shelter to manage an unruly patron who was using the “safe use” facilities. When the officer arrived, he was unable to gain voluntary compliance, which resulted in the eviction of the patron by the shelter staff.

In an attempt to resist the eviction, the patron attempted to intimidate and poke the officer with a dirty needle. The officer disarmed the patron safely and with minimal intervention, demonstrating a great deal of professionalism and restraint in the process given the circumstances.

“These are just the kinds of social issues our officers are called upon to deal with on an almost daily basis,” Staff Sgt, Maj. Steph Drouin, Merritt RCMP Detachment Commander stated.

“Situations like these are often an unnecessary drain on policing resources when they are needed elsewhere in the city.”

“With Merritt ranking at the top of list for overdose deaths per 100,000 for the first four months of 2021, safe use facilities play a key role in saving lives… however, appropriate security and monitoring of these sites is also crucial.”