It was during a routine patrol in the community of Canora on Friday, November 27 when two police officers from Canora/Sturgis RCMP noticed two males acting suspiciously near the Canora Fire Hall. The quick reaction and subsequent investigation by officers resulted in them recovering over $40,000.00 worth of equipment belonging to the local fire hall. A 21-year-old male and a 35-year-old male, both from Canora, were arrested and charged with Break and Enter and Theft over $5,000.00.
Canora Fire Chief Devon Sawka said the items taken include three brand-new breathing apparatuses, formal uniforms, battery charges and ice augers used for making holes in dugout ice, so they can pull water for fighting fires. All but two fire helmets were recovered.
"We're a small community and we cover three rural municipalities and the Town of Canora," says Chief Sawka, "We slowly save up for these bigger purchases, like the new breathing apparatuses. A theft of this nature can be enough to cripple a department. At the end of the day, they not only helped us, but the community as a whole."
"Community patrols by police are one of the most fundamental and important jobs a police officer can do, but it's not all about crime prevention or potentially witnessing a crime happening," says Sgt. Derek Friesen, Canora Detachment Commander. "A police officer is tasked with ensuring the safety and security of the community, but to do this effectively the officer needs to know and understand the communities and the people they serve. Patrolling allows an officer to learn their patrol area, which includes knowledge of back roads and layout of communities. One of the most important aspects of patrolling is meeting and talking with community members. Building and developing relationships with community members encourages information exchange and gives an officer a deeper understanding of the community and the ability to better serve those who need our help."
"We just want to thank [the officers]," says Chief Sawka, "If it wasn't for them, their keen eye and quick reaction, we may have never recovered this equipment."