A common sight in Canada might be a Mountie sitting on or riding a horse. Nowadays, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police are also mounting skis and snowboards, and taking to the ski slopes.
Officers are volunteering on the weekends and holidays to patrol the slopes of Nakiska Mountain Resort and Lake Louise Ski Area in western Canada.
“One of the common complaints [the ski hill] gets from visitors is people using narcotics in the gondola and the use of alcohol on the lifts, and general complaints of reckless skiers,” RCMP Cpl. Jeff Campbell told Canmore Leader. “We do regular foot patrols up at the ski hill for anti-theft patrols at the ski racks, but this is something more.”
Campbell told CBC the program is designed to deter people from bringing narcotics to the ski hill because they know there is going to be a police presence. A similar program is operating at Whistler, British Columbia.
“We’ve seen a reduction in drug usage since we’ve been on the hill,” Campbell told Canmore Leader. “We’ve had a lot of positive comments, especially from the people there from overseas. They’re saying how they’re impressed to see officers on the ski hill.”
Not everybody is thrilled with the idea of the RCMP patrolling the slopes on skis and snowboards.
“It makes sense. It sucks, but it makes sense,” one visitor told CBC.
“I would think that more recklessness comes from people coming in and drinking at lunch time and then going back out. … Are you going to give somebody a ticket for drinking and then skiing? … It seems like a very slippery slope to me.
“I feel like the chairlift is my time to smoke reefer.”
Photos are screen grabs from CBC News.