The Delta Police Department’s violence suppression team was busy again last week, patrolling the city’s streets and visiting restaurants and bars on the lookout for individuals involved in the Lower Mainland gang conflict.
According to an update posted Tuesday on the department’s social media channels, officers with the DPD’s recently-launched anti-gang team assisted Surrey RCMP in the immediate aftermath of a shooting in Newton Saturday evening, engaging in a foot pursuit that ended in an arrest.
In a separate incident, a spring-loaded knife was seized during a traffic stop from a driver who is known to police. In their post, police said the driver informed them he was in the process of leaving town as there was too much heat in the Lower Mainland.
“We don’t think he was referring to the weather,” the post reads.
While the DPD did not announce any more arrests last week, the team did seize six spring-loaded knives, two machetes, a set of brass knuckles and a taser baton from June 16-19. As well, the team stopped a distracted driver who it turned out was actually prohibited from driving, and had towed a vehicle that wasn’t insured.
Officers with the DPD’s violence suppression team previously made 15 arrests June 9-16, 21 June 2-5, and 24 May 26-29, and to date have seized numerous prohibited weapons — primarily spring-assisted knives, as well as bear spray and a large sword from a driver “well known to police” — and drugs and cash related to drug trafficking.
The DPD launched the violence suppression team on May 15. It’s focus is on intercepting any potential gang or related activity and acting as a deterrent through a high-profile presence in public spaces, such as along Scott Road and at popular restaurants. The team also regularly checks on individuals who must abide by curfews and release conditions, and have stepped up visits to locations where gang members are known to frequent.
On May 12, the DPD announced that members of the violence suppression team have begun to use Axon body-worn cameras as a tool to help increase officer safety.
According to the device’s manufacturer, Axon, the board’s decision marks the first time that a front-line patrol police team in B.C. will be using body-worn cameras on a regular basis.