Zealous cop goes too far for Wynyard - Macleans.ca

Zealous cop goes too far for Wynyard

Impaireds are up and Bozek wants the new sergeant out


Zealous cop goes too far for WynyardOne day last fall, RCMP Sgt. Ron Russell, the top cop in Wynyard, Sask., stopped in at a local barbershop for a haircut when he noticed the owner and his friends indulging in a whiskey. “Are you closed?” asked Russell, who notes the law permits a proprietor to drink in his business only after hours. “Er, yeah,” said the barber. Russell left without a haircut and reviewed the legislation; the next day, he stopped in again to advise the barber he should lock his door next time he drinks. It was just one in a series of by-the-book pronouncements that have earned Russell a reputation as the east Saskatchewan town’s Dudley Do-Right—and it’s making the local bar owners angry.

Since last July, when the sergeant moved to town, the number of impaired driving charges and liquor licence violations have more than doubled; indeed, drunk driving charges in the area rose from 29 charges in 2007 to 48 last year. Russell admits more people are being charged because he’s being more vigilant, but he can’t figure out why that’s upsetting people. Now, “people are just coming in and having two or three drinks, then taking a box of beer home,” says Russell. “We actually think that’s responsible.”

But the bar owners say the stepped-up monitoring is bad for business. “I think we need a new sergeant,” says Larry Bozek, owner of Wynyard’s Southshore Motor Lodge. “People are scared to go and have three beer because they know when they leave the bar they’re probably going to get an impaired.” Bozek says his business has slumped 30 per cent since Russell doubled the number of bar walk-throughs conducted by his Mounties. “It’s like hunting deer in a game preserve—they’re bound to get one,” he says.

To fight back, Bozek and others have formed a delegation that will complain to Wynyard’s mayor and council this week. Not that they’re likely to get any satisfaction. “We have no authority on telling the police how to do their jobs,” says Wynyard town administrator Jason Chorneyko. “Honestly, the outcome will be nothing.”


Zealous cop goes too far for Wynyard

  1. As a resident of Wynyard, and a concerned citizen, I am saddened that this issue has been so blown out of proportion that it has reached one of our most respected national magazines.

    This is, as far as I am concerned, a case of the bar owners finally being made to own up to the extremely irresponsible conduct that has been displayed by them in previous years. I am grateful to Sgt. Russel for getting more drunk drivers off our roads, and I congratulate him on having the spine to stand up for his law-informed descisions.

    If fewer people are patronizing local bars because they are afraid of being caught driving impaired, then I believe that Sgt. Russel has done his job well. It is not his job to be well-liked or to let things continue as they have – it is his job to uphold the law and enforce it as he has been trained to do.

  2. So, let me see if I have this right. A local business owner likes to indulge in criminal, or at least, unlawful acts. Locals, who like to drink and drive don't like the fact that there's a police officer in town who will enforce federal statutes against their behavior. Thus, since these people don't feel that they should be responsible citizens, they want the police officer(s) removed. On top of that, they have gone to the media to complain that their illegal activities are being infringed upon?!
    Time for these clowns to realize that it's time for them to be responsible and start behaving themselves. They sound like back road hicks! They'll be complaining next about the feds taking down their moonshine stills. (No doubt that's going on as well. Right boys?!)
    Grow up, show some respect and be a positive influence on your young'uns.

  3. Ron Russell has made the people of Wynyard afraid to cross the street He is a person who is a evil peice of dog crap and I hope somebody gives him what he deserves

    • Bobby boy may you be the very first to sample the fruit of your selfish stupidity! May the drunk bastard get his or her reward. If this mindless selfish idiot kills someone let the victim’s family chose their way of disposing of this sub human. If the victim gets maimed let the family also have their choice of how to maim the perpetrator!  How would you like to live in a country where GUM is illegal or did you know there was such a place! Go for it Serge!!!!! Kick ass!!

    • Bob, you are quite the character! The only people who were afraid to cross the streets were the people doing illegal activity. I lived in Wynyard at that time, and felt very safe. It is a great community to live in, and the service brought by the local police only made it better and safer, making it a place that people were/are proud to call home. You should be thanking them.
      I for one am greatful for the work that they did and hope that it continues.
      Thank you