Pubdate: Thu, 15 May 2003 Source: Rocky View Times (CN AB) Copyright: 2003 Rocky View Times. Contact: http://www.rockyviewtimes.com/ Details: http://www.mapinc.org/media/2931 Author: Kristen Enevold CHESTERMERE RESIDENTS VOW TO TURN UP HEAT ON GROW OPERATIONS Rocky View Times--Chestermere residents are vowing to continue efforts in stopping the local drug trade -- and the initiative is working, say officials. "We won't stand for this sort of thing. The message we want to send is that if you are involved (in the drug trade) pack your bags -- we want you to go somewhere else," said Allan Maillot, a Chestermere town councillor and member of the public services committee. That message was reinforced last week when over 100 people attended an open house and discussion forum outlining what the RCMP has done to combat a number of grow operations in the area. Since January, police have intercepted more than $6 million and the accompanying marijuana from 16 Chestermere homes. Strathmore RCMP Staff Sergeant Glen De Goeij couldn't be reached for comment on how successful police have been in combating drug-related activity, and what role Chestermere residents have played in the subsequent arrests. Maillot said tips from neighbours have been an important factor in police success. "The residents have been great. They're fed up with all this," he said, explaining the town has received some unwanted notoriety. "We've been the butt of some jokes, but people can say what they want because the fact is the word is getting out there and these people are getting caught," Maillot said, encouraging residents to continue to keep an eye out in their neighbourhoods. "The best thing to do is to get to know your neighbour," he said, adding a mailout sent to all residents a few months ago contained information on what to look for. He said the town will see even more of a police presence as it continues to grow. A third RCMP officer will arrive in Chestermere this summer, and the town is considering hiring a fourth. Once Chestermere's population gets to 5,000 a free-standing RCMP detachment will be created. The present population is 3,700.