The Coroner’s Jury in Inuvik has made sweeping recommendations to the NWT RCMP on how they could do their jobs better. This follows an inquest this week into the death of Richard Binder Jr. who was wanted by police but was later found dead on a trail between Mackenzie Lake and Big Lake.
According to the NWT Coroner Service, “On the evening of Oct. 25, 2018, members of the RCMP responded to a residence in Inuvik for reports of a disturbance.”
After some point upon arrival, the RCMP told Mr. Richard Binder Jr. “That he was under arrest,” at which he fled on foot down Navy Road towards Franklin Ave.
“An officer briefly pursued Mr. Binder on foot but abandoned the chase shortly after and returned to attend Binder jr.’s girlfriend who was injured,” the NWT Coroner Service stated. “Police members transported the injured woman to the Inuvik Regional Hospital.”
NT RCMP members searched the community for the next two days and continued to respond to tips from community members. On Oct. 28, 2018 Binder jr.’s family reported him missing.
“On Nov. 3, 2018, two snowmobilers found a body lying on a trail between Mackenzie River and Big Lake and reported it to police,” the NWT Coroner Service stated. “Members of the NWT RCMP responded to the scene and found a deceased individual.”
The body was later identified as Richard Binder Jr. by fingerprints. The cause of death was determined to be hypothermia.
Today the jurors of the inquest submitted the following 12 recommendations to the NT RCMP:
- The NWT RCMP will ensure that a public education campaign to communicate that reporting a missing person can happen immediately as there is no waiting period for reporting a missing person.
- The NWT RCMP will make best efforts to make available and promote search and rescue training to community members wishing to volunteer to assist with search efforts.
- The NWT RCMP will make best efforts to review procedures when dealing with a flight risk individual.
- The NWT RCMP will, within the next year, make best efforts to ensure that members are aware of the missing persons policies contained in the NWT Division Operational Manual Chapter 37.3.
- The NWT RCMP will make best efforts to ensure officers at all detachments in the territory are aware of the availability of the police dog services located in Yellowknife for telephone consultation and are familiar with the use of this asset for investigative purposes.
- The NWT RCMP should consider making the online missing person investigations course a mandatory course for all members in the territory.
- The NWT RCMP will make best efforts to continue to make available and promote access to educational resources for members, including training opportunities, on missing persons investigations as well as search and rescue.
- The NWT RCMP will review NWT Division Operational Manual Chapter 37.1 Search and Rescue Section 2.4.8 and clarify the use and necessity of the search urgency form.
- The NWT RCMP will depending on the specific circumstances of the investigation, make best efforts to ensure that one or two officers are assigned to update family members during a missing persons investigation.
- The NWT RCMP will make best efforts to increase search and rescue resources available to the Inuvik detachment.
- The NWT RCMP should establish guidelines for how to weigh the value of unconfirmed sightings of an individual who is evading police and the past history and behaviour of that individual as shared by persons close to that individual.
- The NWT RCMP will review media release guidelines related to individuals who are missing and also wanted on arrest warrants to ensure that all information about the missing person is made available to the public.
CKLB Radio reached out to the NT RCMP for comment on how they will address these recommendations.
Julie Plourde is the Media Relations Officer for the Northwest Territories RCMP in Yellowknife, NT.
“We fully supported the Coroner’s inquest and we welcome the recommendations from the jury,” Plourde said. “We will review them thoroughly and will provide comments in due course.”