Tofino RCMP detachment commander Sgt. James Anderson has been promoted to Staff Sergeant and is headed to Victoria.
His new position puts him in charge of Victoria’s Integrated Road Safety Unit.
Anderson served two stints in Tofino, the first from 2008-2010 and another from 2012-2014 and Tofino Mayor Josie Osborne gave high accolades for his service.
“Sgt. Anderson has provided solid and consistent leadership over the past four years, leading our local detachment in everimproving community relations and addressing our community’s specific policing concerns,” she told the Westerly News.
“He’s always worked well with the District of Tofino’s Council and staff, and on a more personal note, I’ve particularly appreciated his approachability and willingness to listen and help as much as possible. He’ll be missed, but we wish him the best in his new post and congratulate him on his promotion.”
Anderson told the Westerly he was thrilled to receive the promotion but he and his wife leave the community with heavy hearts.
“We were very happy to be able to return to Tofino a second time in 2012 and connect with many people in Tofino and Ucluelet we had met during our previous tenure,” he said. “We will miss the West Coast, a beautiful and unique area to say the least.”
He said his transfer to Victoria will take effect within the next 90 days.
“In that time my wife and I are going to take full advantage as
always of beach walks, fishing and exploring before we leave,” he said.
“It has been an honor working with the Mayor and Council of Tofino and the Tla-o-qui-aht, Ahousaht, and Hesquiaht First Nations Chiefs and Council in making the Tofino-West Coast area a safe place to visit and to live.”
The promotion slams the Tofino detachment with a double-whammy loss as Anderson’s second-incommand Cpl. Andrew Waddell is slated for transfer at the end of the summer.
Waddell, an avid bicyclist known as Tofino’s Bike Cop, launched the Tofino Bicycle Initiative last year to bring safety equipment and even new bicycles to local cyclists.
Municipal councillor Cathy Thicke said Waddell’s absence will be noticed in Tofino.
“I have really appreciated his presence in the community on the
bicycle,” she said. “I think his visibility here is very important.” She said Waddell’s presence cannot be overstated or replaced but she hopes another officer can step-up and fill his pedals.
Anderson said there are currently two bicycles sitting in the detachment and he hopes to train a willing local officer for the RCMP’s bicycle program.
Anderson’s successor has not yet been named but he assured the detachment would not be without a commander for long.
“I’ll make sure that’s in the works,” he said.