Ucluelet wrapping up new police chief process

“We are now in a cone of silence until the process has completed."

The Ucluelet RCMP detachment is expecting a new top cop to arrive in time for summer's busy season.

Ucluelet’s search for a new police chief looks like it’s wrapping up but local officials are keeping mum on the specifics.

“We are now in a cone of silence until the process has completed,” said Ucluelet Mayor Dianne St Jacques during last week’s municipal council meeting.

Ucluelet’s police detachment has been without a sergeant since the departure of Sgt. George Jenkins who held the position for roughly one month, but left after being injured in an assault by a local youth on Feb. 22.

Jenkins had taken the detachment’s helm after the RCMP’s Island District brass made the controversial decision to force Sg. Jeff Swann out of the position, despite pleas from the community, council and Swann himself, to let him extend his limited duration posting for two more years.

With a new sergeant needed, and the outcry over Swann’s departure still rattling, the RCMP agreed to adjust their hiring practices and allow input from local leaders.

Applicants for Ucluelet’s top cop position traveled to the community to be interviewed by a panel that included representatives from Ucluelet, the Ucluelet First Nation and the RCMP, according to St. Jacques.

“Apparently, this is one of the first times this has been done in Canada so the RCMP in Ottawa are monitoring our progress and seeing if it’s successful or not,” she said.

St. Jacques told the Westerly, “it was a very good process,” that she hopes to see implemented in other communities with limited-duration RCMP detachments.

“It’s a new process for them, but it’s great that they were willing to give it a try and hopefully other communities will get a chance to participate in the future,” she said.

She added it was important for local leaders to have a voice at the interview table.

“We wanted the opportunity to make sure that we get somebody that’s a good fit for our community,” she said adding Ucluelet’s RCMP has been a beacon of community leadership under Swann.

“We’ve been spoiled in the past, and we have a pretty high standard now, so we wanted to make sure our voices were heard in the choice that was made.”

There is no timeline for a new sergeant to arrive but St. Jacques expressed confidence that Ucluelet will not go through another summer without a police chief.

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Senior A Basketball: Maaqtusiis senior teams take on the Island Championships

Senior girls play at Duncan Christian and senior boys at Nanaimo Christian this weekend.

Tla-o-qui-aht First Nations councillor says ‘Hereditary chiefs have the ultimate power’

Ahousaht future hereditary chief Jaiden George explains Indigenous governance.

Major renovations underway at Ucluelet Co-op

“People are going to be really pleased with what they see.”

Pipeline dispute: Tories put no-confidence motion on House of Commons agenda

Conservatives say they have no confidence in the Trudeau government to end the rail blockades

Province shows no interest in proposed highway between Alberta and B.C.

Province says it will instead focus on expanding the Kicking Horse Canyon to four lanes

Victoria police ask victims of human trafficking to come forward after Saskatchewan arrests

Four people from Vancouver Island were arrested in Saskatchewan on Jan. 28

First case of COVID-19 in B.C. has fully recovered, health officer says

Three other cases are symptom-free and expected to test negative soon

A&W employees in Ladysmith get all-inclusive vacation for 10 years of service

Kelly Frenchy, Katherine Aleck, and Muriel Jack are headed on all-expenses-paid vacations

Island wildlife rescue centre sees 9 poisoned birds since January

MARS trying to fundraise for ‘rigorous and expensive’ lead poisoning treatment

Via Rail lays off 1,000 employees temporarily as anti-pipeline blockades drag on

The Crown corporation has suspended passenger trains on its Montreal-Toronto and Ottawa-Toronto

VIDEO: Knife-wielding man arrested after barricading himself in Lower Mainland Walmart

A man had barricaded himself in the freezer section of the fish area at a Walmart in Richmond

Budget 2020: Weaver ‘delighted,’ minority B.C. NDP stable

Project spending soars along with B.C.’s capital debt

Most Read