Sgt. Murray McNeil plans on being the Sicamous RCMP detachment’s commander for some time.
“I’m going to be here for a while,” said McNeil in his second week with the detachment. “I know Sicamous has had a history of commanders not staying very long. But with myself, I was just promoted into this position, and that’s a minimum two-year requirement – I’m staying longer than that. I have no intentions of leaving anytime soon.”
The New Brunswick began his career with the Revelstoke detachment in 2000 and his familiarity and appreciation for the area influenced his decision to jump on the opportunity to return, this time with his wife and two-year-old son.
“Everything looked really attractive to us, the area is nice, I really enjoyed the people when I was in Revelstoke. I’m not afraid of snow. I like to operate the snowmobile, I’m trained up on that I’m a boat operator, I’ve always operated the police boat in different detachments. I thought I’d be a good fit for here,” said McNeil.
The sergeant says he’ll be making the rounds in the community, making introductions and meeting with people. He’s already met briefly with the mayor and district staff to see what the priorities are there. Along with these and already established enforcement goals at the detachment, McNeil wants to emphasize officer visibility, be it on the water, on the highway or out in the community.
“I think in a town this size, with the smaller community, it’s about just keeping an involvement in the community and the members being approachable…,” said McNeil. “Anyone with an issue they want the detachment to deal with can to come into the front door of the office or speak to a constable and have them try to solve that problem, whatever issue they have, whether it be a problem out on the lake or a problem in town.
“I want them to feel we’re a part of the community and they can approach us on that.”
One of McNeil’s first duties with the Sicamous detachment is finding replacements for three outgoing officers. Cpl. J.R. Lechky is leaving to work with the Vernon RCMP, while Consts. Dusty Miller and Danielle Clark are going to work with RCMP North District.
McNeil says he already has the constable positions filled, and has found a corporal with 12 years service who is interested in coming to Sicamous.
“Hopefully we’ll have him here in a matter of months,” said McNeil.