The Kitimat RCMP detachment welcomed a new staff sergeant late last year as former boss Steve Corp moved on to other duties in the organization.
Stepping in Corp’s place is Staff Sgt. Phil Harrison, who knows plenty about policing in small towns.
In fact when it comes to his career with the RCMP, Kitimat is actually the largest community he’s served in.
“I prefer the small towns. People are a lot friendlier.”
After switching careers to policing from agricultural research in the Agassiz area, he graduated from the RCMP’s depot in 1993 and spent the next several years essentially taking on any job you could have in a detachment.
His first post was in Biggar, Saskatchewan where he stayed for seven years before moving to Macklin, Saskatchewan.
He had moved there just as the local police force was disbanded and the RCMP moved in.
After that he was a watch commander in St. Paul, Alberta for three years.
In 2005, in the wake of the murder of four RCMP officers in Mayerthorpe, Alberta, Harrison moved in to be the operations NCO. [Non-commissioned officer]
During all of the restructuring that took place at the detachment in the years following, where essentially everyone who worked there was rotated out, Harrison stepped into many roles, from detachment commander to head clerk.
“It was a lot of work,” he remembers.
There were a couple of other posts that followed, but his first staff sergeant title came to him in Carlyle, Saskatchewan.
All through this he never gave up his dream to come back to his home of British Columbia, where he and his wife were raised.
After three years in Caryle, the Kitimat position opened.
“The reason I came here is I’ve been trying for the last 20 years to get back to B.C., and it’s tough to do,” he said.
He’s not really that much closer to his family in the Fraser Valley being in Kitimat.
He said being here versus Carlyle really only gets him four hours closer in the end, but he’s happy to be back in the province all the same.