Kitimat's new RCMP Staff Sergeant James McLaren.

Kitimat's new RCMP Staff Sergeant James McLaren.

Kitimat welcomes new top cop at RCMP detachmnt

Staff Sergeant James McLaren joins the Kitimat detachment.

He’s braved the frontiers of Nunavut, he’s trained police in Kosovo, but Kitimat’s newest staff sergeant at the RCMP detachment is already feeling quite at home in our coastal community.

Edmonton-born McLaren has spent 22 years in the RCMP, and aside from Kosovo and far north Canada he’s also had stints in Saskatchewan and Alberta too.

While Kosovo was a time he enjoyed immensely, he said Nunavut was the real highlight of his career so far.

“There experience there was just phenomenal,” he said.

His perspective is a clue to the community-minded approach he’s taking to policing.

“The thing I liked the best about Nunavut is the work we were doing in the communities. You could see the results come back really quick,” he said.

The community needs were essentially the same as anywhere else, he said.

“They want to have a police force that they can trust, that they can rely on, that they can feel safe and secure with. That’s just foundation, basic building blocks.”

Since being a constable he’s held a very community-minded approach to policing in any community he’s been.

“We’re here for the community, we’re not here because of the community. I’ve taken that philosophy ever since I was a constable on my first post.”

He’ll also draw on his experiences working in other resource towns that see the boom cycles like Kitimat.

“I have experienced resource town booms and all the problems that brings with it. I’m going to pull a little on that. But [Kitimat’s] gone through it before,” he said.

“There’s a lot of people preparing for it.”

While the learning curve to working in a boom cycle town is high he’s looking forward to the challenge. And so far he’s found Kitimat a very comfortable town compared to others he’s policed, especially as far as the call volume.

He said there’s been posts where he’s getting calls multiple times a week for serious incidents.

So far there’s been nothing like that in Kitimat.

“It’s a really good team here,” he said of his officers, noting the local detachment’s engagement with the community.

“I want to keep that fire burning.”

 

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

Just Posted

Victoria’s Royal Jubilee Hospital took in two COVID-19 patients from Northern Health as part of a provincial agreement. (Black Press Media file photo)
Victoria hospital takes in two COVID-19 patients from Northern Health

Royal Jubilee Hospital takes patients as part of provincial transport network

An aerial shot of Cedar Valley Lodge this past August, LNG Canada’s newest accommodation for workers. This is where several employees are isolating after a COVID-19 outbreak was declared on Nov. 19. (Photo courtesy of LNG Canada)
52 positive COVID-19 cases now associated with LNG Canada site outbreak

Eight cases still active, 44 considered recovered

The Kitimat River in July. (Clare Rayment photo)
Good News, Kitimat!

Bringing some local good news to your week

Skeena MLA Ellis Ross has been named critic for Environment and Climate Change Strategy for the BC Liberals. (Peter Versteege photo)
Skeena MLA Ellis Ross named critic for Environment and Climate Change Strategy

Previously, Ross was the critic for LNG, Resource Opportunities, and Responsible Development

(Needpix.com)
Pandemic has ‘exacerbated’ concerns for B.C. children and youth with special needs: report

Pandemic worsened an already patchwork system, representative says

Janet Austin, the lieutenant-governor of British Columbia, not seen, swears in Premier John Horgan during a virtual swearing in ceremony in Victoria, Thursday, Nov. 26, 2020. Horgan says he will look to fill gaps in the federal government’s sick-pay benefits program aimed at preventing the spread of COVID-19. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. premier says province prepared to patch holes in new federal sick-pay benefits

Horgan said workers should not be denied pay when they are preventing COVID-19’s spread

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C.’s coronavirus situation at the legislature, Nov. 30, 2020. (B.C. government)
Hockey team brought COVID-19 back from Alberta, B.C. doctor says

Dr. Bonnie Henry pleads for out-of-province travel to stop

B.C. Premier John Horgan on a conference call with religious leaders from his B.C. legislature office, Nov. 18, 2020, informing them in-person church services are off until further notice. (B.C. government)
B.C. tourism relief coming soon, Premier John Horgan says

Industry leaders to report on their urgent needs next week

An RCMP cruiser looks on as a military search and rescue helicopter winds down near Bridesville, B.C. Tuesday, Dec. 1. Photo courtesy of RCMP Cpl. Jesse O’Donaghey
B.C. Mountie, suspect airlifted by Canadian Armed Forces from ravine after foot chase

Military aircraft were dispatched from Comox, B.C., say RCMP

Most Read