Alberni appoints new RCMP inspector

RCMP Sgt. Jim Martin, who works in Spruce Grove, Alta, has been named the new commanding officer for the Port Alberni RCMP detachment.

Sgt. Jim Martin has been named the new inspector of the Port Alberni RCMP detachment. Martin is coming from Spruce Grove Alberta and will start in Alberni in either April or May. Martin replaces former inspector Gord Wellar

Compared to the past few years, coming to Port Alberni should be a breeze for newly appointed RCMP Inspector Jim Martin.

Martin, 44, is expected to join the Alberni detachment in April or May as its new commander. He replaces former Inspector Gord Wellar, who retired in November after serving as detachment commander for six years, and with the RCMP for 36 years.

Martin, a 22-year RCMP veteran is coming from the Spruce Grove-Stony Plain RCMP detachment in Alberta.

It will be a challenge to assume an officer in charge position in Alberni, but Martin has already been tempered by an unimaginable challenge.

He was the acting detachment commander when four RCMP officers were shot to death at a farm in Mayerthorpe, Alta. in 2005.

The four officers were executing a search warrant Martin had secured for the property when they were killed. The suspect, James Roszko, who was wounded in a shootout with another officer, turned the gun on himself.

Martin would have been with the officers but was delayed by paperwork at his office and was enroute five minutes later when calls about the shooting came over the radio. He arrived to find his men dead.

Martin recalls the selflessness shown by fellow RCMP officers who arrived on the scene not knowing that Roszko was already dead.

“The suspect was heavily armed and four of my men were already dead, yet everyone who arrived on the scene put themselves in harm’s way to set up a perimeter around the scene,” Martin said.

“It was the worst day of my professional life, but after seeing that selflessness it was also the greatest day at the same time.”

Martin was interviewed by a municipal-aboriginal hiring board in Port Alberni in January and was notified of his successful application on Feb. 8.

The appointment is Martin’s first commission, and coming to the Island is actually a homecoming.

“I’m originally from Vancouver Island and grew up in Nanaimo so this is coming back for us,” the married father of four said.

Martin isn’t unfamiliar with Alberni. He spent his summers at Sproat Lake on the family’s lot at Tall Timbers.

Spruce Grove and Alberni are similar in that both are cities with extensive rural areas and large aboriginal populations. Presently, Martin works closely with the Enoch and Paul Band First Nations.

An avid outdoorsman, Martin looks forward to skiing on Mount Washington, as well as fishing, boating and hiking in the area.

“I live where it’s -40 Celsius and there’s lots of snow,” Martin said. “It will be nice to live on the Island and do stuff outside 365 days a year.”

reporter@albernivalleynews.com

Just Posted

Ahousaht welcomes massive Surfrider Canada conference to Meares Island near Tofino

“It was the first time we’ve all come together.”

Alberni RCMP kept busy with 170 calls over May long weekend

Detachment answers calls from fatal vehicle crash to man with a gun, trailer thefts

Celebrate cycling in Port Alberni during Bike to Work and School Week

Numerous ‘celebration stations’ are planned for May 28 to June 2

Chaos and creativity reign at Alberni’s Rollin Art Centre

The next art exhibit at the Rollin Art Centre will be an… Continue reading

Ucluelet shakes up emergency services, removes manager, eyes new sirens

District has eliminated Emergency and Environmental Manager position

VIDEO: After the floods, comes the cleanup as Grand Forks rebuilds

Business owners in downtown wonder how long it will take for things to go back to normal

Two-year-old found unresponsive in pool

Mission RCMP located toddler after she went missing from a local daycare

Surrey RCMP issue warning after third sexual assault this week

It is the third sexual assault since Sunday

Toronto opening 800 emergency spaces to deal with influx of refugee claimants

Beginning Thursday, Toronto will temporarily house refugee claimants and new arrivals in 400 beds in the city’s east end.

Breaking: Trump cancels summit with North Korea

Trump cancels June 12 summit with North Korea’s Kim, citing ‘tremendous anger and open hostility’ in recent statement

Rivers rising: Floods in B.C., New Brunswick a warning of what’s to come

In B.C., thousands of residents are returning to homes this week marked with red or yellow signs indicating a health inspection is necessary

North Korea demolishes nuke test site with series of blasts

North Korea has carried out what it says is the demolition of its nuclear test site in the presence of foreign journalists.

Wildfire sparks near perimeter of devastating 2017 Elephant Hill fire

Ground crews and aircraft are responding to an estimated 50 hectare wildfire approximately 55 kilometers northwest of Kamloops, near the Deadman Vidette Road.

Study recommends jurors receive more financial and psychological support

Federal justice committee calls for 11 policy changes to mitigate juror stress

Most Read