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

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

Just Posted

Alberni Golf Club reopens with new COVID-19 rules

J and L Mixed Scramble kicks off 2020 season

Help is available for Port Alberni businesses restarting after COVID-19 closures

Popular food truck finds a new location on Johnston Road

A LOOK BACK: recreation in Port Alberni’s downtown

Take a peek at Alberni Valley history with the Alberni Valley Museum

QUINN’S QUIPS: Port Alberni woman honoured for her love of helping

Carolina Tatoosh earns provincial honours for her work with Nuu-chah-nulth elders, youth

Mission prison COVID-19 outbreak ends, 9 new cases in B.C.

New positive test at Port Coquitlam care home

An ongoing updated list of Alberni Valley events affected by COVID-19

Has your event been cancelled or postponed? Check here

Man who bound, murdered Vancouver Island teen still a risk to public: parole board

Kimberly Proctor’s killer is still ‘mismanaging emotions,’ has had ‘temper tantrums’

VIDEO: Humpback whales put on quite a show

The ‘playful’ pod lingered by a Campbell River tour operator’s boat for quite some time

Getting hitched at historic B.C. gold rush town still on table during COVID-19 pandemic

Micro-weddings, online visits, offered at Barkerville Historic Town and Park

Stolen gargoyle returns to its perch on central Vancouver Island yard

Petey, a concrete gargoyle statue, was returned by Nanaimo RCMP after being found by city crew

Revelstoke woman finds welcoming letter on her Alberta-registered truck

There have been multiple reports online of vandalism to vehicles with Alberta licence plates

Spirit bear possibly spotted in West Kootenay

A local resident spotted the white-coloured bear while on an evening trail run near Castlegar on May 27

B.C. businesses ‘can’t shoulder burden’ of COVID-19 sick pay

Trudeau’s plan should be tied to federal emergency aid

Most Read