The Port Alberni RCMP detachment has a new head man.
RCMP Staff Sgt. Mac Richards has been chosen to be the officer in charge in Port Alberni.
RCMP Staff Sgt. Dave Paddock announced that an appointment had been made at city council’s Monday meeting. City Human Resource Manager Theresa Kingston later confirmed that it was Richards.
Currently, Richards, 45, works at the RCMP detachment in Morinville, Alta, which at 30,000 people, is larger than Port Alberni. He’s worked at other points in Alta. and in Saskatchewan before that as well.
He is expected to start in Alberni this October.
“Every detachment is different and there’s going to be a learning curve,” Richards said. “But police work is the same no matter where you go.”
Originally from B.C. the married father of one said he spent a summer in Port Alberni while growing up.
Richards joined the RCMP in 1990 and has been a Staff Sgt. for three years. He’s been in Morinville for three years, and he spent time at other points in Alta. and Sask, before that.
He applied for the Alberni job in April and was told last week that he is the successful applicant.
According to Statistics Canada, Port Alberni is home to more than 2,050 aboriginal people. Port Alberni RCMP is a signatory to an aboriginal policing agreement.
Working with aboriginal communities has been a component of Richards job since he entered the force. “I’ve worked with nine first nations and spent two years on a Metis settlement in Saskatchewan,” he said.
RCMP officials originally announced a new inspector was found in February, but the appointment fell through and the search resumed.
Richards replaces former Inspector Gord Wellar, who retired in November.