The City of Port Alberni has hired Inspector Eric Rochette as the Port Alberni RCMP detachment’s new Officer in Charge.
Rochette joined the virtual Port Alberni City Council meeting on Monday, June 8 to introduce himself to council and the community.
Rochette brings 23 years of experience to the Alberni Valley. He was born and raised in Montreal and joined the RCMP in 1997. He has worked in communities in Quebec, Manitoba and B.C., and was most recently working in the Comox Valley.
Rochette has already started working at the Port Alberni detachment, but the COVID-19 pandemic has delayed the sale of his house in Comox, he said on Monday. He and his family are hoping to move to Port Alberni by mid-August.
“I’m really looking forward to getting involved in the community,” he said.
Rochette was hired as officer in charge after the departure of Insp. Brian Hunter at the end of 2019.
Rochette added that he is impressed by the staff at the Port Alberni RCMP detachment. Although the detachment is mostly closed to the public due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Rochette is hoping things will open up soon.
“I want to make sure the public understands that no calls are too small,” he said. “If you’ve been a victim of a crime, even if you feel it’s petty theft or something minor and are hesitating about contact the police, please do so. You never know—maybe that’s one piece of the puzzle that’s required for us to solve a bigger crime and to deal with chronic offenders.”
The City of Port Alberni also announced on Wednesday, June 3 that they have hired a new Manager of Police Support Services.
Wendy Murphy will resume her new role in Port Alberni on July 27. She brings more than 20 years of experience to the position, having previously worked as an office manager with RCMP E Division Headquarters and an operations support coordinator with Kelowna’s Southeast District Headquarters. Most recently, she was employed as an instructor with the RCMP Pacific Regional Training Centre.
In her new role, Murphy will be responsible for providing leadership and supervision to municipal support services staff who perform a wide range of services within the RCMP detachment. Murphy will work closely with Insp. Rochette and act as a liaison between the city and the RCMP detachment.