The latest recruit to join 100 Mile House RCMP is delighted to be in the South Cariboo.
Const. Candace Knudsen spent Christmas Eve working her first shift at the local detachment, after transferring here from her four-year posting with Burnaby RCMP.
Born and raised in Bella Coola, she says her new rural detachment duties, the country setting and outdoor recreation opportunities are much more to her liking than urban police work.
“That’s not the lifestyle I wanted [in the city]. I requested a transfer up to 100 Mile House and I got it. It’s closer to home, and I like that small-town mentality better.”
Knudsen adds she “twisted some arms” in persistent requests to finally be approved to leave the busy metropolitan detachment.
“I love it here; it’s gorgeous and I have been lucky the [first] winter here has been really warm. It has suckered me in.”
Her parents have owned and operated a fishing campsite in Bella Coola for many years, where they were also born and raised, so her love for fishing and hunting come naturally to her.
Knudsen says she attended Thompson Rivers University in Kamloops, where she decided police work was her goal, so she signed up for RCMP Depot training after graduation.
“I knew I was going to be a police officer, but doing the process is kind of lengthy, so I took Resort and Hotel Management in the meantime at university.”
She notes this tied in well with her upbringing and her past work in the sport fishing industry.
“I was working for Wholesale Sports, I was in charge of the fishing department and I traveled all around with that.”
This saw her opening stores, merchandising and training fishing department staff in Grand Prairie, Edmonton and Langley, Knudsen explains.
While waiting to get into the Depot, she returned to Bella Coola for about a year where she worked as a substitute teacher and volunteered five hours each week with seniors at the hospital, she adds.
Noting police work is a “good” career for her, Knudsen says it is always “busy and different” and even “entertaining” at times.
“It’s quite different to policing in the city here, I find, so I am just [adjusting] to that. Here, you run into the same people … and I have gotten to know quite a bit of the community already.”
The detachment members in 100 Mile House are an “awesome” group, she adds.
“They have taken me in like family right away … we are all pretty close, and they’re very fun. We have a good time.”
Now settling back into a rural setting, Knudsen says she has been exploring the backcountry by hiking, quad and snowmobile and is now looking forward to the fishing, hunting and archery opportunities.
“I can’t wait for summer.”