100 Mile’s new RCMP Staff Sgt. Kevin Smith is no stranger to the community.
The new commander of the 100 Mile House detachment, who starts his new post Dec. 12, served as a constable in the South Cariboo from 2008-2014. He said he’s looking forward to getting back on the streets.
“It doesn’t quite seem real yet. Maybe when I’m in uniform and actually at the office it will sink in then,” Smith, 46, said. “I imagine I’ll be really busy and will jump right into it. I have a few years still and I have no desire to go anywhere else.”
Born in Port Alberni, Smith spent several years as a commercial diver, miner and carpenter before he decided to pursue a career in law enforcement. The decision followed a stint as an auxiliary constable in Tofino. Over the past 19 years, he has worked in several towns across B.C. including Port Hardy, Burns Lake, Fort St. James and Masset in Haida Gwaii. He said he finds it easier to engage with people in smaller communities.
As the staff sergeant in 100 Mile House, Smith said he intends to focus his police work on repeat offenders. He said a new approach is needed to reduce crime throughout the community.
“I see the same people from 10 years ago still causing issues. I want to reduce those calls of service so the same names aren’t causing issues for the next 10 years.”
He noted a unique challenge of policing in 100 Mile House is the size of the area his team is expected to serve. Smith remembers doing “a lot of driving” as a constable here, responding to calls in the Interlakes, Canim Lake and places in between all in one day.
Smith said community engagement will always be a priority and he intends to ensure his officers are visible in town. This will increase the likelihood of people coming to the police for help.
“You will definitely see me out and about walking around the downtown core and talking to people,” he said.
When he’s not on the job, Smith said he is looking forward to spending time in nature with his four children. He particularly enjoys the Mt. Timothy area and can’t wait to get out skiing, hunting and fishing.
Meanwhile, his children are excited to be moving to a bigger town.
“Two of my kids are younger and they’re looking forward to coming to town to enjoy what they call ‘the big city life’ because 100 Mile House has stoplights,” Smith said. “They’re looking forward to learning how to skate and play hockey.”