It’s National Police Week and we have a lot to celebrate in the South Cariboo.
100 Mile House is steeped in history of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.
In our May 5 edition of the Free Press, we published stories about the first RCMP member posted in 100 Mile.
Const. Ronald W. Duncan had that honour when he started keeping the peace in 1952.
It was interesting to get a glimpse of what policing was like back then.
We had a story about two commanding officers who settled down in the area after they retired from the force.
They also had great stories to tell.
Scotty Ramsay, who was posted in 100 Mile House in 1961, had some interesting stories about what life was like back in the ’60s for RCMP members – with living quarters and the cells being in the same building. He also talked about the long hours and the lack of good communications.
Thirty-four year RCMP veteran Martin Sarich talked about the crammed conditions in the old Alpine Avenue Detachment. When he was commanding officer, there were 19 RCMP members plus support staff, victim assistance co-ordinator and guards and matrons.
Both men are impressed by the new Detachment, which is really a state-of-the-art facility.
We have a great group of men and women working at our Detachment and many of them have been interviewed and allowed readers to have a glimpse into their personal lives.
It’s interesting to read about their backgrounds – about where they came from, their hobbies and interests and why they joined the force.
It’s is also interesting how many RCMP members come from policing families and are carrying on a tradition.
It’s great to see the human side of the peace officers and it jolts you a bit when you realize they are very much like the rest of our friends and neighbours – they are just good people.
We are fortunate to have these men and women in our communities because they are willing to do the really tough jobs and face the possibility of danger during every shift.
In a fleeting moment, reality can turn violent or dangerous or gruesome.
However, these folks go into situations most of us would run away from.
They do it to protect our families and the community at large – whether it’s pulling drinking drivers off our roads or trying to keep the peace during domestic disputes.
So, when we see RCMP members out and about in our communities, let’s give them a wave of appreciation, or simply thank them for everything they do for us.