I’d like to start by thanking Cpl. Chris Swain for his hard work and dedication to the Sidney North Saanich detachment over the past six years. As many of you know, Chris has accepted a transfer to the North Cowichan Duncan detachment and will be proudly serving his new community in the capacity of watch commander. I wish him well and know that he will excel in his new role.
For those I haven’t yet had the chance to meet, my name is Cpl. Erin Fraser. I have been a supervisor at the Sidney North Saanich detachment for three years and am in the process of transitioning into the role of detachment media liaison officer. I hope this column will open a door for me to connect with you on a more personal level and I look forward to talking to you about police-related issues that affect us here on the Peninsula.
I began my policing career over 12 years ago as a RCMP summer student in the small southern B.C. community of Osoyoos. As a student, I watched in awe as the police officers with whom I worked effectively responded to a variety of calls for service in many diverse and challenging situations. My experiences in the RCMP summer student program solidified my decision to join the RCMP and I was shipped off to “Depot” – the RCMP training academy in Regina, Sask. shortly thereafter. After graduating from the academy I was posted to the Kelowna detachment where I spent several memorable years on general duty patrol.
Patrol was fast-paced and exciting and it was here that I developed some of my fondest policing memories.
On the advice of my staffing officer to try new things I was subsequently transferred to the Integrated Child Exploitation unit in Vancouver. There I spent two years working in collaboration with domestic and international police agencies detecting and prosecuting online child predators. It was challenging but extremely rewarding in that we were able to identify and rescue several children who were being sexually exploited. I truly believe that the police officers in this unit are doing some of the most important work in the world.
After my time in the ICE unit, I wanted to come back to the patrol environment and was fortunate to be transferred to Sidney North Saanich as a watch commander.
My three years at the Sidney North Saanich detachment have been wonderful and looking back, I’m glad my staffing officer encouraged me to try new things; I may not have otherwise found the opportunity to come here.
We have a contingent of 34 regular members as well as several dedicated volunteers. If you ask any one of us why we joined the Mounties, the most common answer is “to help people.” I will be writing this column twice monthly and look forward to sharing with you some of our stories and experiences.
If you would like to contact me to provide feedback or suggest a topic please feel free to do so. I can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Cpl. Erin Fraser is a supervisor and the media liaison officer for the Sidney North Saanich RCMP.