For RCMP Cpl. Chad Parsons, community policing is what the job is all about.
Parsons took over as area commander of the Keremeos detachment in early May, and is already making a difference in small ways.
One of his first memorable assignments was to assist an elderly village resident with car trouble.
“(The car) was called in as a suspicious vehicle because it had no plate,” said Parsons in an interview with the Keremeos Review.
As it turned out, the owner had a legal plate but was unable to affix it to the vehicle.
“I just put it on for her.”
Parsons is a 16-year RCMP veteran who spent his first eight years of service in the major crimes unit attached to Penticton.
He transferred to Princeton for five years, spending his final year as acting detachment commander, and then did a two year stint back in Penticton as watch commander.
Parson’s latest deployment is a good fit.
“I like the smaller community policing, being more engaged with the community,” he said. “It’s a relationship, getting the community to know who we are and what we are dealing with.”
Two weeks ago, Parsons accompanied the detachment’s First Nations officer to the Lower Similkameen Indian Band school to celebrate the culmination of a program called Top Cops, giving out pizza and awards to students.
Finding more ways to connect with residents is one of his top priorities.
When COVID restrictions are relaxed Parsons will organize events like Coffee With A Cop, and other opportunities to bring police and community together.
“It develops trust in the local police, so (people) feel comfortable coming forward and disclosing something that they might not do with a complete stranger, or if they are asking for help,” he said.
“People need to know the local police a little better, instead of just a face with a uniform.”
Parsons enjoys biking in the summertime and skiing in winter.
He and his wife own an acreage in the area, and are eager to get involved with local ranching and agriculture interests.
“Keremeos is kind of a farming, cattle ranching place and we have our own little farm. We’ve got a few cows and horses and so are looking forward to meeting people who have the same types of experiences.”
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