Morinville RCMP commander moves on
Mac Richards accepts new posting in B.C.
By: By Ryan Tumilty
| Posted: Wednesday, Aug 01, 2012 06:00 am
Morinville will have a new top cop sometime this fall as detachment commander Staff Sgt. Mac Richards takes on a new position in British Columbia.
Richards will become detachment commander in Port Alberni. While no exact date has been set for his transfer, it will likely be sometime this fall.
Richards said he enjoys living in Morinville, his sixth posting with the RCMP, but said the new posting is a boost for his career along with an opportunity to live closer to family.
“It is a little bigger detachment, with some different challenges, but that also gets me a little closer to where I grew up,” said Richards, a native of B.C.’s lower mainland.
Richards came to the Morinville detachment from Drayton Valley in 2008 and said leaving a community is always difficult.
“I have been in six different communities thus far, and when you leave, there is always mixed emotions,” he said.
Richards has served the community well, said Morinville Mayor Lloyd Bertschi, who added he was disappointed to see Richards leave.
“It is one of the hazards of being kind of a stepping stone size of a detachment,” Bertschi said. “We get good staff sergeants from smaller places that come here and they are usually the up-and-comers.”
Bertschi said Richards kept successful programs like the Citizen’s Academy and the DARE program running, while also bringing his own touches to the job.
Richards briefed area councils at least once a year and asked for direction, which Bertschi said was really appreciated. He said the rotation of officers heading up the local detachment works well for the town in the long run.
“We get guys who are really keen and eager to further their careers and the only way they can do that is to do a great job for us,” he said.
Richards said the community has been great to him and his family. He said certain cases he encountered in Morinville would always stay with him as his career continues on.
“There are some I will probably carry with me for the years to come,” he said. “When you remember some of the victims’ names off by heart then you know that file has touched you somehow.”
When the RCMP selects a new detachment commander, local communities are offered some opportunity to consult on the new hire. In Morinville’s case, town officials have submitted a list of qualities they are looking for, but won’t interview candidates directly, Bertschi said.
He said the town hopes to have someone who will be community-minded and have a presence in town that goes beyond being the RCMP detachment commander.
“We like to have guys that have proven that they are a little more visible,” he said.
The Morinville detachment includes coverage of Legal, as well as a large section of Sturgeon County, including Namao, Villeneuve and Riviere Qui Barre.
Richards said all of those communities would continue to face pressures in the future as they grow and become more connected to Edmonton.
“Gone are the days where you can not lock your cars and house.”