Before becoming a police officer, Williams Lake RCMP Sgt. Jason Pole delved into a variety of work experiences.
After high school he obtained his commercial pilot license and went on to fly for a U.S. company, most of the time delivering stacks of the New York Times to different distribution points.
While doing some flight training and living in Waterloo, Ont., he purchased a small golf course in Southern Ontario with his brother John.
“We bought it and ran it for two or three years,” he said. “At the same time, in the little town that it was in, I was a member of the volunteer fire department, which I really liked.”
Eventually John was moving on to further his radio career, taking a managerial position at a station, so the brothers sold the golf course.
Pole, meanwhile, applied to different fire departments.
He was hired by the Toronto Fire Department and put on a waiting list for fire school.
During the winter when the golf course was closed he worked at Labatt Brewing Company in the security department.
At work there were some young security guards that wanted to become police officers, not something Pole had on his radar.
However, when five of the security guards arranged to write the RCMP test in London, Ont., they encouraged Pole to do the same.
“I think I was the only one that passed, and I started going through the process,” he said.
The next thing he knew he was at the RCMP Academy, Depot Division in Regina and after completing the program landed his first officer job in North Vancouver in 2003.
Two months later the Toronto Fire Department called and said his spot had opened up at fire school, but he declined, saying he was now an RCMP officer and it was working out well.
One evening when he was on duty and brought a person into the emergency department at Lions Gate Hospital in North Vancouver, he met Tina Zimmer who worked there as a nurse.
They were later married and because she grew up in Williams Lake, they often visited the area because of her family.
The couple began looking at the possibility of relocating, including to Williams Lake, but Pole said with the Olympics 2010 coming up, the RCMP did not want any officers moving away so they stayed in North Vancouver.
After the Olympics, Pole was offered a job in Williams Lake, which was the only place in B.C. he listed where he would like to work.
At the Williams Lake detachment he started off as a watch commander in the corporal rank.
In September 2011 he was moved into the position of NCO in the general investigation section until 2017 when he was promoted to sergeant.
“Most of my career I’ve been in the plain clothes sections doing serious persons investigations,” he said.
Only a small percentage of Mounted police stay in their detachment for a long period of time, he added.
“Obviously I’m in that small percentage because I was eight years in North Vancouver and I’ve been 11 years and a bit here.”
Tina works in the operating room at Cariboo Memorial Hospital and the Poles have two children — a daughter, 17, and son, 15.
Being a police officer has ‘a lot of excitement, for sure,’ he said, but more importantly it is a job he has always felt mattered.
“If I give a school talk to students, regardless of what the topic is, I always try to put that in their minds, that we need a lot of people in public service to keep this machine going. We don’t have enough people in the health care profession, in the law courts, we don’t have enough firefighters, police officers and ambulance attendants.”
As the detachment’s sergeant, Pole organizes training for officers to meet certain standards and mediates if there are any public complaints.
When he is not working, he enjoys doing projects, especially woodworking and going deer hunting a couple of weeks a year.
In the new year, he will be transferring to work for the Kamloops RCMP, but will stay in Williams Lake and commute for the job.
“I wouldn’t rule out coming back to the Williams Lake detachment,” he said. “It is a great detachment. It is very busy and I think it is a great learning centre for new members coming in. My wife really loves her job and she likes the crew she works with. Our kids like their school, they do well at school and they have a lot of good friends and we are close to Tina’s mom if she needs help.”