Dan Cohen has spent all eight and a half years of his career as a Mountie in Williams Lake.
“I like the community,” the 40-year-old said as he took a break from running laps at the Lake City Secondary School track one Monday morning when he had the day off.
“It’s a tight-knit community I think. I enjoy getting to know the people here. They really support one another.”
Giving an example, he said he is doing a local fundraiser for KidSport with fellow officer Cpl. Fraser Bjornson and so far they have raised almost $2,000 through their social networks.
Williams Lake is a good community to be involved with, he added.
“It’s good for families. There are lots of activities going on and the outdoors, obviously. There is lots to do outdoors.”
Cohen grew up in Whitby, Ont., the youngest of three children.
He attended university and completed a bachelor’s degree in history. After that he worked at CIBC for two years,
returning to university to complete a master’s degree in public administration.
“The master’s program was really challenging and I really enjoyed it. I got a lot of valuable knowledge and I think some of it is applicable now because I am still working for a government organization, which it was geared toward.”
His university education led to contract work as a policy analyst for the federal government in Ottawa for Canada Border
Services and Citizenship and Immigration Canada.
Becoming a police officer, however, was something he thought about for a long time.
“I put in the application with the RCMP and it all started coming together, so I thought ‘let’s do it.’”
Asked if he likes being a police officer he said “yes,” noting every day is different and the work he is doing can make a difference.
“I like the law enforcement aspect as well, enforcing laws when people are breaking them. Investigating criminal offences I find is also interesting and I like that aspect of it.”
He described the local RCMP detachment as having many eager members who want to do a good job.
“There are a lot of hardworking people at the detachment, which I appreciate. I get to work closely with a team of people — it is kind of like playing sports.”
He also praised the administrative staff for being supportive of the officers.
“It’s a good group of people.”
Cohen grew up playing hockey and played on a junior team while in university.
For six years he played with the Williams Lake Stampeders men’s hockey team, was captain at one point, and in 2017, his teammates voted him in as Most Improved and Top Defenceman.
He and his wife Monica have two children — Rebecca, 3, and Zachary, 1.
Monica is originally from Brampton, Ont. The couple met in Ottawa and she has worked remotely from Williams Lake as a translator for the Translation Bureau of Canada ever since they moved to the lakecity.
“Today I asked Monica what she likes about living here and she said that we have childcare and it’s affordable,” he said.
In the past, Cohen has also participated in the Cops for Cancer, riding 850 kilometres on a bicycle to raise money for children battling cancer and their families. He’s also helped organize the RCMP Charity Golf Tournament in the past and participated in a hockey program for local youth in collaboration with the RCMP, Changing Directions, Denisiqi Services Society and the Boys and Girls Club of Williams Lake and District.
“I think it’s a good opportunity for us as police officers to interact with some of the youth in the community,” he said of the hockey program in a previous interview. “Whenever we get a chance to do that and make a positive impression on the youth — I think that’s a good thing.”
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