Williams Lake Staff Sgt. Ken Brissard counts himself extreme lucky to be posted in Williams Lake.
“We absolutely love it here. I say this to folks, and I don’t say it in jest, that I would be quite happy to turn to dirt here.”
Recently Brissard was the successful candidate for the staff sergeant position, after four or five sergeants applied, and since November has been enjoying his new role.
Warren Brown, who formally held the staff sergeant position at the Williams Lake RCMP detachment, was moved up to the rank of inspector.
As staff sergeant, Brissard says his concerns lay primarily where the rubber hits the pavement.
“I’m that big brother, over and above, holding the corporals’ feet to the fire,” he says, chuckling. “Certainly here to give advice and be a real policeman and help out if it’s busy.”
Another responsibility is overseeing the plainclothes section and serious crime unit.
Relieved that an agreement-in-principle has been signed for another RCMP service agreement in B.C. communities, Brissard says he was confident it would be reached and feels he’s part of a strong organization.
“You have your proponents and opponents, but I know overall from my experience that the RCMP does a good job,” he says, adding if the contract had gone to another policing system, he would have left the province so he could remain with the RCMP.
As he looks toward the future he admits there will be lots of challenges, especially ensuring that the community continues to move forward in its efforts to reduce crime.
“We have to make sure we don’t retreat and the gains we’ve made don’t perish. We as a detachment are also very lucky because of the community. It’s a great city — there’s way more good than there is bad and because of that it certainly makes our job easier.”
Brissard has worked at all but two detachments in the north district, either in a uniform capacity or on major crime units, and believes the press Williams Lake received a year and a half ago about being the “worst place” to live was generated by people who have obviously never been in the city.
Crime rates can be deceptive, he says, pointing out that in some communities people have lost hope and don’t even call in so sometimes the police are not even aware a crime has been committed.
“You can’t say that for this area,” Brissard says. “People want to make a great place to live.”