Williams Lake’s new RCMP Inspector Milo MacDonald began his first day on the job Tuesday.
MacDonald, 45, is no stranger to the lakecity.
He was stationed here between 1996 and 2000.
“I met my wife Lori here and she still has a number of friends in the community, so for us it’s an absolutely perfect fit,” he told the Tribune.
As he looks to the future of his position, MacDonald said his role to manage things overall makes it difficult to say what will be his main focus.
“Policing is such a reactive business at times, you go in the morning with a plan and depending on what happens or not in the day, you may not accomplish the things on that plan. The same goes for months and years in policing.”
MacDonald left a position running the organized crime unit in Prince George to come to Williams Lake, but prior to that he was the head of the RCMP detachment in Dawson Creek.
“What I looked at in Dawson Creek was really developing the work force, getting the best training we could for the people on staff — both civilian and members — and enticing the right people to consider applying for vacancies.”
He also took an oversight role on some of the bigger police files.
Dawson Creek, although a bit smaller than Williams Lake, has a similar sized town and RCMP detachment, with many of the same community policing programs.
“Even when I was a constable here I worked with some of those community policing programs,” he said.
Being inspector is a complicated role, MacDonald noted.
“I oversee the entire detachment, but what that means from day to day, can be a completely different experience.”
Sometimes the detachment will be dealing with a natural disaster, some days with serious crime and other times he will be overseeing human resources and personnel issues, he offered as examples.
Keen to engage with the community, MacDonald said the police “absolutely” cannot do the job they do without the assistance of the public.
“The public is an integral component of any crime investigation, in terms of the initial call and the follow up with witnesses. That’s how we get from zero to solved.”
MacDonald is originally from Calgary and has been an RCMP officer for 19 years after “stumbling” onto the career.
While he was working part-time for Eaton’s delivering furniture and studying engineering, all the people he worked with were firefighters with the Calgary Fire Department or Calgary City Police officers.
“They all made their jobs sound so good that I applied for both the fire department, city police and the RCMP,” he recalled.
Two decades later he still loves the job, yet has noticed his priorities have changed.
“In the beginning it was about going out and solving crimes. I remember early on at a break and enter where we recovered $50,000 cash that had been taken and it was satisfying — the puzzle solving aspect of it.”
Now in his current role as an inspector it’s the team approach he finds most intriguing.
“It’s about getting the best possible performance out of a team and being as successful at what we’re doing as possible and figuring out the various ways of accomplishing that.”
MacDonald replaces Inspector Warren Brown who left last December to take the position of Officer in Charge of the Prince George RCMP.
He and Lori have two sons — a nine month old and two-and-a-half year old.