Sgt. Steven Woodcox began work as the new Kimberley RCMP detachment commander on Monday, Nov. 23. Photo submitted.

Kimberley RCMP welcomes new detachment commander

Sgt. Steven Woodcox has first day on the job in Kimberley

Although he arrived in Kimberley a few weeks ago, our city’s new RCMP detachment commander Sgt. Steven Woodcox had his first day on the job on Monday, Nov. 23.

Woodcox spent the last four or five years working up north in both Dease Lake and the Atlin area near the Yukon border.

That area drew the attention of the world last year with the two-week manhunt for Port Alberni teenage murderers Bryer Schmegelsky and Kam McLeod.

“Never expected that up there I have to say,” Woodcox said in his first interview with the Bulletin. “World attention was on a little spot in the middle of nowhere and interesting is one word to use, but very sad for the people it happened to. And in an area with very little resources, so if you need help up there it takes almost a day for people to travel up and help so you learn to use what you have until the help arrives.”

READ MORE: Killing spree still feeds unease in B.C.’s isolated north, one year later

Before that he spent around 15 years with the Kelowna detachment.

While living in the Okanagan, he and his wife would often vacation in the Kootenays, and they enjoyed the weather, the friendly people and the pace of life that comes along with the area.

“It was always an area we were looking at transferring to and the opportunity came up to take over Kimberley and we definitely jumped at that when it became available,” Woodcox said.

He said he’s been enjoying his first few weeks here and has been settling in nicely.

“Everyone we’ve met’s been super, super friendly and it’s more of a laid back attitude than the Okanagan was and everyone’s not in such a hurry to get everywhere which we really like,” he said. “You have a lot of great weather and a lot of sunshine so we’re very grateful for that, it definitely gives you energy.”

He added that he’s moved around a great deal throughout essentially his whole life. He’s moved around while working with the RCMP and before that, his father was in the Armed Forces so he moved a lot in his youth as well.

“I’m getting towards the end of my career as well and it’s nice to find a place and maybe think about settling and staying for a few years.”

While enjoying the prospect of settling in here for a long haul, his years spent moving to different parts of the country have helped shape the person he is today.

“The one thing I have learned from going to a lot of communities is the RCMP does give you the opportunity, if you want, to move to a lot of places and see a lot of different communities, the issues they have, meet a lot of people that sometimes have a lot less than anyone else and find a lot of the giving qualities in people that you learn from. I think every place you go there’s different challenges and all that helps you build into the person you are.”

Woodcox describes himself as a very personal person, who likes to make contact with people, which of course has been made more complicated with the restrictions imposed by the pandemic.

“I’m always someone that likes to give people the time of day,” he said. “I think if you extend yourself to a lot of the people and the clients that we deal with that people appreciate the fact that you actually have time to give to people to help solve their problems.

“Although we’re not able to solve every problem in life, definitely I think the fact that you’re willing to give some of your own time goes a long ways to try and build relationships with the community.”

Woodcox reached out to our former detachment commander Sgt. Chris Newel ahead of starting at the new position, and talked about the area, the community and some of the issues particular to Kimberley.

READ MORE: Sgt. Newel delivers his last quarterly report to Council before retirement

“He couldn’t speak highly enough about everyone here and even people in the community spoke very highly of Sgt. Newel,” he said.

“It’s nice to actually come to an area where a lot of that work has been put in and it seems to be a very positive attitude between the police and the community. I’ve been to a lot of communities in the past where that relationship has been strained and it takes a lot of work to build back up but definitely here that relationship seems to be strong.”



paul.rodgers@kimberleybulletin

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Want to support local journalism during the pandemic? Make a donation here.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Kootenay-Columbia MP Rob Morrison speaks during Question Period in the House of Commons. File photo.
MP Morrison calls Keystone XL permit cancellation ‘devastating news’

Kootenay-Columbia MP reacts to the Conservative Party’s removal of a controversial Ontario MP

Interior Health reported 91 new COVID-19 cases in the region Jan. 20, 2021 and three additional deaths. (Jennifer Smith - Morning Star)
95 new COVID-19 cases in Interior Health, two deaths

Another member of Vernon’s Noric House has passed

Vernon-North Okanagan RCMP was called to a report of a fight at an Okanagan Landing Halloween party Saturday, Oct. 31, but issued the homeowner a ticket  under the COVID-19 Related Measures Act for having too many people at the party. (Black Press file photo)
Police investigating after woman dragged, run over by truck in Jimsmith area

A woman sustained severe injuries after being allegedly pushed out a truck,… Continue reading

letter
LETTERS: Travel to Kimberley

A second home owner appreciates Mayor’s comments; a resident doesn’t agree

Businesses continue to struggle under COVID-19 restrictions as the pandemic reaches the one-year mark. (B.C. government)
Another 564 COVID-19 cases, mass vaccine plan coming Friday

15 more deaths, community cluster declared in Williams Lake

A specialized RCMP team is investigating a suspicious trailer, which might have connections to the illicit drug trade, found abandoned outside a Cache Creek motel. (Photo credit: <em>Journal</em> files)
Police probe U-Haul trailer linked to illicit drugs left outside Cache Creek motel

Hazardous materials found inside believed to be consistent with the production of illicit drugs

Premier John Horgan leaves the podium following his first press conference of the year as he comments on various questions from the media in the Press Gallery at B.C. Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Monday, January 13, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Interprovincial travel restrictions a no-go, Horgan says after reviewing legal options

The B.C. NDP government sought legal advice as concerns of travel continue

Gem Lake Top, at Big White Ski Resort, seen at Jan. 8. (Big White Ski Resort)
Big White cancels $7.3M in lift tickets, accommodations due to COVID-19 orders

Since November, the ski resort has been forced to make several changes

Darlene Curylo scratched a $3M ticket, BCLC’s largest ever scratch and win prize. (BCLC)
Kelowna woman in shock after winning BCLC’s largest-ever instant-ticket prize

Darlene Curylo couldn’t believe her eyes when she saw the amount of money she’d won from a scratch ticket

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

While each person has different reasons for becoming homeless, a UBCO study shows they learn through their interactions with different services to perform ‘as homeless’ based on the expectations of service providers. (Contributed)
Kelowna homeless forced to ‘perform’ for resources, says UBCO study

One participant in the study said ‘It is about looking homeless, but not too homeless’

Gov. Gen. Julie Payette takes the royal salute from the Guard of Honour as she makes her way deliver the the throne speech, Wednesday, September 23, 2020 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Fred Chartrand
Gov. Gen. Julie Payette resigns, apologizes for ‘tensions’ at Rideau Hall

Payette, who is the Queen’s representative in Canada, has been the governor general since 2017

Grounded WestJet Boeing 737 Max aircraft are shown at the airline’s facilities in Calgary, Alta., Tuesday, May 7, 2019. WestJet will operate the first commercial Boeing 737 Max flight in Canada today since the aircraft was grounded in 2019 following two deadly crashes. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
Passengers unfazed as WestJet returns Boeing 737 Max to service on Vancouver flight

After a lengthy review process, Transport Canada cleared the plane to return to Canadian airspace

Most Read