The Kimberley RCMP Detachment finally has a permanent Officer in Charge and he is a familiar face. Chris Newel was promoted to Sgt. last Thursday, and after spending much of the past four and a half years since his arrival in Kimberley as interim NCO In Charge, it’s official.
“I’ve been fulfilling the role for some time but I didn’t hold the position,” Newel said. “Now I’ve been officially named and it’s permanent.”
It’s a satisfying promotion 27 and a half years into his RCMP career, and interestingly, Newel has had Kimberley on his mind for much of that time.
“I came through here in ‘89. I wasn’t in the RCMP then. I went cross-country skiing, had a mocha at the Snow Drift, and I thought, ‘what a great community’.”
Kimberley stayed in the back of his mind, Newel says, and when he was asked for preferences for his first assignment, he asked for the East Kootenay. Which he got — not Kimberley but Cranbrook.
“When I was in Cranbrook, I spent a lot of time in Kimberley, but I never set foot in the detachment until I came here four years ago.”
Kimberley, Newel says, is a great place to raise kids.
“It has lots of amenities, and access to good health care not far away, if you need it.”
Part of the job that Newel really enjoys is the public relations aspect — getting out in the community and talking to people, and through his involvement in various community organizations and the entire family’s involvement in amateur sports, it’s easy to meet people and get to know them.
“I’d be very happy to retire here,” he said. “That’s the family plan.”