High River RCMP under new command
Police: Former Turner Valley commander takes up new position
By: Don Patterson
| Posted: Wednesday, Aug 07, 2013 06:00 am
After five months on the job, the former detachment commander in Turner Valley and officer in Okotoks has taken on a challenging new assignment.
Staff Sgt. Ian Shardlow is the new commander of the High River RCMP. He started working in the town June 29 and was appointed detachment commander July 19.
It was a busy time to take over the detachment, with a focus on securing the community in the days and weeks after the flood. However, Shardlow said they are now getting back to more normal police work as the community recovers.
“The Town is getting back to the regular life of small town Alberta,” he said. “We’re starting to get more and more police-type complaints. We’ve had some collisions, we’ve had a few impaired drivers, those kind of things.”
Shardlow said a commander for the Turner Valley detachment will be named at the beginning of September.
A 17-year member of the RCMP, Shardlow has served in communities across the foothills. Prior to becoming detachment commander in Turner Valley in February, Shardlow was a sergeant at the Okotoks RCMP detachment.
The High River position included a promotion to the rank of Staff Sergeant for Shardlow.
He said it is a challenging time to take over in High River as a result of the June 20 flood.
When he first arrived, the detachment was operating all hours of the day and there were hundreds of RCMP members in town. At one point there were more than 200 RCMP members working in High River.
The detachment’s normal complement is 21 RCMP officers. He said it currently has almost another 30 members as part of operations to provide extra security in High River during flood recovery.
“As the Town came back on-line and we turned neighbourhoods back, we pared down our security package and some of the other duties came off and replaced security, the number of extra members we have has drawn down,” he said.
He said providing security in the community remains a top priority.
“There’s still a number of either secured, but vacant homes,” he said. “There’s a variety of homes that are in various states of recovery and security.”
He said some members are still working on returning firearms to owners and processing claims for doors kicked in when officers were searching the town.
He said there is no timeframe for when the additional officers assigned to the Town will be reassigned. He said the RCMP had an initial four-month plan, which will be reviewed every 30 days afterwards.
“It all depends on how things shake out,” he said.
He said he enjoyed his time in Turner Valley and had the High River posting not become available, he said he would have stayed.
“If it hadn’t been for a little bit of a career advancement opportunity, I could have seen myself there for quite a while,” he said of Turner Valley.
He said the Turner Valley detachment is in a good position because it currently has a surplus of members.