Cor­po­ral Sherk is on the beat

The Drumheller Mail - - FRONT PAGE - Kyle Smylie

The Drumheller RCMP de­tach­ment is cel­e­brat­ing the ar­rival of a cor­po­ral from White­horse who brings a wealth of spe­cial­ized tal­ent to the unit, in­clud­ing years spent fight­ing the dig­i­tal ex­ploita­tion of chil­dren.

Cor­po­ral Gerald Sherk be­gan fa­mil­iar­iz­ing him­self with his new col­leagues and the val­ley last week and will as­sume gen­eral duty in a su- per­vi­sory po­si­tion at the de­tach­ment.

“I’ll spend a lot more time pass­ing on the skills I’ve learned to the mem­bers here, and de­vel­op­ing them with their own in­ves­tiga­tive skills, as well as han­dle ad­min­is­tra­tion type du­ties that I had done be­fore, such as the man­age­ment of mem­bers and their ca­reers and the de­tach­ment in and of it­self,” said Cpl. Sherk.

Cpl. Sherk be­gan his ca­reer in Co­mox Val­ley on Van­cou- ver Is­land and worked gen­eral duty for three years be­fore tak­ing a po­si­tion with the in­te­grated child ex­ploita­tion team within Bri­tish Columbia’s ma­jor crimes unit.

For four years he spe­cial­ized in sex­u­al­ized, dig­i­tal crimes against chil­dren, in­ves­ti­ga­tion of both cre­ators and traf­fick­ers of child pornog­ra­phy and in­di­vid­u­als lur­ing chil­dren.

The work de­manded com­puter know-how and in­ves­tiga­tive skills while co­op­er­at­ing with other units through­out the prov­ince to ex­pose those ex­ploit­ing chil­dren on­line.

Cpl. Sherk en­tered that path­way be­cause it al­lowed him to uti­lize his al­ready de­vel­oped tech­ni­cal skills and also pro­vided a place to learn how to prop­erly run an in­ves­ti­ga­tion.

“It was very re­ward­ing work. You knew that no mat­ter what the file was that there was al­ways a real vic­tim. Even if it was just some­one trad­ing pic­tures, that’s a real child in the photo. So you knew you were do­ing some­thing re­ally good when you went into work that day,” he said.

“It wasn’t a drunk per­son an­gry at an­other drunk per­son. This was a child who was at risk or who had al­ready been vic­tim­ized. It was pretty black and white, but that’s what made it so re­ward­ing – you knew what you were do­ing made a dif­fer­ence and these were real vic­tims who needed help.”

Af­ter four years with the in­te­grated child ex­ploita­tion unit, Cpl. Sherk felt he needed a change and wanted to broaden his ex­pe­ri­ences while ap­ply­ing what he had learned at the unit to a new field.

“It’s very graphic ma­te­rial you’re see­ing reg­u­larly. Af­ter a point in time you have to make the de­ci­sion if you want to con­tinue see­ing just that.”

He took a north­ern post with the White­horse, Yukon RCMP, in the gen­eral in­ves­ti­ga­tion unit and dealt with se­ri­ous and vi­o­lent of­fences in a busy ju­ris­dic­tion.

“It was an ex­cel­lent place to learn and grow and a beau­ti­ful place to live.”

He was of­fered a pro­mo­tional trans­fer to Drumheller and is al­ready en­joy­ing his new en­vi­ron­ment.

“It’s beau­ti­ful to look out of my of­fice and see the hills. The day I moved in peo­ple were com­ing by the house to introduce them­selves and say hello. It’s go­ing to be a re­ally good place to work.”

Cpl. Sherk will as­sume a su­per­vi­sory po­si­tion with in­tent to ap­ply what he’s learned in both BC and the Yukon to the de­tach­ment and its mem­bers.

“I want to get my feet wet in man­ag­ing the mem­bers them­selves be­fore go­ing on. Hope­fully one day I will move up to run­ning my own de­tach­ment, but it’ll be a sur­prise where my ca­reer goes with the next step. For now, I re­ally like this area and I think this is a place we are go­ing to call home for a while.”

mailphoto by Kyle Smylie

Cor­po­ral Gerald Sherk joined the Drumheller RCMP de­tach­ment last week to as­sume a gen­eral su­per­vi­sory role with the de­tach­ment he’s al­ready grown at­tached to. Cpl. Sherk brings a wealth of ex­pe­ri­ence to the job, in­clud­ing years work­ing against sex­u­al­ized crimes against chil­dren with BC’s in­te­grated child ex­ploita­tion unit.

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