Former Staff Sergeant com­pletes se­cu­rity role for former PM

The Drumheller Mail - - NEWS - Pa­trick Ko­lafa

Drumheller’s former RCMP De­tach­ment com­man­der has taken on some in­ter­est­ing roles as he tran­si­tions on to re­tire­ment.

Art Hop­kins served with the Drumheller RCMP as Staff Sergeant for seven years. He was trans­ferred from the Drumheller De­tach­ment in 2015 where he took on a su­per­vi­sory role for South­ern Al­berta.

To­day, he has a lit­tle more va­ri­ety in his work sched­ule; from guard­ing the former Prime Min­is­ter to spend­ing days on Cen­tral Al­berta water­ways.

“I re­tired as a reg­u­lar mem­ber, but I was re-hired as a re­servist,” ex­plains Hop­kins. “I am a fully qual­i­fied oper­at­ing po­lice of­fi­cer, but I can kind of pick when and where I want to work.

One of the de­tails he was as­signed was as se­cu­rity for Prime Min­is­ter Stephen Harper.

“He (Harper) is en­ti­tled to have se­cu­rity and a driver for a pe­riod of time,” he ex­plains.

“Since there hasn’t been a former Prime Min­is­ter out in Western Canada, for some time, there wasn’t enough staffing here. So it was picked up by peo­ple that had the train­ing.”

Hop­kins spent about two days week be­gin­ning Fe­bru­ary 2016, up un­til Oc­to­ber 2016 work­ing with Harper. The RCMP have since made ar­range­ments to have more staff to take on the re­spon­si­bil­ity.

This doesn’t mean that he has not been busy, and if you are boat­ing in the area, you just might run into Hop­kins out on the lake.

“I am the in­land water trans­port co­or­di­na­tor for vir­tu­ally ev­ery lake in cen­tral and South­ern Al­berta. So any RCMP ves­sels south of Ed­mon­ton, I check up on them, make sure they are be­ing main­tained and op­er­ated, and I go out and do pa­trols.

Last week­end he was ev­ery­where from Crawl­ing Val­ley to Prairie Oa­sis and then Ch­ester­mere.

Drumheller’s former RCMP De­tach­ment com­man­der has taken on some in­ter­est­ing roles as he tran­si­tions on to re­tire­ment.

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