RCMP Staff Sergeant bids farewell to Drumheller

The Drumheller Mail - - NWES - Kyle Smylie The Drumheller Mail mailphoto by Kyle Smylie

Such is the life of an RCMP of­fi­cer, Drumheller Staff Sergeant Grant Mac­Don­ald will be on the move again. But rather than take po­si­tion in a dif­fer­ent de­tach­ment in some new town, Staff Sgt. Mac­Don­ald is mak­ing a ca­reer move that will bring him back to his fam­ily and into a com­pletely dif­fer­ent field.

After 26 years, Mac­Don­ald will be leav­ing po­lice ser­vices to take a new po­si­tion with the Yukon gov­ern­ment’s Depart­ment of Jus­tice start July 11 as a man­ager of the White­horse Cor­rec­tional Cen­tre. His wife and son will be wait­ing for his re­turn to their fam­ily home in the place he plans to re­tire in.

“I’m ex­tremely ex­cited after eight years of sepa­ra­tion to have the op­por­tu­nity to re­unite. There’s al­ways chal­lenges that come with work­ing away from your fam­ily, but I’m very for­tu­nate and blessed to have a very sup­port­ive fam­ily through­out my ca­reer who have supported all the de­ci­sions we’ve col­lec­tively made,” he said. legacy in the com­mu­nity he’s only spent a year in. A sup­porter of youth en­gage­ment through­out his ca­reer, Mac­Don­ald helped es­tab­lish a reg­u­lar di­a­logue be­tween stu­dent and teacher rep­re­sen­ta­tives with DVSS and St. An­thony’s schools, pro­moted the Duke of Ed­in­burgh Awards, estab­lished reg­u­lar meet­ings with rep­re­sen­ta­tives of the se­niors’ pop­u­la­tion here, and worked closely with the Ci­ti­zens Ad­vi­sory Committee and ru­ral and neigh­bour­hood crime watch groups to es­tab­lish a pos­i­tive, re­cip­ro­cal re­la­tion­ship with po­lice and the com­mu­nity. His de­tach­ment also worked closely with men­tal health lead­ers to work against the ris­ing as­so­ci­a­tion of po­lice mat­ters and in­di­vid­u­als suf­fer­ing from men­tal ill­ness.

“There’s a very strong so­cial fab­ric here in the val­ley, and from a polic­ing per­spec­tive, it’s fair to say the two unique things about the re­la­tion­ship with the com­mu­nity here that I’d never ex­pe­ri­ence be­fore was a polic­ing and ci­ti­zens ad­vi­sory committee that’s ac­tive and en­gaged,” Mac­Don­ald said. Drumheller Staff Sgt. Grant Mac­Don­ald will be leav­ing his po­si­tion at the de­tach­ment in early July to be­gin work as a man­ager at the White­horse Cor­rec­tional Cen­tre in the city where both his wife and son and fam­ily home reside. Staff Sgt. Mac­Don­ald,

“I’ve cer­tainly en­joyed my 26 years with polic­ing. It’s pro­vided my fam­ily and me with some of the most unique op­por­tu­ni­ties one could ever ask for – hav­ing the chance to travel our great na­tion, meet­ing peo­ple, learn­ing about dif­fer­ent cul­tures.”

Like many other cadets, Mac­Don­ald grad­u­ated from RCMP Academy in Regina and then started his ca­reer at the Le­duc de­tach­ment for six years, where he was im­mersed in a fast paced depart­ment pri­mar­ily deal­ing with prop­erty crime and nar­cotics. Le­duc was where he launched his ex­treme in­ter­est in the Spe­cial Olympics, where he served as coach­ing staff and served as a board mem­ber, and also where his wife gave birth to their first child, a daugh­ter.

Mac­Don­ald ferred to Fort then tran­sSimp­son in the North­west Ter­ri­to­ries for two years, where his fam­ily was com­pleted with the birth of his son in Yel­lowknife. He then earned a pro­mo­tion to Broughton Is­land (Qik­iq­tar­juag) in what was for­merly the NWT be­fore the new prov­ince of Nu­navut was birthed, and of which he was present there for. For two years he worked in a small, two of­fi­cer de­tach­ment and had a chance to par­take in Inuit cul­ture like feasts, hunt­ing. It was there, in a small com­mu­nity with a vested in­ter­est in youth, where he helped start a Cubs pro­gram that in­volved Inuit cul­ture to en­cour­age youth to earn their badges.

His fam­ily then took an­other pro­mo­tion to the north­ern tip of Baf­fin Is­land, Pond In­let, with a house by the sea and po­lar bears at their door. He says ice­bergs would reg­u­lar stall in the in­let near their house and he and his wife would snow­mo­bile out to chip ice off them for ice­berg tea.

He was again pro­moted to White­hourse in 2002, where his fam­ily de­cided to set­tle.

“We knew quite quickly when we landed in White­horse that this was likely go- ing to be the place where we’d choose to re­tired.”

Mac­Don­ald started on the White­horse de­tach­ment but served as the youth strat­egy co­or­di­na­tor for the di­vi­sion. The fo­cus on youth is a theme of his long ca­reer.

“Youth is the most pre­cious nat­u­ral re­source we have and they’re our fu­ture lead­ers,” he said. “Any­thing we can do from a polic­ing per­spec­tive we can en­gage youth and sup­port youth in mak­ing good lifestyle choices and be­come strong, pro­duc­tive mem­bers of our com­mu­nity we’re in favour of.”

Mac­Don­ald then took a po­si­tion at a de­tach­ment near Burns Lake where he had served as a guard as a teenager. He was also in­vited to be a part of lo­cal na­tive tribes in the area, per­form­ing in drum cir­cles and es­tab­lish­ing a re­la­tion­ship be­tween the lo­cal bands and RCMP.

In 2015 the op­por­tu­nity arouse to trans­fer to a de­tach­ment in Drumheller, close enough to his daugh­ter, who was study­ing nurs­ing at the U of Leth­bridge.

“Lit­er­ally within 90 sec­onds within get­ting the email I re­sponded favourably.”

“I’ve met some amaz­ing peo­ple in this com­mu­nity.”

who en­tered the Drumheller force in 2015, has left a strong so­cial im­pres­sion dur­ing his brief stay in the town.

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