RCMP Staff Sergeant bids farewell to Drumheller
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.