RCMP Staff Sgt. Kevin Keane handed the reins and reporting over to Sgt. Andrew Hunter at Monday’s city council meeting.
In introducing Hunter, Keane noted he has been an operational police officer for more than 15 years, and has come from Smithers where he was in charge of operations.
Mayor Nancy Cooper thanked Keane for his service to the city, which she said has been marked by an overall decrease in crime.
At the detachment for more than six years, Keane said transferring here was a homecoming for his wife who attended Salmon Arm Secondary.
“It’s been a pretty nice ride; it’s just been great and I tell people at the time that Salmon Arm is quite simply the best place on earth,” he says. “I get all the thanks but it’s not me doing the work.”
Keane says he has been blessed with a steady stream of great constables, who put in many extra hours.
“It’s not infrequent to see them in here on their days off and actually making that heartfelt connection with people,” he says, noting officers respond to accidents and tough situations with compassion for the victims.
“When it comes to policing, we’re seen as fitting into this big pie – working with the hospital, Ministry of Children and Families, first responders, fire and ambulance,” he says, noting the detachment also has connections to service club. “There seems to be an unspoken glue that holds everyone together; if a service club is putting on a event, it’s not one group that comes out, it’s everyone.”
Keane will leave in about two weeks to take over as detachment commander in Windsor, Ont.