By Stephen Dafoe
Morinville – RCMP Staff Sergeant Tom Love has assumed command of the Morinville Detachment. The 21-year RCMP member arrives in Morinville after spending three years as the Detachment Commander for Fort Vermilion, a limited-duration posting. Love began his policing career in Saskatchewan but has been in Alberta for the past seven years, the first of those years in Coronation.
Staff Sergeant Love said he arrived in Morinville last week and has spent that time getting acquainted with his members and the communities he and his members will serve. “What I’ve seen so far is the friendliness,” Love said. “Everyone has been very friendly, very open and very helpful.” The new Staff Sergeant will continue his focus over the next three weeks on meeting the mayors, councils and chief administrative officers within the Detachment area.
Though the Morinville Detachment is geographically large, Love is no stranger to large RCMP Detachments. His last post was among the biggest in the province. “Fort Vermillion is one of the biggest Detachment areas in the province because it went all the way to the North West Territories border,” he said. “Very sparse. Very limited. Very few communities, but there are a lot of big sparse areas.” By contrast, Coronation Detachment included a large number of small towns with populations below 2,000 residents.
Love brings his more than two decades of law enforcement experience to the communities within Sturgeon County. Like many police, Staff Sergeant Love said he was drawn to policing out of a desire to help people. That approach has not changed over the past 21 years.
Though Love will spend most of his first month getting acquainted with the area he now serves, he is ready to put his and the Detachment’s priorities to work. Those priorities include working with the community’s youth, reducing traffic violations through enforcement, and preventing drugs coming into the community, the latter being something he sees as key to the broader matter of reducing crime. “When drugs come in, so does crime,” he said. “When drugs are rampant, so is your crime.”
Another of Staff Sergeant Love’s priorities, and one he shares in common with his predecessor, Staff Sergeant Mac Richards, is keeping his members visible in the community. “I’m a firm believer in putting back into the community, helping out, volunteering,” he said. “I hope my membership does the same. I’m going to be doing that, and I hope they will take that lead. I know some of the people I’ve met so far in the office are doing that.”
But the visibility extends beyond helping to coach soccer or strolling the festival grounds. “I’d like my members out on the road, being seen and doing their job preventing crime coming into our community,” Love said.
Staff Sergeant Love moved to Morinville with his wife and two children, one in high school, the other attending university. When not policing, Love enjoys the outdoors, particularly hunting and fishing.