Morinville – A familiar face in community policing is leaving this week, ending an eight-year run with the Morinville RCMP Detachment. Constable Yelena Avoine’s last day in Morinville is Dec. 13. She is transferring to the St. Albert Detachment.
“It went by quite fast. I cannot believe it’s been over eight years,” Avoine said of her time, adding she feels fortunate to have been assigned Morinville as her first post. “Morinville couldn’t have been a better first post in my opinion. Since I’m not from here and being far from home, I was really fortunate to end up in a community that is so family oriented and close. That really helps.”
Avoine came to Morinville as a general duty officer in 2005, a position she held until 2009 when she took over then Constable Laurel Kading’s position as Crime Prevention/Victim Services (CPVS). Through that role, Avoine was involved with the D.A.R.E. Program in area schools and worked directly with community groups, including Citizens on Patrol, Sturgeon Rural Crime Watch and Block Parents. Additionally, Avoine has been in charge of media relations for the past four years.
“It’s going to be really difficult,” she said of her move from the community she has been involved with for nearly a decade. “Having been here for nearly eight years, I know so many students from Kindergarten all the way to Grade 10. It’s going to be weird when I’m leaving, but it has been an amazing journey, and I was really fortunate to work with all the groups in the community.”
The New Brunswick native said her most rewarding experience in Morinville has been the work she has conducted on behalf of the RCMP in the community. “Just being involved in the schools to be able to work with the youth,” she said. “It’s one of our priorities here at the Detachment, and I don’t see our job as just reacting. Prevention is a big piece, and I’ve seen in the past four years how important it is.”
Avoine will perform the same work in St. Albert that she has here. She anticipates still being somewhat involved with Morinville because of the close proximity between the two communities. “I’m still going to have those relationships with the groups in the community and some youth that I’m involved with.”
One area Avoine has been involved with over the past four years in Morinville is the Annual RCMP Citizens’ Academy, a 10-week program that allows residents to get an inside look at community policing. Avoine, who has run the program with a team of volunteers for the past four years, said she is not certain if there is an opportunity for her to continue to be involved, but that she will gladly do so if asked. “There has been so much positive coming from that project, and I would love to see it continue,” she said. “If there is ever a need for someone to help out I would definitely come back in a heartbeat and be part of that.”
Avoine said she wanted to express her gratitude to the community for their support over the past eight years. “They have made this experience in Morinville amazing.”
Constable Avoine was set to be recognized by Sturgeon Rural Crime Watch at their monthly meeting Tuesday evening.