Penticton’s top cop announced he is transferring to a new role at RCMP headquarters in Surrey.
“I would like to take this opportunity to say goodbye for now to the wonderful people of the South Okanagan. The past two and a half years have been an incredible experience and it was an honour to serve in such a key role in our communities,” said Supt. Ted De Jager. “The members, employees and volunteers of this regional detachment have worked so hard in the past years to build public safety and will continue to go the distance for all of you.”
De Jager is leaving to work in the Operations Strategy Branch as the Officer in Charge of Service Delivery for the province, which will begin in the fall. He said in the coming months he will be preparing for handover of the Penticton South Okanagan Similkameen RCMP detachment to his successor.
It was only just over two years ago that De Jager took the role in Penticton, coming from Mission, with the aim to provide more engagement with the community and to target prolific offenders.
De Jager said the new opportunity is one that allows him to serve an even broader portion of society, while at the same time furthering his education.
“As many of you know, my father was a minister. I think of him often and remember the wise counsel he gave before he went home. One verse, from Corinthians has guided me through my many years in the army and policing: ‘Be on your guard, stand firm in the faith, be courageous, be strong. Do everything in love.’” he said in a news release. “In other words, show no fear, stand true to your values, love your community, even those who don’t agree with you. There’s no better way to serve as a police officer.”
During his two years in Penticton, De Jager was a component to the Community Active Support Table (CAST) and was elected president of the B.C. Association of Chiefs of Police in February.
CAST is described as a proactive, multi-agency approach to identifying risks in the community before they occur and consists of representatives from the social services ministry, Interior Health, RCMP and others. While De Jager came under criticism from some citizens of Penticton, who often voiced their concerns on social media on his tactics against crime, he came to his role stating he was not one to target the most needy in society and believed there needed to be proper social supports in place to assist those people.
“People who want the folks sitting on the library lawn, or at Nanaimo Square, loaded up on a bus and sent off to another community — that is not what we do as police. Even if we could do that, that is a startling indictment on our society that we want to ship our problems somewhere else instead of dealing with them head on,” he said in a recent interview with the Penticton Western News.
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