Corporal Chris Voller said the recently vacated position will only be filled when all three local First Nations agree on the candidate. (Zoë Ducklow)

North Island First Nations get veto over new officer

Indigenous policing services officer will be approved by all local First Nations

Constable Jordan Mullen, the Indigenous policing services officer in Port Hardy has been promoted, leaving his position vacant as of July 28.

Detachment head Corporal Chris Voller is consulting with the three First Nations in the detachment’s region — Gwa’sala-‘Nakwaxda’xw, Quatsino and Kwakiutl — to agree on a replacement. Voller has recommended a candidate, and will wait for unanimous approval from the First Nations.

The decision to consult is Voller’s, and is not RCMP protocol. He sees it as the only right way forward.

Indigenous policing services is a proactive position, where the officer is focused on getting involved in the community and building positive relationships. The goal is to establish mutual trust so the officer can help intervene before a situation gets to the level of a 9-1-1 call.

“If the people aren’t comfortable with that person, it would be counter-productive,” Voller said.

His recommended candidate is someone who is already in the detachment, a strategic decision because it means they already have relationships and cultural knowledge, and understand historic context that affect policing.

“Every community has certain cultural aspects that a police officer should be aware of that exasperate policing needs. Because there were residential schools and because Gwa’sala-‘Nakwaxda’xw are relocated communities, there are issues there that exasperate policing issues. Issues that can push people with trauma into criminality,” Voller said. He makes sure that every new officer is trained on local cultural context, regardless of whether they are specifically assigned to Indigenous policing services.

He is keenly aware of the RCMP’s negative history particularly with Gwa’sala-‘Nakwaxda’xw’s forced relocation, and is determined to do better. It’s one reason why he’s adamant that the new candidate will be approved by all local First Nations.


Just Posted

Rare fish washes onto Whiffin Spit in Sooke

Deep water fish identified as ‘King-of-the-salmon’

Extravagant marriage proposal in Ucluelet

“It was such a dream. He brought a dream to life. No one does this anymore.”

Nanaimo’s Best of the City: This year’s winners

Readers smash voting records in this year’s poll to determine the best Nanaimo has to offer

Ucluelet mayor criticizes province’s lack of communication as highway closures resume

Daily closures return to only highway in and out of Tofino-Ucluelet starting Sept. 30

EDITORIAL: Let’s take steps to clear the smoke

Work needed to make wildfires, heavy smoke and poor air quality things of the past

B.C.’s top doctor thanks supporters after revealing threats over COVID-19 measures

Dr. Bonnie Henry says COVID-19 has caused some people to lash out in anger and frustration out of fear

NDP, Greens divided on pace of child care improvements in B.C. election campaign

NDP Leader John Horgan recommitted to $10-a-day child care and blamed the Greens for not supporting his efforts

Air Ambulance call follows on the heels of three Comox Valley crashes in one night

If the conditions are less than optimal, drivers are expected to adjust their speed and slow down.

Port Alberni RCMP searching for missing 43-year-old man

Maxime Ouellet is known to camp in wooded areas around Port Alberni

Facey nominated as BC Liberal candidate for the North Island riding

Liberal candidate Norm Facey has a background in forestry and manufacturing.

Who’s running in Cowichan?

A list of Cowichan candidates for the upcoming provincial election

Changes to lumber exports are welcome news for San Group in Port Alberni

San Group hoping to have new remanufacturing plant up and running by mid-October

BCHL: Alberni Valley Bulldogs back on the ice for extended training camp

First exhibition game will take place Oct. 2 against Nanaimo Clippers

Most Read