Auxiliary cop puts in 20 years

THE RCMP auxiliary officer program has changed in the last 20 years.

DEBBIE SIMONS just received her 20-year pin for her time as an auxiliary RCMP officer here.

THE RCMP auxiliary officer program has changed in the last 20 years but one thing that hasn’t changed is that there’s always something to do.

That comes from Debbie Simons, who has been an auxiliary officer for two decades and was honoured for that commitment with a 20-year pin at an appreciation dinner Oct. 14.

The new auxiliary cadets got their badges, certificates, and were welcomed into the group, too.

Their addition brings the total auxiliaries to eight, says Simons.

From the start, she intended to be in the position for a while.

“Yeah I always thought I would stay in the program until I knew it was time to leave. There’s lots of initiatives going on here. There’s always something to do,” she said. “The program has changed a lot since I started.”

When she began, auxiliaries carried handguns but that was stopped in about 1989.

“There were 28 members when they took the guns away. Everyone quit and I was the only one who stayed,” she said. “It was indeed an issue. It was a comfort level too,” she added about the reaction to guns being taken away from auxiliaries.

The program was in limbo for a couple of years until she was asked to start it up again, she said.

Her biggest highlight came last year when she was director of security for the BC Winter Games here.

“I thoroughly enjoyed last year,” she said. “I worked with a great group of people and not every director of security is employed by the RCMP but it certainly made the job easier.”

Auxiliaries were providing security at the teen swims, for the arena before it got its own security staff and served as security at crime scenes, said Simons.

“You can’t say you’ve done it all because you don’t know what comes up next,” she said. “Something with policing, it’s different every day.”

“I know a lot of people in the community so it’s very positive when I would go out and we’d just be doing patrols and we know the people we’re dealing with and they appreciate us too.”

Years ago, auxiliaries were lawyers, doctors and psychologists and were interested in the program for the same reasons, she added.

“It’s a very good program and it takes the onus off the members too. Their jobs are so busy doing everyday policing so to do a bike rodeo on their day off is not appealing to everybody,” she said about how regular officers don’t have to do the bike rodeo on their days off as auxiliaries will cover it for them.

And Simons hasn’t chased down any criminals recently but certainly did in the past.

“We’ve got a couple of auxiliaries, one who is a runner and when that’s required of her, she’s out of the car and she’s racing,” said Simons.

The physical part of training is very important as you never know when it’s going to be required for you to be in top shape, she said.

“It’s important to stay fit. You put yourself in an awkward position if you can’t be of assistance,” she said. “It’s been a very, very positive experience and I’ve always enjoyed it.”

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Here’s the latest on the proposed inland port development process

Council to discuss proposal Sept. 28, public hearing to be held approximately one month later

Cullen confirmed as B.C. NDP candidate for Stikine despite party’s equity policy

Former Tahltan Central Government President Annita McPhee said the process made her feel “abused”

Financial fallback plan in place for Mills Memorial replacement

That’s in case province rejects first submission

Local Skeena candidates for the Oct. 24 snap election

Current BC Liberal MLA Ellis Ross will be running again, as will Nicole Halbauer for BC NDP

B.C. reports 91 new cases as officials remain worried over ‘clusters of COVID-19

There have now been a total of 8,395 cases in B.C. since the pandemic began

‘Won’t be gathering for Thanksgiving:’ Trudeau says COVID-19 2nd wave underway

In all, COVID-19 has killed about 9,250 people in Canada

Canada’s active COVID-19 cases top 10,000 as daily new cases triple over the past month

Dr. Tam repeated her warning to young people, who have made up the majority of recent cases

First 8 months of fatal overdoses in B.C. have now exceeded 2019 death toll

Nine people died every two days in August, BC Coroners Service data shows

Liberal effort to reset policy agenda panned by rivals as too much talk, not action

Trudeau said it’s ‘all too likely’ families won’t be able to gather for Thanksgiving next month

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

‘Show us the money’ for cannabis, local governments tell B.C.

Municipal tax, transit revenues falling as costs rise

‘It’s a boy’: Southern Resident killer whale calf born to J Pod is healthy, researchers say

J35 had previously done a ‘Tour of Grief,’ carrying her dead calf for 17 days

People ‘disgusted’ by COVID-19 election call, B.C. Liberal leader says

Andrew Wilkinson speaks to municipal leaders from Victoria

Most Read