Corp. Chris Voller’s last day on duty in Port Hardy will be Oct. 30. (Chris Voller photo)

Port Hardy’s top cop says goodbye, last day will be Oct. 30

‘I want to pause, reflect, and give thanks for my experiences and time given here’

Dear editor,

I am writing to thank yourself, and the team you work alongside of. My last anticipated day of work in Port Hardy will be Oct. 29. I can now announce that the new commander for Port Hardy and Port Alice detachments will be Sgt. Andrew Phillips, who will take the rank of Staff Sergeant upon arriving here from the Port McNeill detachment sometime in the next month prior to my departure.

After having not taken much in the way of vacation over the past four years I have been advised by my district that I need to take it prior to my post coming to term. I am due out in January, but in order to meet my leave requirements will be off as of Oct. 30 and not anticipated to return to duties here. I have not yet been advised where my next posting will be.

I want to pause, reflect, and give thanks for my experiences and time given here. The North Island is a beautiful geographical location, with some amazing communities across it. It has been my privilege to get to serve as a police officer (T’sakala) and spend time in Port Hardy (Gwa’dzi), Port Alice, the Kwakiutl Nation, the Gwa’sala-Nakwaxda-xw Indigenous community, and the Quatsino Indigenous community. In addition to these ambitious and dedicated leadership teams, I would also like to thank the Regional District of Mount Waddington who have partnered with me on many occasions in efforts to enhance aspects in each of these communities.

To that effect, there are a great number of partners that also deserve acknowledgements for their immense contributions here, many are committed volunteers, and many are committed professionals. All have proven their dedication to these communities many times over to me. They, in part, are: North Island-Powell River MP Rachel Blaney, the Wellness Committee, Port Hardy and Port Alice volunteer firefighters, BC Ambulance, past and present crown council in Port Hardy, the school administrative and teaching staff in each community who allowed me to walk freely through your halls and classrooms, the health authorities in each community, the elders and cultural knowledge keepers who continue to pass on their language and traditional teachings, Michael Frost and his team, Shane Thomas and the Intensive Case Management team, the Gwa’dzi Managed Alcohol Program team, the Emergency Operations Group for the North Island, and the continuing working group for Indigenous Court which is in the final stages and is paused only due to COVID-19. I want to thank you for your progressive mind sets and partnerships; recognizing the needs for pro-active approaches to dealing with the many clients who are led into the realm of criminality, through factors that can be addressed. Efforts toward treating the issues that lay underneath addiction, such as trauma, are paramount not just to moving our communities forward, but to humanizing ourselves, to understand our clients as an individual, and the communities we serve. Steps toward reconciliation are not often single events, but efforts tirelessly made every day, as well as the mind sets and perspectives adopted and employed through each approach. These efforts serve to address the needs of the individuals, and our communities needs as a whole.

Your leadership teams have shown me a steadfast commitment to your community members and to the neighbouring communities around you. It is that aspect, that I have both enjoyed the most and been the most inspired by. There are many shared goals coming to fruition within our communities and it is through the efforts of each of you working toward these that this has been made possible.

It’s clear to me that your intentions have always sincerely been done in the best interests of your citizens and constituents; always in concert with the needs of those you live alongside of.

With that ideology we have accomplished a great deal in just the past four years I have been here. Regardless of what some media may portray, I do think it is important to draw your attention to the point that I am just one of thousands of police officers in this country who are committed to partnerships and efforts like the ones we share.

I feel fortunate that the media agencies I dealt with here reported without bias, and they did reflect the efforts our communities have invested with. Focusing on the positive, appreciating one another, celebrating the small accomplishments is just as important as ensuring we continue to reassess while moving toward the larger goals we strive for. I envy those police officers who will continue to be posted here and work along your teams. I am truly excited to get to watch what you, and your teams, will continue to do to move your communities forward and enhance the lives of your community members and our society as a whole.

If there is anything I can do for you prior to my departure, please let me know and I will make every effort to see it to fruition. Thank you for allowing me the opportunities you have for such tremendous professional and personal growth.

Maya’xala,

Corp. Chris Voller

Port Hardy

* Want to write a letter to the editor? Email editor@northislandgazette.com and we will publish it online and in print.

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