Port Alice will have two new RCMP officers stationed in the village as of Jan. 20.
“The second Port Alice RCMP position has been filled and the new member is expected to arrive by mid-January to take up his new post,” noted Port Hardy RCMP Staff Sgt. Wes Olsen, who added the current member already stationed, Cst. Rebekah Draht, transferred in from the Kitimat detachment and the incoming member, Cst. Thomas Trachsel, will be transferring in from the Surrey detachment.
When asked to comment, Cst. Draht noted she was stationed in Kitimat for a total of four years, and that she “loved every minute of it.”
She visited Port Alice for the first time last summer after finding out she could possibly end up posted there. “I was blown away by the water and the amazing, rugged beauty. I love being this close to the ocean and I am so thankful I get to live here.”
As for the village in general, Cst. Draht wanted everyone to know she is “very happy to be in Port Alice, and the community has been amazing and so welcoming.”
The previous two Port Alice RCMP officers posted to the Village of Port Alice, Cst. Dave Cerniuk and Cst. Elijah Parish, were transferred after their postings had come to an end.
Former Mayor Jan Allen and her council were extremely concerned about the possibility of the two RCMP replacements not residing in the village once Cerniuk and Parish’s postings ended.
The Port Alice Health Centre had previously sent a letter to the former council strongly supporting the village’s request for the RCMP officers to remain posted in, living in, and working in the village. “Without RCMP officers to respond to our calls for help in a timely fashion, we are not living in or working in a safe environment,” the health centre wrote in a letter to council in Nov. 2017.
The Regional District of Mount Waddington’s board of directors also sent a letter of support to the Village of Port Alice in December of 2017 advocating for the two RCMP postings remain in the village.