- BC Games
New Shawnigan detachment commander has been all over Western Canada
Scott Stephen is happy to be making a move that not only keeps him on the island, but also in the valley, at this stage of his 26-year policing career.
Stephen, 49, will be taking over soon from Rob Webb as the new detachment commander of the Shawnigan Lake RCMP. Webb has left to take on a human resources role at Island District Headquarters.
Stephen's wife is from Victoria so they're sticking close to her roots while Stephen was born in Hardisty, Alberta and grew up in Lanigan, Saskatchewan but has grown to love the island.
"This is the longest I've been in a place,'' said Stephen, who came to the North Cowichan/Duncan detachment six years ago and serves as an operations support non-commisioned officer.
The Stephens have one child at Cowichan Secondary School and another at the Quamichan campus and are nicely settled into the region.
When Webb vacated his position, Stephen felt it might be a good fit for him.
"I was asked if I would consider it,'' he said.
"I've been a detachment commander before. It's a good job. I think Shawnigan will be a lot of fun.''
Stephen doesn't anticipate any particular challenges in making the transition, other than to "jump right in with both feet.''
He expects to follow the trend set by his predecessor.
"Rob's done a very good job there,'' said Stephen. "I think it's just a matter of continuing the good work he's done.''
Stephen will command a staff that includes a sergeant, two captains, eight constables and two support people.
Stephen's career in the force began in Whitecourt, Alberta. He's also been stationed at Fort MacLeod, Alberta twice, Faust, Lake Louise and Edmonton, Alberta and even Iqaluit, Nunavut.
"I was in charge of professional standards,'' said of his time in the Nunavut capital of 6,000 people on Baffin Island. "It's like living in a different country. It was a great experience.''
Stephen has seen many changes in policing practices over the years.
"I think it is a lot more demanding for our young guys than when I came in,'' he said. "There's a lot of paperwork, a lot more technicalities.''
In his spare time, Stephen scouts for the Western Hockey League's Prince George Cougars and was responsible for valley product Josh Anderson being taken by the Cougars in the bantam draft. He reports to head scout Todd Harkins, who also has valley connections through wife Kirsten (nee Nimmo) who's from Lake Cowichan.
"They've got me going all over the island and the Lower Mainland,'' Stephen said of scouting duties.
But the hockey connection is second nature for him and he loves putting in the time.
"I've been coaching hockey here and my other postings for many years,'' Stephen said.