Surrey RCMP Const. Jeff McMichael came across bowhead whale bones (above) and trekked to work on an ATV (below) during a month of relief work at Repulse Bay

Northern exposure

Surrey Mountie returns from Arctic relief duty.

With wide travel comes wide responsibility.

“You are the wildlife officer, fisheries officer, driver’s licence instructor, substitute teacher. The list goes on and on.”

That’s how Surrey RCMP Const. Jeff McMichael described his experience working and living in the high Arctic for the past month.

The officer, who works on Cloverdale’s Neighbourhood Liaison Unit, recently returned from Repulse Bay, Nunavut where he was stationed at a two-member detachment.

“I decided to try it after speaking with other officers in Surrey that had already done it and always thought that it would be an amazing experience,” said McMichael.

The Surrey RCMP regularly sends officers to detachments such as Nunavut to perform temporary relief work where they experience the challenges that go along with policing in remote locations.

This unique training opportunity benefits both detachments: The northern communities receive an officer with a special skill set that they can impart on the community or pass on to those who are currently stationed there. The Surrey RCMP in turn receive a more well-rounded officer with a wider breadth of experience.

“I admit that I was nervous about what to expect, having only policed in the largest detachment in the RCMP,” said McMichael.

“After arriving there and experiencing what the North had to offer, I knew that I made the right decision. The amount of files that you get is considerably less then in Surrey, however, you are more then just a police officer that responds to calls. You wear a lot of hats in the North.”

Surrey North Delta Leader

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