Since the departures of Ian McLean to retirement and Cst. Ted Munro who was transferred to Iqaluit, Nunavut, things have been pretty busy for Constables Holly Mueller, Bill Coulthard and Daniel Kenny, but help has finally arrived in the form of two new officers who recently joined the local RCMP Detachment.
Cst. Charles Lambright recently transferred here from the Wainwright detachment of the RCMP where he was stationed for the past five years. Formerly an employee with Corrections Alberta, Lambright said he began his policing career a little bit later than most, but added he is very happy to be joining the local detachment.
“I joined the RCMP kind of late in life – I’m 49 years-old now and have been with the RCMP for five years. I’m married with one daughter and this is my first visit to Rimbey,” he said. “I think it’s a beautiful community. I like the location and close proximity to everything including the mountains, which is something I’m used to as my family and I are originally from Lethbridge.”
Lambright said that while making the switch from a corrections officer to a police officer was basically seamless and added that the positions are both very similar and very different.
“When I joined I was 43. I went through Depot (training) and turned 44 while there. It was quite a lifestyle change. The jobs are not hugely dissimilar but in a closed-in environment, it’s an entirely different kind of set up,” Lambright said. “With the RCMP, you have a little bit of this, and a little bit of that. One day you’re off doing who-knows-what on one end of the jurisdiction and then called to the other side to do who-knows-what on the other side, so it’s very definitely different.”
He added that the RCMP’s demands for its officers is much higher than those placed on corrections employees but was quick to add that there was a lot more behind his decision to make the switch.
“That’s a complex question, only because of the fact that there were a few factors including Corrections wasn’t turning out the way that I wanted it to, so I chose to make the jump,” he said. “The RCMP is the only police force in Canada that doesn’t look at your age as a factor. They look at whether or not you can pass the tests. A lot of municipal police forces don’t want to take the time to invest in you if they think that they’re only going to get 10 years out of you, but the RCMP don’t care about that. They need people and they need people who can meet the criteria that they have set up and they don’t care about age.”
Lambright said that the local detachment provides a near perfect mix of youth and experience – a factor he said is very important in any community.
“You need a cross-section in order to be a decent police force that’s representative of the community that you’re policing and you need a cross-section and examples of everybody and hence, the age thing,” he said. “You get a little bit of a mix there and you get good out of everybody.”
As for his new home, Lambright said it is a refreshing change from what he’s used to.
“I quite like Rimbey already. In the time I’ve been here, it’s definitely been a change from what I was used to all the way around and I’ve enjoyed everyone I’ve met here.”
Also joining the Detachment is 26 year-old Cst. Matt Bentz who was born and raised in Calgary and is a recent graduate from the RCMP’s training depot.
While he had never visited Rimbey prior to his move here, he had a pretty good indication of what he was in for thanks to a friend who is a former resident.
“I’m looking forward to being here in Rimbey. I’ve heard some good things about the town and it seems like a nice place so far,” Bentz said. “I have a good friend who grew up here and she told me a lot about it and what to expect so basically what she told me is what I saw when I got here and sort of expected it.”
Before joining the RCMP Bentz was a civil engineering student and also worked as a head trainer at a warehouse, but always thought about a career change.
“I just always wanted to do this since I was a little kid – a firefighter or a police officer, so I chose a police officer and am very happy with it,” he said adding that while his time at the training depot wasn’t too bad, he did get a bit tired of being around the same people 24 hours a day, seven days a week and that it was hard to be away from friends and family for that long.
As for being assigned to Rimbey as his first posting, Bentz said it is ideal given the fact that he’s so close to home.
“It’s only an hour and a half to Calgary. I also have some family in Edmonton and Rocky Mountain House and Red Deer. I’ve also got my friends back in Calgary, so it’s really convenient,” he said. “Everybody in this Detachment seems great. I get along with everyone so far I think and have met a few of the locals and they all seem like descent people so I’m looking forward to getting settled in and getting things started.”