Meet the Fort Saskatchewan RCMP's newest detachment commander.

Inspector Barry LaRocque is a 30-year member of the RCMP and comes to Fort Saskatchewan from Yellowknife, NWT, although most of his career has been in Alberta. His first-ever posting was to Cold Lake, where he spent five years before transferring to Edmonton, working in plain clothes policing and drug enforcement.

From there, LaRocque was promoted to Corporal and went south to Red Deer, where he spent 13 years working in drug enforcement and criminal intelligence. He went back into uniform when he transferred to Blackfalds before becoming the detachment commander of the Elk Point RCMP.

"I had a small group of really dedicated and well-meaning members and employees, and I think we made a difference in that community, so that was probably my favourite posting," he explained.

"It's that integration with the community and ability to walk down a small Alberta town street, wave to people, and maybe talk to someone."

LaRocque returned to Edmonton in 2017, where he worked in the strategic communication unit. Two years later, he was commissioned to his current rank of Inspector and transferred to the Northwest Territories.

"For 18 months, I was the liaison between the Department of Justice, Community Justice and Policing Division, and the RCMP. Then, for my last 18 months in the Territories, I was the South District officer in charge." 

His first day at the Fort Saskatchewan detachment was May 30, and while he and his wife are still adjusting to their new surroundings, his first impressions of the town are very positive, noting the community's small-town feel.

"That downtown with the quaintness of it and some of the historic buildings, and just the feeling of the community is nice," he continued. "We have purchased a home here in town, so Fort Saskatchewan is going to be our home, and we're very proud and fortunate now to be a citizen of this community."

Passionate about community policing, LaRocque's aim with his new role is to build strong connections with groups and individuals in the area. He hopes to build a sense of involvement with everybody, adding that everyone has a role in crime reduction.

"I think we see some apathy in communities. I want to try and dispel that a little bit and get it back to people owning their community, taking accountability, and being a partner with this and our endeavor to create a safer community."