By Kevin J. Sabo
For the Advance
There is a new top cop in the Coronation detachment of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.
Sergeant John Pike, a 14-year member of the RCMP, took over command duties of the detachment on Dec. 7th, and he’s hit the ground running.
Since taking command, he has already met with Coronation council, and the Castor Emergency Operations Centre team, which includes the mayor and the chief administrative officer.
Pike’s career has taken him across the province. Starting at Maskwacis in 2006 as a general duty member, he’s worked various other communities in a variety of roles, including gangs, financial crime and the Federal Organized Serious Crime unit. His previous duty station was with the Parkland detachment, west of Edmonton, after requesting a transfer back to general duty services.
“I asked to go back to general duty,” said Pike.
“I like being more frontline, being more of a community person.”
While in the Stony Plain detachment, where he was stationed for around five-and-a-half years, Pike spent some time with group homes and youth.
“I tried to improve the issues they were facing.”
Pike aims to bring that hands-on, community engaged policing to his time in Coronation, though the current COVID-19 pandemic is throwing a wrench into things.
“COVID-19 is a little bit of a hiccup, trying to do things safely,” said Pike.
“I like to do things face to face, and to work with communities to try and figure out where the issues are.”
Coming in, Pike is aware of some property crime and some issues with drugs in the region.
“I want to let the community know we can tackle and combat these issues. We can decrease the crime,” said Pike.
As a start to that proactive policing, Pike said that he is leaving for work early, and randomly patrolling the industrial areas, to either catch crimes as they are occurring, or better yet, prevent them from even happening in the first place.
One recommendation Pike has to try and engage the community in is the use of the mobile phone application, ‘lightcatch.’
“It’s a citizen cyber-rural crime-watch app,” said Pike.
Pike also asks community members to report crimes of all sorts, whether there has been theft or not.
“I encourage people to report,” said Pike. “If someone tries to break in, and they don’t tell us, we don’t know there’s an issue there. We need to know where they are, so we can focus our resources. Without us knowing, we may not know to patrol, so it gives us certain areas to focus on.”
During the next few months, as Pike settles into the Coronation Detachment of the RCMP, he will be working towards meeting with all the different communities in the region. He will also work towards increasing patrols in industrial and problem areas, and also towards engaging the community to make the region as safe as possible for everyone.