IPA UK member Garth Minton enjoys a ridealong in Vancouver

08 Jan 2019

In autumn 2018 I visited Vancouver, in beautiful British Columbia, Canada. It was my third visit to that part of the world, but this time, I wanted to do something IPA-related.

I had always fancied doing a ridealong observation shift, and so I reached out to an IPA friend, who connected me with Mike Liu, a serving RCMP sergeant in Surrey, just outside Vancouver. Mike had a wealth of experience over his long career with the RCMP, and was more than willing to facilitate a visit to the RCMP police station covering the Surrey division.IMG-20180912-WA0000 (2)

On a typically rainy Vancouver day I made my way to Surrey in order to meet Mike. Initially he hadn't been sure that a ridealong would be possible, and that I might have to settle for a tour of the police facilities. In the event, he managed to pull some strings and a ridealong was authorised, which Mike told me was a fairly rare occurrence with the force.

Mike kindly picked me up from the train station and we drove to the Surrey RCMP base, where I was introduced to the shift Sergeant and Inspector. After completing some necessary paperwork and sitting through the shift briefing I was paired up with constable Chris Weber, who took me on a whistle-stop tour of the huge facilities, covering a control room, exhibits store and custody suite with cells, before we crewed up in a patrol Ford Crown Victoria and set off to see the not so salubrious areas covered by the unit.

I was interested to learn that the RCMP performs routine policing duties in areas of Canada that have no police department, effectively becoming the local police force for that area. Chris and I discussed the many similarities between policing on both sides of the pond, the various challenges in policing increasingly diverse and growing communities, and even managed to attend a call. The time flew by and eventually I was returned to Mike, who was kind enough to take me for lunch and a small detour to the RCMP BC headquarters to snap a few photos and exchange some patches.

We parted with hopes of future IPA plans, and I was once again reminded of the unique opportunities that membership of the IPA can offer. 

Garth Minton, IPA UK