Cameron Russell had an eye on Stettler even before he became the new Stettler RCMP corporal this summer.
“Stettler has been a place that I’ve always wanted to come to,” said Russell, who began his new post in July.
Promoted to take the Stettler job, Russell previously served the RCMP for two years in Fort Saskatchewan after six years in Three Hills and several years as an auxiliary constable.
“It’s a good place to raise a family,” he said. “It’s a very safe community and it has so much to offer.”
Raised in the big city of Edmonton, he has long had a passion to serve as a police officer as a way to help build communities.
“I like to help people and make a difference positively in the community I live in,” Russell said last week.
He fills a vacancy left in Stettler after longtime corporal Terry Best retired last winter.
“I plan to provide the best quality supervision to members here and maintain an-already excellent rapport with the community that my predecessor had,” Russell said.
Drinking and driving and illegal drugs are among the top concerns for the new corporal.
“Impaired driving is a big priority for me,” Russell said.
“I haven’t seen a huge drug problem here, but we’ll make sure we crack down on dealers and users, which in turn will bring property crime down.”
Russell urged residents to be prime partners with the police and to protect themselves and their property.
“First and foremost, if you see something wrong, call us — don’t hesitate,” Russell said.
He advises people to immediately phone 403- 742-3381 to report criminal or suspicious activity.
By locking their homes and vehicles, people “will make a huge difference in town,” Russell said.
At the same time, when suspected criminals are linked to criminal activities, police officers will respond efficiently and professionally, he said.
“If someone has broken the law, they will be treated fairly and equally, whether they’re a farmer or town councillor.”
Adding to his duties as corporal, for the past four years, Russell has been a certified safety instructor for public and police safety, firearms and taser.
“I teach and train officers handcuffing techniques and the use of all the tools on their belts,” he said.
“I will train members locally and from out of town, and they will come to Stettler for that training.”
As a corporal, Russell also serves as the operations manager, while the sergeant oversees administration duties and is the liaison with communities and police authorities.