The Beaverlodge RCMP detachment is expanding, and with that, it has brought in staff sergeant Kris Kyle as the new detachment lead.
Kyle was born in Beaverlodge and grew up in the La Glace area, graduating high school in Sexsmith.
“It's very rare that someone from their hometown actually comes back, and I think that's very beneficial,” said Kyle.
Kyle’s family has roots in the area as his grandparents settled in the area in the early 1900s and his parents grew up with Gary Rycroft, mayor of Beaverlodge.
The personal connections he already has with the community he believes will help him be a good leader in the area.
He has now spent 16 years in the RCMP and previously worked in the City of Grande Prairie's detachment, working his way up in promotions from general duty watch to a promotion in 2018 as sergeant in the district crime reduction unit.
Kyle joined the Beaverlodge detachment in June; as the detachment added more members, the unit had to be reclassified as needing a staff sergeant.
“I think just a sense of community is what I strive for,” he said.
As he moves into the position, his focus will remain on crime prevention in the area.
One of the challenges that Kyle said he faces is that the Beaverlodge detachment gets many new recruits straight from training, and he hopes to sell the community to some of the members so that the area can have more experienced officers who are also connected to the community.
“I can give them a very biased opinion as to why they should come because you know it is a nice place to be and have a family.”
Moving forward he wants the community to know, “'I’m really open to communication with the public.
“My door is always open. If people have issues, I encourage them to call in and speak with me personally,” he said, noting it may not be standard practice in other places with the RCMP, but he’s here for the community.
“I mean, we're only human, we can’t solve everything, but we also should do our best, and I'm hoping to put that upon the members to be upfront and work with the community the best we can.”
Jesse Boily, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Town & Country News