The Grizzly Gazette had an opportunity to meet with the Swan Hills RCMP detachment’s newest member, Constable Declan Treichel.
Originally from Bonnyville, AB, Cst. Treichel is thankful to have a posting so close to home. He had always wanted to be a law enforcement officer but was unsure if he wanted to be a city police officer or a rural RCMP officer when he was younger. Cst. Treichel had applied to join the Calgary Police Service a few years ago but was not accepted due to a minor vision impairment. He started the application process with the RCMP in late 2020 and began his Cadet Training (basic training for RCMP officers) at Depot Division (the RCMP Police Academy) in Regina on Apr. 4, 2022, successfully completing the program on Oct. 3.
Officially starting with the Swan Hills detachment on Oct. 16, Cst. Treichel arrived in Swan Hills a couple of days ahead of time to familiarize himself with the area and community. Cst. Treichel reports being very satisfied with his posting in Swan Hills as he hoped to be placed in a small town setting instead of a city. He explains, “It’s great; it’s kind of everything I was hoping for. I wanted a small town, and this is what I got, so I definitely can’t complain.” The friendliness of the Swan Hills community has also made a big impression on Cst. Treichel, with residents regularly greeting, waving, and introducing themselves to him.
Cst. Treichel has enjoyed being a part of the Swan Hills detachment’s community outreach activities, such as the Positive Ticket program and the volleyball game against the students at the end of October. After representing the detachment at the Swan Hills School’s Remembrance Day Ceremony, Cst. Treichel and Cst. Riddell stayed back for a while to play basketball with some students. “I love that kind of stuff,” he said, “that’s kind of the whole reason I wanted a smaller town.”
As an avid hunter and ATV enthusiast, Cst. Treichel is bound to find himself right at home in Swan Hills. He has already begun to help to coach one of the fun hockey teams in town. When asked about his first impressions of the town, Cst. Treichel highlights the friendly community and continues to describe, “It’s beautiful; I can’t wait to see it in the summertime. Because just seeing the drive on the way up the first time, going from Barrhead to here, it was quite nice to see.” He further elaborates, “It’s kind of like a vacation but at home.”
As enjoyable as Cst. Treichel’s first few weeks in Swan Hills have been an RCMP officer’s work is never done. The RCMP is investigating a couple of incidents along Isbister Avenue that occurred on the night of Oct. 29, involving an unknown individual (or individuals) smashing the side mirrors on two vehicles along that street. From the reports received by the detachment, a man was yelling very loudly and being quite disruptive at the time of these events. If anyone has any more information about these incidents, or if they had anything happen to their own vehicle that night, please contact the Swan Hills RCMP detachment at (780) 333-4450.
Dean LaBerge, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Grizzly Gazette