Campbell River council bid farewell to RCMP Inspector Lyle Gelinas last Tuesday night.
Gelinas, who presents quarterly crime statistics to council, delivered his last report at this week’s council meeting.
Gelinas has been promoted to the position of superintendent with the RCMP’s Western Alberta District in Grand Prairie.
Councillors took turns congratulating Gelinas and wishing him well.
“Wanted to recognize the legacy and job you’ve done, Inspector,” Coun. Andy Adams said. “I want to wish you all the success in your new position and congratulations on the promotion.”
Coun. Larry Samson also thanked Gelinas for all of his “hard work” while Coun. Mary Storry said that council will miss him.
But arguably the best moment of the night was when City Clerk Pete Wipper spoke up to say that staff at city hall had sent a hat around to pitch in for a going away gift.
“We wanted to get you something, but to be honest, we didn’t get much of a response,” said Wipper, tongue in cheek. “So we couldn’t get you what we wanted to. But you know, certainly the staff of the city of Campbell River pulled out all the stops and we got you this beautiful keepsake trophy.”
Wipper then proceeded to whip out a small, golden trophy bearing part of Gelinas’ name.
“We didn’t have a lot of room so we had to abbreviate your name,” Wipper apologized. “It just says, L Gel, Top Cop of 2014.”
Laughing, Gelinas accepted the trophy from Wipper.
“I wonder if I could cuff him right now,” Gelinas joked as he shook hands with Wipper, who said he would miss Gelinas’ wit.
“Lyle has been a fantastic person to work with – great sense of humour – and we will really miss him a lot,” Wipper said.
Gelinas joined the Campbell River police detachment in March, 2008 as officer-in-charge and led many successful crime reduction initiatives during his tenure in Campbell River, according to City Manager Laidlaw.
Samson said Gelinas’ ‘boots on the ground’ approach has resulted in a steady decline in the city’s crime rate since the Inspector first came to Campbell River.
As Campbell River RCMP detachment commander, Inspector Gelinas is both Campbell River’s City Police Chief and head of policing in rural areas from Oyster River to Roberts Lake, as well as Strathcona Park, Sonora and Stuart Islands and the areas on the mainland around Bute Inlet.
“The past six years in Campbell River have provided me with a wealth of experiences and opportunities especially in the area of crime reduction,” Gelinas said in a release. “Our detachment and community have excelled in this area and we have the results to support this.
“The community of Campbell River is one of the best places to live and work, and I never have any problems filling the regular member positions in the detachment,” Gelinas added. “Working with the mayor, council and the First Nations communities have been positive experiences, providing me with a greater appreciation of political and cultural processes.”
The inspector provides direction for 53 officers, one crime analyst, 25 support staff, six auxiliary constables and volunteers with groups such as Campbell River’s Citizens on Patrol (COPS), the Community Policing Committee, Victim Services, Restorative Justice and the DARE program.