The Vermilion RCMP is now fully staffed with seven constables, one corporal, and one sergeant.
Their newest member, Cst. Jean-Michel Fortin, has spent the past three months getting to know his new role as a police officer as well as his new home in Vermilion.
Born in New Brunswick, he spent most of his life in Halifax, Nova Scotia. With his father in the Navy he has moved all over the east coast.
In later years, Fortin attended business school and moved around to employers before meeting a girl and starting a family.
“Suddenly chasing dollars was not as appealing as it once was. With my father still working for the Department of National Defence and a brother in the Air Force, I had to find my niche in public service,” said Fortin.
One thing he was surprised to learn was that policing relies on the general public for just about everything they do.
He had never been to western Canada before receiving his training in Regina. After six months of training he had
no plans to go back, and had to be willing to be to move.
“Part of the lure is that you could end up stationed anywhere in the country,” said Fortin.
K Division became available to his troop, and they took in to account that he had a young family who would be interested to find suitable work and school environments.
“They thought Vermilion would be a great fit, and I don’t disagree,” said Fortin.
“Sometimes you expect the worst but so far its been the opposite.”
Outside of work, his family has enjoys spending time at the Vermilion Provincial Park.
While working in a rural area, he was tasked to canvas the neighbours and found everyone really welcoming. He said they all assumed he just needed a hand with something, and even if they couldn’t contribute, they offered.
“There is a lot of support and infrastructure here but you also have time to learn how every piece of an investigation and a report works, so if I end up somewhere else I will know how to do a little bit of everything. I expect to be here for a few years, maybe as many as four or five,” said Fortin.
So far, he has been given the opportunity to spend time with other detachments in St. Paul, Cold Lake, and Saddle Lake. He has enjoyed getting to see the contrast between some of the larger metropolitan areas and some of the more remote areas.
“Vermilion seems to be a good compromise, not too big and not too small and it seems to have something to offer everybody who comes through,” said Fortin.