After more than four years as Detachment Commander in Ashcroft

After more than four years as Detachment Commander in Ashcroft

Head of Ashcroft RCMP transferred

Sgt. Michel Grondin reflects on his time in the area, and what he sees as a disturbing new trend.

“Over the more than four years that I’ve been here, break-ins and thefts from vehicles have increased the most. They’re becoming a significant problem.”

So says Sgt. Michel Grondin, on the eve of his departure as Detachment Commander of the Ashcroft RCMP detachment, when asked about the biggest change he’s seen during his time here. The issue will, he thinks, have to take priority over some other areas the police concentrate on, but he urges the public to take more responsibility.

“There are too many opportunities for people to enter homes that aren’t locked. We need to educate members of the community to be more preventative. We think we live in a fairly peaceful, law-abiding community, but there are people out there who don’t mind victimizing others.”

While residential and vehicular break-ins have been more common in Cache Creek, he notes that break-ins at businesses have been more prevalent in Ashcroft, possibly due to its more isolated location. “Business owners need to consider the use of alarms, and need to check with different companies to find the best solution.” When it’s noted that many alarms are tied in to phone lines, which thieves often cut before breaking in, Grondin points out that some systems will trigger an alarm if the phone line is cut. It costs more, he adds, but “some systems are fail-proof.”

Video surveillance is another effective tool, he says. “You don’t need a tremendous number of cameras; they just need to be strategically placed.”

Grondin has seen a lot; not just in his time in Ashcroft, but during his 35 years on the Force. A framed certificate on the wall behind his desk is a Médaille de l’ancienneté, or long-service award, and Grondin smiles when it’s pointed out, noting that it’s exclusively in French. “I can always tell where documents come from,” he says with a grin. “If it’s in English it’s from E Division [B.C.], and if it’s in French it’s from Ottawa.”

He’ll be going to Kamloops as a Watch Commander, and with a promotion to Staff Sergeant, but it’s not without regret that he’s leaving Ashcroft. “I’ve had a very good experience here as far as policing goes,” he says. “Because of my job here I got to meet a lot of people who have a vested interest in the community doing well. I got to work with them to make this a better place to be, and it’s always enjoyable to do that. My work here has been very much connected to everything else we do in the community.”

During his time here, Grondin and the members under him have worked to reduce drug-and alcohol-related calls for service; increase impaired driving enforcement; reduce domestic violence complaints;, identify vulnerable people in the community who need assistance; partner with organizations interested in youth safety; and reduce incidents of violence against the person.

He says that the majority of the people in the area have been very supportive of what he, and the other members of the detachment, do as a police force, and that new members coming into Ashcroft welcome that support.

He stresses that he could not have done this alone. “My wife Michelle is a huge support. She worked in the community [as a nurse with the Ashcroft Indian Band and in Home Support through the Ashcroft Hospital] and really enjoyed her work.

“The two of us had a good time here. We’re happy to move on to other things, but it’s difficult to move after more than four years in one place. It’s a bittersweet move, to leave the people we’ve made connections with.”

Just Posted

Ashcroft hospital emergency closed sign, 2016. Photo credit: Barbara Roden
Ashcroft Hospital emergency department closed this weekend

Closure due to unexpected limited physician availabiliy, says Interior Health

Residents line up outside the Vernon Recreation Complex for their COVID-19 vaccine Saturday, June 5. (Jennifer Smith - Morning Star)
No appointments necessary for first dose COVID-19 vaccine: Interior Health

People can just show up at clinics, register on the spot and get the shot

Heidi Roy of the Cariboo Jade Shop in Cache Creek with the 3,000 jade boulder, which is now on secure display inside the shop. (Photo credit: Barbara Roden)
Massive jade boulder returns to Cache Creek store six months after daring heist

The 3,000-pound boulder was stolen on Dec. 19, 2020 and found abandoned in the bush a week later

Dr. Albert de Villiers, chief medical health officer for the Interior Health Authority. (Contributed)
Child sex crimes charges against Interior’s top doc won’t impact pandemic response: Dix

Dr. Albert de Villiers is charged with sexual assault and sexual interference

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau participates in a plenary session at the G7 Summit in Carbis Bay, England on Friday June 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada donating 13M surplus COVID-19 vaccine doses to poor countries

Trudeau says the government will pay for 87 million shots to be distributed to poor countries

Montreal Canadiens goaltender Carey Price (31) is scored on by Vegas Golden Knights defenseman Alec Martinez, not pictured, during the second period in Game 1 of an NHL hockey Stanley Cup semifinal playoff series Monday, June 14, 2021, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher)
Habs fall 4-1 to Vegas Golden Knights in Game 1 of NHL semifinal series

Match was Montreal’s first game outside of Canada in 2021

Kelowna-Lake Country MLA Norm Letnick, assistant deputy speaker at the B.C. legislature, presides over committee discussions. The legislature is completing its delayed spring session this week, with most MLAs participating by video conference. (Hansard TV)
B.C.’s daily COVID-19 infections dip below 100 over weekend

Only 68 new cases recorded Monday, four additional deaths

The BC Ferries website went down for a short while Monday morning following a provincial announcement that recreational travel between health authorities can resume Tuesday. (Black Press Media file photo)
BC Ferries’ website crashes in wake of provincial reopening announcement

Website back up now, recreational travel between health regions to resume as of Tuesday

The Kamloops Indian Residential School is photographed using a drone in Kamloops, B.C., Monday, June, 14, 2021. The remains of 215 children were discovered buried near the former school earlier this month. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Communities grapple with what to do with former residential and day schools

Some tear them down as a tool to help healing, others repurpose them as tools for moving forward

FILE – Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry talks about B.C.’s plan to restart the province during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria, Tuesday, May 25, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. watching U.K.’s COVID struggles but don’t think province will see similar pitfalls

Studies show that one dose of vaccine is only 33 per cent effective in preventing B.1.617.2 spread

RCMP Const. Shelby Patton is shown in this undated handout photo. RCMP say that Patton was hit by an allegedly stolen truck that he had pulled over on Saturday morning in Wolseley, east of Regina. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, RCMP
Pair charged in Saskatchewan Mountie’s death make first court appearance

Const. Shelby Patton was hit by an allegedly stolen truck that he had pulled over Saturday morning

David and Collet Stephan leave for a break during an appeal hearing in Calgary on Thursday, March 9, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Todd Korol
Appeal Court rejects stay for Alberta couple facing third trial in son’s death

Pair accused in their earlier trials of not seeking medical attention for their son sooner

Highway notices like this come down effective June 14. Public health restrictions on non-essential travel and commercial operation have hit local businesses in every corner of B.C. (B.C. government)
Province-wide travel back on in B.C.’s COVID-19 restart plan

Gathering changes include up to 50 people for outdoor events

Most Read