North District Chief Superintendent Booth Retiring
Prince George, B.C. – North District RCMP will soon be saying goodbye to Chief Superintendent Rod Booth.
After 34 years in the RCMP, a career that has seen him take postings across Canada, including the Yukon, Chief Superintendent Booth will has decided to retire.
(At right, chief Superintendent took part in road side check program last fall -photo 250News archive)
“It just feels like the right time” says the Chief Superintendent .
Those 34 years in the RCMP saw Rod Booth be involved in major crime, emergency response, 2 years as the Executive Officer to the Commissioner of the RCMP and he was seconded to the Privy Council office for two years where he helped work on the preparations for the 2010 Olympics. Last fall he received the Order of Merit medal from the Governor General of Canada, David Johnston. The medal recognizes a career of exceptional service or distinctive merit by the men and women in policing service in Canada.
“I can tell you this job here, I can’t think of a better job to end my career with” says Booth. “This has just been an amazing position as District Commander for the North. It’s second to none. It all goes back to the people , the members and staff who do the work, specifically our small , remote and isolated communities where our members do amazing work under significant challenges and in isolation. They are the unsung heroes, we don’t hear about the work they do every day, but they really are the best.”
(at left, Corporal Madonna Saunderson and Chief Superintendent Booth on hand on the weekend to officially welcome TeamBC athletes to Prince George – photo TeamBC)
He says he had a list of things he wanted to accomplish here during his tenure and believes he has achieved those goals. One of his priorities? “The number one priority was to connect with all the members, so I’ve done extensive travel throughout the North . I really wanted to connect with the members as best I could and provide them with reassurance. We’ve gone through some rough times over the years, and during the day I have to provide hope and promise and inspire my members to do the very best, and that was my number one priority.”
The second priority was to connect with community partners and leaders. Oh, there was one operational issue he wanted to resolve, and is proud to include it among his accomplishments . While North District covers 73% of the provincial land mass Booth says it just didn’t make sense that although there were three fixed wing aircraft here, there was no helicopter “So every opportunity I had at senior level meetings, I was advocating for a helicopter, and that has come to fruition and that’s going to happen. We will be getting a helicopter for Prince George.”
He has been at the helm of North District RCMP for the past five years and says when he first arrived, he joked that his predecessor (Chief Superintendent Barry Clark) forgot to leave him a copy of the owner’s manual for this job. “Of course there is no manual, it was all tongue in cheek” says Booth, “But the message I would leave for my successor is, ‘you focus on the people and the work takes care of itself’. Our members are the greatest asset, I don’t say that with hollow words, they really are, that’s what I espouse, you focus on the people and the relationships and everything else will take of itself.”
As is his way, Chief Superintendent Booth, steps back from the spotlight, instead, shining the light on those around him and offering thanks for their efforts, especially those of his family “They have been amazing. All the long hours away from home, most importantly my wife, for all the support she has given me over the years, I honestly could not have done it without that support and understanding.”
Chief Superintendent Booth will leave his post at the end of March, although with acquired holiday and leave, will not officially be off the RCMP payroll until September.
He will be heading back to school , he plans to finish the degree he started at McGill University before joining the RCMP so many years ago.