North District RCMP’s Top Cop
Chief Superintendent Lesley Bain, Officer in charge of North District RCMP – photo 250 News
Prince George, B.C. – She has been on the job since last July, time enough to settle in, but North District RCMP’s Chief Superintendent is no stranger to the region or the challenges and responsibilities that come with the office.
Chief Superintendent Lesley Bain had been the second in command to her predecessor Chief Superintendent Rod Booth from 2012 to 2014 when she transferred to Alberta to take on the duties as Chief Superintendent of Central Alberta Command. About a year later, she applied to return to Prince George, as the Chief Superintendent of North District, a region that covers more than two thirds of the province.
“North District is in great shape” says Chief Superintendent Bain “My predecessor Rod Booth ran a very tight ship and I am blessed to be in this role, I truly am.”
That’s not to say there are challenges in the region “I think from my perspective, it’s about continuing to work on partnerships within the communities. It’s about looking at our crime rates and seeing where we can inject ourselves in order to reduce them, I think it’s about seeing where we can build on partnerships with other service providers to see if we can provide holistic approaches to crime reduction and crime prevention.”
The Prince George detachment of the RCMP is a prime example of police working with local agencies in crime reduction and prevention. The Car 60 program in Prince George which partners a constable and mental health nurse to handle certain calls is one initiative, there is also a domestic violence unit, very active community policing component and victim services to name just a few .
But developing those partnerships is no easy task in some of the smaller rural communities from 100 Mile House to the Yukon border and from Haida Gwaii to the Alberta border, “I would say some areas are better placed to have the services in the local community to support that kind of initiative, so where those are available, I would see us able to, or try to establish those partnerships, much like they are doing here( in Prince George).
Different communities are facing different issues, and Chief Superintendent Bain says what works in one community may not work in another “It’s a diverse District, and a one size fits all, doesn’t fit the detachments within this District. So it’s really looking at the community, looking at our resources within that community, and then trying to develop a targeted approach. There can’t be a cookie cutter that applies to everything.”
Women are advancing to some of the top positions in the RCMP, for example, former Prince George Detachment Superintendent Brenda Butterworth Carr is now the Chief Superintendent for all of Saskatchewan and Beverly Busson was a Commissioner for the RCMP. But North District’s Chief Superintendent doesn’t think her gender plays a part in how she handles, or manages North District, “I think people handle things differently… Often it’s said females deal better with children, but there are males who deal well with children and some females who don’t, so I don’t like to look at things with a gender perspective, it’s individual, it’s what skills the person brings to the role.”
She says she doesn’t look at things framed by gender “People find an interest and a passion for the things they do that is what shines through.”
“North District is a wonderful place to be, its a nice place to work, it’s diverse” says Chief Superintendent Bain, who would like to keep moving the District forward on the path set by predecessor “I think I would like to keep building on the momentum that we are seeing. It’s a professional police force, public trust is important member wellness and professionalism both internally and externally is important, so I think it’s any number of things I would like to see come to continue on with.”
One of the issues that was pressed by now retired Chief Superintendent Rod Booth is the need to have a helicopter based in Prince George and it is still “in the works” says Chief Superintendent Bain ” it is scheduled to come, but I don’t have the date for that, ” and she remains positive about its arrival “I anticipate the helicopter will be coming.”