Changing of the guard at the Merritt RCMP detatchment

By on January 3, 2018
Merritt RCMP file photo.


There has been a change up to the RCMP’s general investigation section (GIS) in Merritt.

Const. Brock Hedrick has been promoted to corporal and moved to general duty, replacing Cpl. Derrick Francis, who is moving back into the detachment’s general investigation section.

“I was in GIS for six years prior to this as a constable, and then I went to general duty for a year and a half [got] promoted and now I’m coming back,” Francis told the Herald.

The department currently consists of two RCMP officers, but is supposed to have three members — two constables and a corporal.

The department operated without a corporal in 2017, but Francis said the goal is to have GIS operating with three members again in the near future.

“The unit is supposed to be one corporal and two constables, so a total of three,” said Francis. “What we don’t want to do is grab someone from general duty and put them in GIS and then leave general duty short.”

General duty officers are the department’s first responders, while GIS acts as a support unit to them on serious criminal investigations.

“We want to make sure our general duty side is fully staffed and then we’ll worry about the other units,” said Francis.

The Merritt RCMP detachment is also still in need of a new staff sergeant. Current Staff Sgt. Sheila White announced in September she had taken a job as an advisory non-commissioned officer (NCO), but is still acting as Merritt’s staff sergeant while her replacement is sought.

It’s not clear, however, when the job will be refilled.

Francis told the city council’s police committee in December that it’s not surprising for a position such as this one to take more than six months to fill.

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