The Merritt RCMP has a new detachment commander, Staff Sgt. Maj. Steph Drouin.

Drouin, a native of Quebec, is a veteran of the Canadian Navy and as an RCMP officer has been stationed in various cities around BC.

“I’m originally from Lac-Etchemin located in rural “Comté de Bellechasse” on the south shore region of Québec City, QC,” said Drouin.

“I joined the RCMP from Victoria after a career with the Royal Canadian Navy and a few years working as a Bylaw Officer for the Capital Regional District. With the RCMP I have been stationed at Westshore (Victoria, BC), Slocan Lake (New Denver, BC), Regina, SK (Depot), Lytton BC, Masset BC, Smithers BC and I was appointed by the previous interim RCMP Commissioner to my most recent post as the Staff Sergeant Major for E Division in the BC RCMP North District, in October 2017.”

Drouin brings a wealth of experience to his new role, having had several positions within the RCMP including police sciences and firearms training.

“Throughout my career, I worked in a variety of roles including a frontline policing officer, an Operations NCO, a Detachment Commander and District Advisory NCO,” said Drouin.

“I also spent time posted to the RCMP’s Training Academy (Depot Division) in Regina Saskatchewan, where I instructed cadets in the areas of Applied Police Sciences (APS) and firearms.”

When Drouin was previously posted in BC, he developed a love for the Interior and hoped to one day be posted here, with Merritt being a community at the top of his list.

“Having worked in the area before, Merritt was always one of those communities I looked for in a transfer opportunity,” explained Drouin.

“When it comes to RCMP transfers however, one’s ability to get where they want to be is often timing and a willingness to wait for the opportunity to come along.”

In 2019, that opportunity arose and Drouin jumped at the chance to become Merritt’s next detachment commander.

“I was thrilled near the end of 2019 when the opportunity to come to Merritt came up as a possibility and the timing happened to fit perfectly,” explained Drouin.

“When I later had the opportunity to re-visit the area and meet with Mayor Brown and CAO Hildebrand and saw the level of community support for the local detachment and public safety in general, it was very clear to me that Merritt was where I wanted to be.”

Drouin’s first official day of duty was June 1, and he looks forward to filling the role that previously belonged to Inspector Lorne Wood, who took over the detachment in 2018. Wood, formerly head of the Major Crime Unit for the Kamloops detachment has transferred to Prince George where he will take over as head of the RCMP North District’s Major Crime Unit.

“I am looking forward to rediscovering the area and to reconnect with new and past colleagues and community members,” said Drouin.

“But what I am most looking forward to is the privilege to lead a great team of men and women who make up the Merritt RCMP.  The beauty of the area is nothing short of stunning, the city itself offers everything you need, everyone has been extremely welcoming and I am truly humbled at the opportunity to be here.”